Ford and Volkswagen finalized their agreement to develop vehicles together nearly three years ago. The partnership is producing new models for the two, with Ford's VW-based electric crossover for Europe debuting in a few days. Volkswagen Group CEO Oliver Blume told Automotive News Europe that its partnership with Ford is "intensifying."
Blume's comments come two months after Ford said it wanted to reduce its dependency on VW's EV technology. The Blue Oval is investing in its own electric platform, borrowing Volkswagen's MEB architecture to help save time in developing EVs for the European market. Ford plans to offer only electric vehicles on the continent by 2030, with models riding on its proprietary platform arriving later in the decade.
Gallery: Ford Electric Crossover Spy Photos
While Ford might be shifting resources toward its in-house EV tech, the automaker still has other projects with the German-based car company. The partnership between the two included trucks and light commercial vehicles. Volkswagen's new Amarok pickup borrows its platform from the new Ford Ranger, with VW giving the truck its own visual identity. Both Ford and VW are looking at electrifying the model.
Also part of the partnership was a joint investment in Argo AI, a company developing autonomous vehicle technology. The company disbanded in October, with Ford and VW hiring many of Argo's employees to continue developing the tech in-house.
Ford's first MEB-based model will debut on March 21 (photo at top). It'll compete in the same segment as the Volkswagen ID.4, and Ford is giving it a completely unique design. We're uncertain if it'll have VW's infotainment system in the cab or Ford's SYNC setup. The Ford-based Amarok uses Ford's infotainment technology.
A handful of teasers have shown off a boxy crossover with rugged-looking touches. Powertrain details are a mystery, but it should borrow components from VW. The automaker is also developing a second MEB-based EV codenamed the "Sport Crossover, " its ID.5 equivalent. Blue also told the publication that the two are only at the start of their "cooperation project."
Ford's EV-based lineup won't arrive without causing some casualties. The automaker will discontinue the popular Fiesta and Focus models in 2023 and 2025.