Publicado: Sáb, Julio 13, 2019
Financiera | Por Marilu Caballero

Ford-VW Alliance Seen Amping Up Pressure on Other Automakers

Ford-VW Alliance Seen Amping Up Pressure on Other Automakers

Ford and Volkswagen plan to unveil a broader global alliance on Friday that will focus on developing autonomous technology and electric vehicles.

In a joint statement, the two companies said Ford would use VW's new MEB platform to "design and build at least one high-volume fully electric vehicle in Europe for European customers starting in 2023".

The automakers could outline more than one agreement.

The two automakers are now "equal shareholders" of Argo AI, with VW's $2.6 billion investment into the company.

Ford expects to build more than 600,000 electric vehicles in Europe over six years, sourcing components and the vehicle underpinnings from VW, helping both to cut costs.

In addition, Volkswagen would join Ford in investing in Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle platform company, allowing both automakers to "independently integrate Argo AI's self-driving system into their own vehicles, delivering significant global scale". VW will also purchase $500 million in Argo shares over the next three years.

Herbert Diess, VW's Chief Executive, said on Friday "Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise, and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate". Much of the MEB's development cost could be recovered from the revenues generated from Ford.

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"A VW investment in Ford's AV business would provide a crucial public validation data point (similar to SoftBank's investment in GM Cruise), and could be just the start of external capital for Ford's AV business", Schwarz said.

Both Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett and Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess will be in attendance.

Analysts at Citi said Ford licensing Volkswagen's MEB platform is a "transformational" step.

Suppliers familiar with Ford's plans say the No. 2 USA automaker is developing a broader portfolio of electric vehicles, majority crossovers that will carry the Ford and Lincoln brands, for North America and China. "We will share updates as details become more firm", a Ford spokeswoman said in a statement.

Volkswagen's MEB platform can be used for a variety of vehicle types.

Ford created Ford Autonomous Vehicles in 2018, pledging to invest $4 billion until 2023 and has sought outside investors to help share the spiralling cost of developing autonomous vehicles. $1 billion will come from funding, while the remaining $1.6 billion will come in the form of VW's Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) company, which has more than 200 employees and has been responsible for self-driving-car development for the VW Group.

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