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Volkswagen and Ford deepen partnership to work on electric vehicles and self-driving cars

Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett today announced a strategic expansion of the global alliance between their organizations to include electric vehicles.

Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company have announced that they will both work together on electric vehicle and self-driving car technology.

As part of the partnership, Volkswagen will invest around $2.6bn in Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle startup that is backed by Ford Motor Company.

The investment will bring Argo AI’s valuation up to more than $7bn.

Ford became a lead investor in the startup in 2017, initially investing $1bn in the firm. 

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“While Ford and Volkswagen remain independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace, teaming up and working with Argo AI on this important technology allows us to deliver unmatched capability, scale and geographic reach,” said Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett.

Ford and Volkswagen will have an equal stake in Argo AI and combined they will own a substantial majority of the firm. 

On top of this, the company leaders also announced that Ford will become the first other automaker to use Volkswagen’s electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) to deliver a high-volume zero-emission vehicle in Europe starting in 2023.

Ford expects to deliver more than 600,000 European vehicles using the MEB architecture over six years.

“Looking ahead, even more customers and the environment will benefit from Volkswagen’s industry-leading EV architecture. Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise, and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate,” said Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess.

 “Scaling our MEB drives down development costs for zero-emissions vehicles, allowing for a broader and faster global adoption of electric vehicles. This improves the positions of both companies through greater capital efficiency, further growth and improved competitiveness.”

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