On Friday morning, Reuters reported that the collaborative alliance between Ford and Volkswagen is to deepen. Back in January, the two car makers announced plans to share technology and platforms, starting with new commercial vehicles like vans and medium-sized pickup trucks. At the time, there was much speculation as to whether VW would also give Ford access to its new MEB architecture, a parts bin and toolkit for building electric vehicles.
Although Ford was an early leader in hybrid technology, in recent years it has lagged behind other large automakers when it comes to electrification, particularly VW (which has a highly aggressive plan to build battery EVs at scale). When the initial partnership was announced, it was not therefore surprising that VW leadership was asked whether the collaborative effort would include VW allowing Ford use of MEB.
In January, VW CEO Herbert Diess told reporters that “We are in constructive open dialog to leverage the technology. Probably not worldwide, but they are viable for Europe and China.” However, there was some ambiguity as to whether Diess was referring to MEB or VW’s light truck platform, which Ford will use in markets outside North America.
Today’s Reuters story appears to clear all this up. An unnamed source told Reuters that VW will indeed share MEB with Ford, and a VW board meeting on July 11 is the stage for further internal discussions on the alliance. Reuters also suggests that the Ford-VW alliance will involve collaboration on autonomous driving technology. As we detailed in June, VW is ending its partnership with the startup Aurora, freeing the German automaker to work instead with Ford-backed Argo AI.