- VW invests up to 2.6 billion. Euro in Autonomous Driving and becomes an equal partner in Argo AI
- Ford will use MEB platform for its own e-cars
At the end of last week we already learned that VW and Ford are about to finalize their partnership for electric vehicles and self-driving cars. A corresponding “framework agreement” has already been drawn up, which unites them far more than just in the area of commercial vehicles. There is a statement that VW will share its MEB platform with Ford.
This Friday the 12th. July 2019, the two car manufacturers announced further information on the expansion of the cooperation. About the details, Dr. Herbert Diess (CEO Volkswagen Group) and Jim Hackett (CEO Ford Motor Company) in a press and investor conference followed by a question and answer session.
We have embedded the live stream below. Further information can be found directly below.
As you’ve learned within the framework of the press conference, first rumors have confirmed our Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG expand their global cooperation. One is closer to one in the area of e-mobility more closely, on the other hand, the area of autonomous driving plays a crucial role.
With the narrower cooperation, both companies want to increase their competitiveness, the products even better vote on the wishes of customers worldwide while creating synergies for costs and investments.
“While Ford and Volkswagen continue to remain independent competitors, the cooperation of both Argo AI increases the performance, the economies of scale and the geographical reach in the field of autonomous driving. Synergies in several areas of our global cooperation will ensure that we can put all our energy into developing intelligent vehicles for a smart world.— Jim Hackett, Ford President and CEO
VW invests up to 2.6 billion. Euro in Autonomous Driving and becomes an equal partner in Argo AI
As suspected, VW will invest a total of 2.6 billion US dollars in Argo AI. One billion euros of this goes directly through the provision of financial resources. On the other hand, VW is bringing in its subsidiary Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID), which is currently valued at 1.6 billion US dollars.
Ford and VW will benefit in the future from the knowledge of Argo AI and AID, which alone has already gathered around 200 experts on the subject of autonomous driving. In addition, VW will acquire shares in Argo AI from Ford for a total of US$500 million over the next three years. Ford will contribute the remaining $600 million of its proposed $1 billion cash investment to Argo AI. This makes you equal partners. The company itself is valued at more than $7 billion including the full transaction of both companies.
“Argo AI has always been able to engage top executives through its clear mission and the commitment of our partners to use the developed technologies in their vehicles. By merging with AID, we are making our team even more international. I am sure that this will also enable us to inspire the best specialists worldwide for Argo AI. In addition, thanks to the commitment of Ford and Volkswagen, Argo AI technology can be deployed in almost every market in North America and Europe, in different brands and different vehicle architectures.- Bryan Salesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Argo AI
The company, which started as a start-up, gives the two manufacturers access to their technologies, which they can use for the development and production of self-driving vehicles in large series. A safe, reliable and permanent use of self-driving vehicles in the field of ridesharing and for goods delivery services would be conceivable.
As part of the investment by VW and the closer cooperation with Ford, the current AID location in Munich will become the European headquarters of Argo AI. In future, this will be managed by Karlheinz Wurm, currently CEO of AID.
As a result of the merger with Argo AI, their current team will grow from 500 to around 700 employees worldwide. In addition to the corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) and the location in Munich, Argo AI now operates five development centers.
Ford will use MEB platform for its own e-cars
The rumors that Ford intends to use VW’s MEB kit in the future have also been confirmed. The company wants to develop its own purely battery-powered electric car based on Volkswagen’s modular electric drive system. This should come to the street from 2023, is developed in the German Ford Development Center Cologne-Martenkenich.
Ford expects more than 600.000 sold vehicles within six years in Europe. In addition, Ford checks to offer a second model on MEB basis for the European market.
“In the future, more and more customers and the environment will benefit from the groundbreaking E-vehicle architecture of the Volkswagen Group. Our Alliance with Ford is becoming more promising. We also examine other possibilities of cooperation.”- Herbert this, CEO VW
Furthermore, you have agreed to expand cooperation with e-cars. Ford and Volkswagen are developing for suppliers of sustainable and affordable mobility, with electromobility for both equally strategic priority.
VW benefits through cooperation in this area through economies of scale in production and a faster return on investment for its own development expenses of the MEB platform.
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