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Inside Ford and Volkswagen’s Truck Partnership

Volkswagen and Ford are two of the most successful automakers in the world. Ford Motor Company, one of the Big Three in the United States, has been supplying American car owners with quality vehicles since the early 1900s. One of its most popular cars, the F-150 pickup, was the best-selling truck on the market last year.

Volkswagen isn’t as popular in the U.S., mainly supplying its vehicles to overseas consumers. However, many Americans have owned a Volkswagen Bus or an iconic Beetle in the past. Many European drivers have also been able to enjoy some of Ford’s lineup, and more vehicles are on the way thanks to a partnership between Volkswagen and Ford.

Ford and Volkswagen’s partnership details

In a recent press release, the two automakers finalized a planned collaboration that has been discussed over the past year. According to Mike Levine, Ford will be collaborating with Volkswagen to manufacture commercial vehicles and international versions of the Ranger.

Ford has offered to help Volkswagen design its own version of the Ford Transit bus and Transit Connect. These will likely be branded as the Volkswagen Transporter and Caddy, respectively. Ford’s Transit Custom will also be available as a Volkswagen model under this new agreement.

The companies will not be investing in each other, which means no ownership stakes. However, each will invest in Argo AI, a self-driving vehicle technology company. Both Ford and Volkswagen have taken numerous steps over the years to integrate EVs into its lineups, so this partnership will help each company reach its goal faster. 

The goal is to have these new trucks and commercial vehicles manufactured by 2022. MotorTrend also reported that an electric SUV inspired by the I.D. Crozz concept will begin development in 2020. This car will have the electric MEB platform used by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen Amarok

The next-gen Ranger and Amarok trucks are still on track for a 2022 release, although there are still no plans to release the Amarok stateside. It comes with one of the best diesel engines in any midsize pickup, a 254-hp V6 with an excellent 428 lb-ft of torque. However, the Ranger is still the best-selling small truck in the U.K.

The Amarok will still be sold in Europe, South America, South Africa, and most other markets outside of the States. If the union between Ford and Volkswagen is successful, we may be able to see more VW vehicles like the Amarok in the U.S.

Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger was just released on the market recently after an 8-year hiatus. It already has great reviews from critics, who praise the truck’s peppy four-cylinder engine and above-average towing capacity for its class.

This lightweight truck can tow up to 7,500 pounds and has a maximum payload of 1,860 pounds. Like the Amarok, the next Ranger model will be available in every non-U.S. market.

Benefits of this partnership

In addition to moving forward on each company’s goal for an electric future, this collaboration will cut numerous costs for both automakers. Each will save money on components like engines, custom interiors, and body frames. Both companies will also be able to share EV software, which often costs billions of dollars to develop. Ford has stated that its goal is to manufacture 600,000 new vehicles by 2023.

At least 1,000 assembly jobs will also be created, thanks to Volkswagen offering to put $800 million towards developing a plant in Tennessee. The companies may have plans for expanding more plants in the future. However, neither company has released any further details yet. 200 more jobs will also be created for Argo AI.

Both companies stand to gain a lot from this partnership. Trucks were a big part of the deal, which makes sense given the consistent sales numbers that trucks have put up. Look for both companies to continue to work together.