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What is the Ford and Volkswagen electric partnership? The manufacturer collaboration explained


Chasing Cars takes a look at the Ford/Volkswagen electric partnership and how it all came to be

Volkswagen and Ford have held close ties for several years and are now working in multiple areas to build cars together. 

In 2019, Volkswagen and Ford created a partnership agreement to build both autonomous and electric vehicles together, but it is only most recently that the relationship has begun to make traction in the automotive industry. 

March 2022 saw Volkswagen and Ford announce a new collaboration for electric car development using the current MEB platform.

Volkswagen Ford Joint Projects agreement
An overview of the Volkswagen Ford joint projects agreement

Chief executive officer of Volkswagen Group Thomas Schmall said that “profitability and speed are now crucial … today’s agreement will further accelerate the electrification of the two companies”. 

What does this relatively new electric partnership mean, what’s in store for the relationship and what’s the history behind it all?

Let’s find out everything to do with this major automotive partnership. 

Volkswagen Ford Joint Projects alliance
Volkswagen and Ford will work together in three key areas

What’s planned for future Ford/Volkswagen electric cars?

Ford confirmed to Chasing Cars last week that the first all-electric Ford built on Volkswagen’s MEB EV architecture will begin production before the end of 2023. 

It’ll be a midsize crossover vehicle based on the current Volkswagen ID4 currently released elsewhere in the world but is not yet on sale in Australia. 

The bad news? Ford has confirmed that there are no plans to release the new vehicle in Australia or anywhere else outside of Europe.

Volkswagen ID4 Pro Performance 2023 front 34
The current Volkswagen ID4 could to come to Australia

However, Ford is expected to introduce nine EVs to market before 2024, so there is definitely more to come from the Blue Oval in terms of announcements in the next 12 months. 

Ford had originally planned to release this new crossover with a total volume of around 600,000 units, however in March this year the company announced it was instead forecasting to produce 1.2 million units using Volkswagen’s platform over a period of six years. 

But where did all this start?

Volkswagen ID4 GTX 2023 side profile
The Volkswagen ID4 is based on the MEB platform

Volkswagen and Ford created a partnership agreement back in 2019 to help co-develop electric cars, but the relationship has also expanded to the commercial business that involves utes such as the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok.

The whole network between Volkswagen and Ford has been called a strategic alliance that will focus on three key areas: commercial vehicles, autonomous driving technology and EV platforms. 

Ford and Volkswagen’s collaboration history 

Partnerships between Ford and Volkswagen go back quite a long way, with the first joint venture taking place in 1987. 

Ford Ranger XLT 2022 mud splash
The Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok have been built in collaboration

The aim was to build identical cars but with a different badge and to cut development costs while doing so. 

This happened with the Autolatina joint venture between four key manufacturers: Ford of Argentina, Ford of Brazil, Volkswagen Argentina and Volkswagen Brazil, beginning in 1987. 

There were several vehicles built during this time including the Ford Verona (Volkswagen Apollo), Ford Escort Mk V (Volkswagen Pointer) and the Ford Orion (Volkswagen Logus). 

Volkswagen Amarok 2023 Aventura rear end
The upcoming Volkswagen Amarok

But Volkswagen and Ford didn’t stop there, with another joint venture occurring in 1991. 

The reason? To build a new MPV model under three different brands: the Ford Galaxy, SEAT Alhambra and the Volkswagen Sharan. 

What models have the two companies created together?

Ford e-Transit Custom 2023 driving
The Ford Transit Custom will share a background with the next Volkswagen Transporter

As above, Volkswagen and Ford have released several collaboration vehicles over the past 30 years, however most recently the two companies have built the Ford Transit Connect and Tourneo Connect, both of which are versions of the Volkswagen Caddy van. 

The current Ford Ranger and upcoming Volkswagen Amarok have also been built in collaboration, however they are both unique in their own ways. 

The next Volkswagen Transporter van will be based on the new Ford Transit Custom that is due in 2024. 

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