Ford is scaling down VW partnership for EVs

Ford is scaling down VW partnership for EVs

Automotive News Europe — 2023-01-16

Automotive Industry

Ford will reduce its dependence on Volkswagen Group's EV technology as the US automaker shifts its European lineup to electric-only.

After launching two new all-electric EVs based on VW Group's MEB electric-only architecture, Ford will use its own technology for future electric cars.

VW's MEB platform was a transitional technology for Ford and using it saved the company at least two years of development time, Martin Sanders, Ford's e-car development manager in Europe, told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche.

Ford is spending $2bn to convert its factory in Cologne, Germany, to build two MEB-based cars, while ending production of the long-running Fiesta hatchback there.

By 2026, Ford plans to sell 600,000 electric vehicles a year in Europe.

The first MEB-based Ford EV will be unveiled in March and will be similar in size to the VW ID4 crossover. Ford describes the second EV as a "sport crossover." It will go into production next year in Cologne.

Ford also plans to convert its plant in Valencia, Spain, to build software-defined EVs on a new electric architecture, beginning later this decade. The plant currently builds the Kuga compact SUV, and the the Galaxy and S-Max large minivans.

The new electric cars EVs built in Valencia will not use VW's MEB architecture.

"We will use a pure electric platform in Valencia. At the moment, however, it is still open as to when this will happen and which models we will build there," Sander said.

The Valencia-built EVs will also use the automaker's own software with advanced driver-assistance features. Ford and VW closed their Argo AI autonomous vehicle technology company last year.

Ford has said its passenger lineup in Europe will become all-electric by 2030 and it expects two-thirds of commercial van sales to be all-electric or plug-in hybrids by the same date.