Friday, 19 July, 2019

Ford, Volkswagen to deepen alliance on self-driving, electric vehicles

BMW and Daimler are teaming up to develop almost autonomous vehicles BMW and Daimler are teaming up to develop almost autonomous vehicles
Jean Garcia | 12 July, 2019, 21:55

Ford and Volkswagen plan to unveil a broader global alliance on Friday that will focus on developing autonomous technology and electric vehicles.

The tie-up has been in the works for months and is another in a long string of industry partnerships as auto companies and tech firms try to spread the enormous costs of developing self-driving and electric vehicles.

The need for cost-sharing partnerships is underlined by the current downturn in vehicle sales and predicted changes to ownership models as new technologies are proven.

Volkswagen will invest $2.6 billion in capital and assets in Ford's self-driving unit Argo AI to market new-technology vehicles in the United States and Europe.

The cooperation with VW on electric vehicles in Europe is part of Ford's previously disclosed $11.5 billion EV investment worldwide. The two well-known automotive companies will be collaborating on their autonomous and electric vehicles and technologies considered critical for the future of the industry. The companies said Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett would appear together tomorrow in NY, but provided no additional information in a news release. Over the next three years, VW will also buy an additional $500 million of Argo AI shares from Ford.

Ford may leverage its access to VW's electric-car architecture to comply with stricter European emissions rules. VW, meanwhile, has been working on MEB since 2016 and expects to build 15 million cars using the platform in the next decade.

Sharing the MEB platform with other automakers will increase volume to spread development costs and make EVs "more affordable for consumers, and be better for the environment", said VW CEO Herbert Diess.

California couple sue over fertility clinic foul-up
The Manukyans, who were married in 2007, said that in March 2011, an embryo transfer had resulted in the birth of their daughter. They said two embryos were supposed to be used and the third was discarded. "These children are definitely not ours", Anni said.

Also this year, Ford said it would invest $500 million in US electric vehicle startup Rivian, while Fiat Chrysler is in talks to produce self-driving commercial vehicles with startup Aurora.

The Ford-VW alliance vaults Argo into one of the highest-valued autonomous vehicle development companies in the world.

In January the company's announced a global alliance to help develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickup trucks for global markets beginning as early as 2022.

Analysts at Citi said Ford licensing Volkswagen's MEB platform is a "transformational" step.

Shares of Ford rose 2.6 percent in afternoon trading Friday.

Suppliers familiar with Ford's plans say the No. 2 USA automaker is developing a broader portfolio of electric vehicles, majority crossovers that will carry the Ford and Lincoln brands, for North America and China.

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