Ford also will build an electric auto in Europe using VW's MEB electric vehicle platform, the companies said.
"While Ford and Volkswagen remain independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace, teaming up and working with Argo AI on this important technology allows us to deliver unmatched capability, scale and geographic reach", Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a prepared statement. The two automakers will also look at other ways to work together on electric vehicles, but it didn't go into much detail there.
The broader Ford-VW alliance, which covers collaboration beyond joint investments in Argo AI, does not entail cross-ownership between the two companies.
As part of that alliance, Ford will engineer and build medium-sized commercial pickups, to be sold by both manufacturers, and build large commercial vans for European customers, while VW will develop a city van. Now, as suspected, Ford will also use VW's modular electric vehicle architecture (called MEB) to offer a new battery EV in Europe.
"Ford has taken flack for years for not having a robust EV strategy and VW has had its own fair share of challenges, but this can help both companies reinvent themselves as innovative technology leaders", said Jessica Caldwell, executive director industry insights for Edmunds.com.
Another strong performance from Rafael Nadal
He wrapped up the opener in 29 minutes and after a break in the first game of the second set, the writing was on the wall. Sousa is expected to pose a tough challenge on the Spaniard.
VW will invest US$2.6 billion in Argo AI, Ford's self-driving vehicle venture, and will buy $500 million worth of Argo shares from Ford, giving the two equal stakes in the startup. VW will also purchase some Argo AI shares from Ford over three years, bringing the AV subsidiary's total valuation to some $7 billion. These will be designed at Ford's facility in Cologne, Germany and will go into production starting in 2023, at a rate of 100,000 a year for six years.
The partnership with Ford and Volkswagen will allow the firms to "share significant [research and development] costs in the high triple-digit millions", Diess said.
Ford is in the midst of an $11 billion restructuring effort.
Volkswagen intends to launch a vehicle with Argo's platform in "the early 2020s", according to CEO Herbert Diess.
Volkswagen's MEB platform can be used for a variety of vehicle types. That's the automaker's in-house autonomous vehicle development unit, which now has 200 employees.
In May, a group of internal institutional investors sank $1.15 billion into GM Cruise LLC, the autonomous vehicle unit of Ford's main competitor, General Motors.