A deal between Ford and the Volkswagen Group for cooperation on EVs, commercial vehicles and autonomous driving, which had been in the works for more than a year, has now been signed.

VW will benefit from Ford’s expertise in pick-up trucks, as the Ford Ranger has been one of the best-selling pick-up trucks in Europe in recent years and the replacement for the VW Amarok will most likely be Ranger-based.

Both companies will also produce small vans based on the VW Caddy, with VW building a city delivery van, while Ford will develop a 1.0-tonne cargo van for both brands.

The companies expect to produce a combined 8m commercial vehicles during the lifecycles of these products.

Ford will be able to use Volkswagen’s MEB modular electric vehicle architecture, which is currently developing the ID Buzz and ID Buzz Cargo. Ford expects to deliver 600,000 MEB-based electric vehicles over several years, starting from 2023.

Jim Farley, Ford chief operating officer, said: “Commercial vehicles are fundamental to Ford today and an area where we will accelerate and grow, and working with Volkswagen on these platforms will provide both of us significant financial advantages in things like engineering, and plants and tooling. 

“Separately, Ford will add battery electric versions of Transit and F-150 (not sold in the UK) in the next 24 months for commercial customers who increasingly need zero emissions and the power of connectivity, data and artificial intelligence.”

Thomas Sedran, chairman of the board of management for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, commented: “This long-term cooperation with Ford will strengthen our very good position in the area of light commercial vehicles, especially in our core European markets, and is proof that we are successfully implementing our plan step by step.”

The companies have both invested in self-driving technology company Argo AI and will be using the technology when it comes to market.