Volkswagen and Ford could announce a deeper alliance this week—beyond commercial vans and small pickups across the world—to build self-driving and electric cars.
The New York Times reported July 5 that the two automakers could announce the partnership as soon as this week.
The two automakers already announced an alliance this year to jointly build commercial vans and small pickups across the world. VW will use Ford's platform for the Ranger pickup to sell in places outside the U.S., and VW said it would invest $1.7 billion in Ford's self-driving startup, Argo AI.
The report indicates that the two automakers may collaborate further with further investments from VW into Argo AI. Volkswagen's luxury automaker, Audi, has been developing autonomous vehicle systems, although it's unclear how the reported partnership would figure into Audi's future. VW also reportedly supplied Apple with cars for its self-driving developments, although neither company has acknowledged that they're working together on autonomous vehicles.
The VW and Ford partnership could extend deeper into electric vehicle development and production. VW is far along with its plan to roll out mass-market, affordable electric cars, starting with the ID Buzz next year. Ford's further behind, although the automaker has said it's working on an electric version of the F-150 pickup and an electric Mustang-inspired crossover.
Ford and VW's partnership could be the start of a deepening alliance between the two manufacturers, who've spent billions on EV and self-driving tech development, but may still lag tech giants such as Apple and Google-backed Waymo.