Ford and Volkswagen have an ongoing partnership with several joint venture projects, including trucks, light commercial vehicles and electric vehicle technology. However, automaker Blue Oval wants to reduce the scope of its EV section as it slowly moves to launch production of electric vehicles based on its own platform and technology. This shift in Ford’s strategy concerns only its operations in Europe, where Ford only intends to sell electric vehicles from 2030.
Martin Sanders, Ford’s EV development manager for the Old Continent, tells us Automobilwoche that Volkswagen’s MEB architecture is a transitional technology for the company. That used to save Ford about two years of development time but the manufacturer is now investing heavily in its own electric platform. Until development work is complete, Ford will manufacture and sell MEB-based electric vehicles.
This, in turn, requires more investment. Ford will pour about $2 billion into its Cologne plant to prepare it for MEB-based electric vehicles. The first model based on VW technology will arrive in the first quarter of this year and will be a compact crossover in the same segment as the VW ID.4. About a year later, a second “sport crossover” will join production set to take place in Cologne.
The Ford plant in Valencia will also undergo a major transformation. The factory is currently assembling the S-Max and Galaxy but both MPVs will be discontinued soon. Ford will convert the site to build software-defined EVs based on the brand’s own architecture. These cars will not use MEB technology and should start arriving later this decade.
“We will be using a pure electric platform in Valencia. However, it is still open at the moment when this will happen and what models we will build there,” commented Sander. The new EV will also use Ford’s self-developed software for semi-autonomous functions.