Bill Ford Says Automaker Pairs Well With VW: Shared Electric Cars Likely


A Ford and VW collaboration on EVs seems to be more of a reality.

Bill Ford — chairman of Ford Motor Company and great-grandson of Henry Ford — has spoken out about the potential for a partnership with Volkswagen. He believes that the two companies are set up to succeed if a joint effort comes to be.

Ford says that both automakers have full realization of the difficulties involved in moving to EVs and self-driving cars. According to Bloomberg, Bill Ford shared:

We fit together geographically really well, product line-wise, we fit together well. We both came to the same realization that as big as our balance sheets are, no company can do this alone.

As negotiations regarding any actual partnership between the two automakers is in the initial stages, this is interesting to read. Still, Ford says progress is ongoing. The two companies have already set up a potential agreement, which means VW will at the least push funds toward Ford’s autonomous efforts (Argo AI). Whether these two automotive giants will officially join hands on EVs is yet to be established. Bill Ford continued:

We’re really in the early days of exploring what the possibilities could be. We have some clear ideas of where we want to go with it and they do, too.

I’d like Ford to be around another 100 years, and if that’s going to happen, it’s clear that we really have to branch off into new directions to try to solve some of these problems. It’s hard because our current business model is providing all the earnings and cash flow that fund a lot of this change. So we have to do both really well. If we don’t make great cars and trucks today that people want, guess what? There is no tomorrow.

On the other hand, VW CEO Herbert Diess seems optimistic. Still, his comments were more geared to the self-driving vehicle efforts than that of electric cars as a whole. Bloomberg reported that Diess admitted he’s had  “very good talks” with Ford. He’s especially excited about e-mobility (autonomous vehicles). He exclaimed:

The supertanker is picking up speed. We are aligning Volkswagen with e-mobility like no other company in our industry.

Both Ford and VW have talked extensively about increased EV production pursuits and autonomous car for many years, but they’re equally pursuing a very slow and calculated path, with many announcements but not much to show. Hopefully, if the two automakers can team up, it will work to better push concepts, ideas, and plans to reality.

Source: Bloomberg

Categories: Ford, Volkswagen

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32 Comments on "Bill Ford Says Automaker Pairs Well With VW: Shared Electric Cars Likely"

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Besides all comments about Volkswagen being world champion in announcing: The move of VW appears quite smart. Volkswagen is pushing the MEB platform and transforms to be in a supplier role next to the own car production. I suppose they will sell as many drive trains to ford as ford gets hands on batteries. As the MEB platform seems quite versatile, I am excited to see it in the field.

Let Ford die and then buy it’s scraps

Spoken like a truly uninformed person. Guess it works for you.

This is just Ford foisting off EV cars to VW to satisfy their CAFE requirements.
But what happens when VW’s battery supply falls short of it’s demands?
That EVs cost a lot is BS. They cost the same as the same class ICE. And over time, cost less.
And what will it cost Ford when pickups go EV and even small companies can outcompete Ford like Workhorse is doing? There are 100s of light truck producers in the US that could easily switch to EV pickups and Vans, taking both those from Ford.
And that goes for GM, Fiat pickups too. Once one feel the torque of an EV truck, there is no going back. And in 5 yrs it’ll be hard to sell anything but EVs to business as the bean counters will force the switch.
And not like they can say well let’s build EVs now, as they have no battery supply and takes 2 yrs to get them maybe as a big battery shortage in 3 yrs.
The risk for Ford is not going EV now..

You have some valid points, but since when is Workhorse outcompeting Ford at anything? Don’t get me wrong, I want Workhorse to do well for many reasons, not the least of which is I am a shareholder of Workhorse. But to say Workhorse is outcompeting Ford in pickups right now is just plain silly.

Which current vehicle classes have EV’s costing the same as ICE? The only one I can think of that’s even close is the premium sedan market (Tesla vs BMW, which is reasonably close). In every other consumer market it’s not even close.

And as for the pickups, Ford have already annouced they are going to have a PHEV F150 for 2021 (model year possibly, so maybe mid next year) and have spoken about developing a BEV version too.

They still have plenty of time. The only real competition so far is Rivian, who aren’t releasing anything of volume for several years, and their small volume production vehicles (25-50k a year by 2025) are close to twice the price of the average Ford pickup offering.

VW will license the platform, not provide chassis.

An agreement between VW and Ford will be advantageous for both companies. Each on their own will have to struggle more if they somehow don’t manage to come to an agreement.

Ford will benefit much more than VW will from any ‘partnership’ around EVs or self-driving technology. VW is well into implementing its global EV plan with actual concepts/models and a drivetrain along with actual production dates for several EV models across 5 different brands, while Ford has only offered words about what’s planned for 2021, with nothing to back it up….nothing. And even now, Ford is still talking, talking, talking about what could be in some distant future, possibly, maybe……. Another thing…..interesting how Ford talks about how Ford and VW can’t do EVs and self-driving tech alone as big as their balance sheets are, but Tesla is doing it as small as their balance sheet is. With three models already on sale with best in class performance, with a 4th starting production this year, and a Semi and Roadster starting production next year. All using the most advanced self-driving technology available today. Not to mention that when the premiere, legacy, leading German luxury automakers were finally able to see the engineering and build quality of the Model 3, they were sent back to the drawing board. And just maybe the fact that the CEO is a rocket scientest who also… Read more »

The world’s large automakers really are taking note at being called “Legacy” automakers. We will know the level of response and if it was appropriate as it plays out.

Well since Ford really hasn’t done Jack up to this point they need to do something to keep from falling even further behind and VW at least has made the initial moves to get to large scale production of compelling EVs unlike Ford.

However, they (and rally all of the laggard, legacy LICE makers) will both be constrained by limited battery supplies for at least the next few years since they didn’t bother to get into battery manufacturing themselves so we shall see.

Let Ford die if I was VW and then buy it’s scraps like fiat did to Chrysler

So two of the world largest carmakers need to join forces to accomplish what Tesla did by itself? Seems odd. In the car industry these joint productions often involve fringe products that the makers don’t consider part of their core product line. In this case I think VW is serious about making EVs part of their core business but I think Ford is still very much about milking its F-series cash cow willing to cut deals with other companies to do their compliance duties.

I think the key is to do it profitable. Tesla has made a profit, but the profit Tesla has made is a rounding error to VW, GM, etc… Basically the legacy companies need to maintain as close to the profit margin with EV’s as they do with the ICE vehicles. That’s why GM is closing factories/staff, VW has announced they will be cutting workers. This all helps with maintaining profitability through the shift to EV’s.

Got it in one. The legacy makers are mature companies which are expected to pay a dividend. If they can’t, their stock tanks and their ability to borrow too.

Their albatross isn’t so much their legacy products as it is Wall Street.

Tesla is still viewed as a (maturing) startup, with the valuation based on future growth. They have much more flexibility from their investors (shorts notwithstanding ).

The VW SUV above looks gorgeous ! I would buy one , once they get a Canadian charging infrastructure in place ! But it also needs to be competitive in price , technology , efficiency , range, and performance . Tesla has all of that now ! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Excuse me, what Tesla SUV is competitive in price?

Model Y


What does anybody have now !….NOTHING !!! However., Tesla Will have The MY very soon , Maybe sooner that anyone may think it … The unveiling & debut is tomorrow… * 🙂 *

Bill Ford — chairman of Ford Motor Company said:

“… We both [Ford & VW] came to the same realization that as big as our balance sheets are, no company can do this [EVs & self-driving technology] alone…”

Bill Ford is wrong and needs to consult with automotive industry expert Bob Lutz…

According to Lutz there’s nothing about Tesla that can’t be “easily” duplicated by traditional automobile companies.

Or perhaps Bob Lutz has been proven wrong?

Joking aside… there will need be considerable consolidation of resources and effort among traditional car makers for them to survive the EV transition.

… Lutz has obviously been proven wrong about Tesla.

Too bad for Lutz’s legacy that he expressed his disdain for Tesla & Elon Musk in a manner that wrapped Lutz’s professional reputation around Tesla failing… a bad call and likely not recoverable.

Lutz isn’t wrong, but Ford is kind of late to the game. Honestly point to one thing Tesla has that couldn’t be duplicated in a 18-24 months given they already have factories? Batteries supplier- check, charging stations (if they wanted to create a network) – check. The biggest issue would be an EV platform if they weren’t already working on one (queue VW MEB platform). There’s a reason VW has been talking up their EV platform as well as GM and their 2021 EV platform. Once you have those they can scale them up or down for their needs.

One place they’ll have trouble is recruiting and engineering. If you’re a hot shit EV powertrain engineer, you’re working for Tesla, Apple, Rivian, etc. Ford gets the leftovers.

@theflew said: “…point to one thing Tesla has that couldn’t be duplicated in a 18-24 months given they [Ford] already have factories?…”

That’s like saying:
Point to one thing SpaceX has that couldn’t be duplicated in a 18-24 months given Boeing-Lockheed Martin already have rocket factories?

What can be theoretically done is not same as what can be practically done.

Same as Ford competing against Tesla, Boeing-Lockheed Martin would need to top-to-bottom reformat it’s legacy organizational structure to compete against SpaceX.

Yes, Ford and VW are in deep trouble so why not work together, so we they can both go down together. Do two wrongs make a right, no, but maybe two losers in evs can become a winner.

Ford is dead for me if they work together with these cheaters

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

So Ford is so lame and crappy they have to team with the Filthy Lying Cheater VW????

sounds right……..LMAO

Well, Ford had a fine on MPG ‘cheating’ scandal and VW had cheated on emission. So, I guess they are a good fit together….

“I’d like Ford to be around another 100 years”
When the creditors knocked at the doors, father told his son, please don’t tell them that I am hiding inside the barrel to escape from them.

Son told the creditors “my father is not hiding inside that barrel” and the creditors grabbed the father.

Like that, Ford (father) says 100 years, but they seems to be in the process of being grabbed by the VW (creditors). Ford may sell the car business to VW and have just the SUVs / PUs. If the SUVs grab all market share from cars, then Ford may survive, otherwise …

“We both came to the same realization that as big as our balance sheets are, no company can do this alone.“

Real dumb comment by B. Ford. So can Tesla do this alone, despite a horrible balance sheet and constant losses?? Hmm

You know, if we talk about it enough, people might think better of us for not releasing anything at all. VW kinda gets it, but its fast becoming too late for Ford to catch up. They have one chance – deliver an F-150e (all-electric) before the end of 2020. I am not optistic about Ford’s future.