Volkswagen Considers Sharing Electric Car Platform With Ford

OCT 31 2018 BY MARK KANE 47

Ford EVs on the Volkswagen MEB platform?

Volkswagen Group and Ford could form a development and production alliance that would strengthen the competitiveness of both manufacturers, at least in certain market segments.

Media speculates that besides areas like light commercial vehicles (under consideration at least since June), VW and Ford could partner in EVs, which recently have not been the strongest point of Ford. Volkswagen could share its MEB platform, scheduled for late 2019, with Ford for a profit while Ford would be able to produce all-electric cars with lower investment costs.

Volkswagen CFO Frank Witter said VW intends to be much more open to partnerships and, when asked about sharing MEB with Ford, he didn’t exclude such a possibility.

“Whether we might provide access to other brands outside of the VW Group is theoretically possible, but there is no decision,”

Volkswagen probably will be open to partnering with other companies on autonomous driving, too.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Ford, Volkswagen

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47 Comments on "Volkswagen Considers Sharing Electric Car Platform With Ford"

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amt

There’s another great idea from VW…. 🙁

Cavaron

Yeah, tying two chickens together dosen’t give you an eagle…

earl colby pottinger

Just a second, the Ford ad on the future says they build and others follow. Are you saying they lied?

Roy_H

Ford has nothing to do with this article except as passive being mentioned as a possibility. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is the first time Ford has even heard of this partnership possibility.

throwback

Ford and VW have been in talks about platform sharing. VW mentioned they are willing to share their EV tech, so some are making the guess that FORD and VW will collaborate on EVs. It does make sense. Partnering with Ford would cut VWs development costs substantially and Ford will get access to a modern, modular EV platform.

Lou Grinzo

Yes. Mainstream car manufacturing is one gigantic study in economies of scale. So any way Ford and VW (and other companies — looking at you, Honda and Toyota) can reduce costs as they navigate this massive market reinvention is a win for them and everyone else.

Brian

The only one following Ford is FCA.

leafowner

LOL — PERFECT!

amt

They’re Lead Like Sheep to the Slaughter ?. Now I’m Confused …. :)..lol

Richard

Takes one to know one!

Brian

Sounds like Ford is still trying to do the bare minimum when it comes to EVs. They hired out the Focus EV design, and it looks like they will continue to do just that with future EVs.

Joel B

They had someone else do the Focus EV? Did they also hire out someone to do the C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi?

Brian

“Ford used a complete electric drive train developed and supplied by Magna International”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Focus_Electric

I don’t know about the Energis.

james

The Energi plaform is half dead (no more CMax) and gets oh so minor updates unless required (the recent bump to 9 KWh battery). Do they still bother making the Focus Electric anymore. I’ve checked several times this year and there wasn’t one on a lot within 250 miles of me (the farthest out I could search). Now if they could bump it up to 160 miles range…

Sunny Minnesota

Your point? If it makes the vehicles affordable and easily available, let’s go for it. It allows one to leapfrog over too many years of extraneous development work while building the brand.

MikeG

By this point it should be clear to anyone following EVs that the main competency required for EV success is battery engineering and if they want to build in volume, the second requirement is battery supply. If the car companies want to remain relevant in the future, farming out this work to others isn’t the path to success.

Brian

That was Ford’s tagline for the Focus EV. They even built it on the same line as the Focus ICE. They just put either an EV or ICE powertrain in at the end.

And we’ve seen how far that has gotten Ford with EVs.

Apexerman

I always wondered why former CEO Mark Fields left Ford a few years ago. He must’ve realized the transition to electric was a tougher than he thought. Now that Ford is supposedly abandoning the car market in favor of trucks, SUV’s and the good ‘ol Mustang, partnering makes sense.

leafowner

Ford smells a little like “Sears” to me…..

Mike

Funny. I could see this working well if VW truly had a great EV platform. Increasing volume is the key to profitability. The potential problem is that VW’s platform could be mediocre. The Euro luxury brands have shown that it isn’t that easy to make a great EV and GM isn’t making any money on their cars, so the EV game isn’t as easy for teh legacy makers as everyone thought.

There is a decent chance the VW isn’t great. If so Ford (or whomever) would be tying their future to a turd. VW won’t be getting a great increase in volume because Ford’s offerings won’t be very compelling…. Vicious cycle.

The only thing I would add to your comment is that VW may be more like Sears and Ford would be Kmart (ouch).

throwback

Fields was pushed out for one main reason, poor stock performance.

MoMac

“Now that Ford is supposedly abandoning the car market .”

That isn’t really correct. The “abandoning” is specific to North America (and they will still sell the Mustang in North America). Everywhere else they sell cars, they will continue to do so.

leafowner

Merge and shrink……Ford makes the Trucks / SUVs and VW the (smelly) cars. Sounds like a match made in car future heaven….

F150 Brian

Last year the two combined for about 18 million units, nearly 50,000 vehicles per calendar DAY.
Even if they shrunk 20%, they’d dwarf everyone else.
And given that they excel in different geographic markets, they might actually grow if they merged.

Andy

Seems like a reasonable option. It’s not like this is a unique arrangement, there are many platforms/powerplants and other sundries shared by partnering manufacturers.

Both manufacturers would benefit from economies of scale and development costs while being able to develop their own platforms/tech in future. And best of all – more vehicles. It may well allow Ford to spend more time developing another platform for vehicles that the MEB platform wouldn’t work for (like large SUV’s and trucks).

eject

I think you are underestimating how large the MEB can get.

Andy

I may be wrong but I’m under the impression it’s designed for cars, rather than things like pickup trucks which have very different requirements.

throwback

It’s based on the same principles as VW uses for the Golf platform. The golf platform underpins everything from the Golf to the VW Atlas. I don’t think it can scale up to a large pickup.

Link

I doubt it would work for pickup trucks but SUVs, even large ones, won’t be a problem for the MEB platform.

eject

You could build a pickup truck on the basis of the MEB. Just imagine the ID. Buzz with a flatbed instead of the passenger compartment. It would of course have independent rear suspension as default.

Andy

That’s not really how most Pickups are built (nor the body on frame Large SUV’s). It’s one of the things that differentiates the Ridgeline from the “true” Pickups. Things like solid rear axles, (usually) leaf springs etc. have to be considered when dealing with that sort of thing, and the MEB is unlikely to be designed around that. That’s not to say Pickups have to have them (see the Ridgeline), but they’re usually there for a reason – better off road capacity and better payload handling.

It’ll be interesting to see how Riven get on with their pickup as they seem to be going for a more car like suspension.

eject

Solid rear axles and leaf springs are there because it is a cheap solution. Payload handling and off road capability are certainly not the reason.

Andy

Ok, show me a pickup with a high payload and no leafsprings?

And explain to me why Jeeps still have solid axles…

They may well be cheaper, but they’re durable and are better for heavier payloads, which is why pretty much every pickup on the market today has leafs (and I’m not just talking North America). There are some exceptions – car oriented verisons like the Ridgeline and the Ram 1500, which has one of the lower payloads in it’s class (but still has a solid axle, just coils rather than leafs).

Sure, coils can support the same payload, but the cost/benefit ratio is low and they end up with a more complex, less reliable design.

eject

Also vans and light commercial vehicles.

viriato

Huge scale economies incoming…..

If some makers are afraid with the profitability of the next BEVs, maybe this strategy will be right and followed by other makers. The important is to put in the market electric cars good and competitives as soon as possible.

Cypress

So, entirely speculation without substance to the claim?

John Doe

They may get even more advantage with even larger volume – but the platform is going to be used in most brands in the VW group.
If they sold batteries, power electronics and other parts to Ford, they could of course make some money – but I think they will sell this model with a low profit margin. That means that Ford will have few benefits to buy the platform and some parts from VW since margins will be low. . Of course they could build 100k, and have a product to sell while their EV models are being designed and developed.
. . But I think Ford has come longer in the EV process then they have let the media know. If that is not the case, they could of course use a platform from Audi or VW until they’re ready with their own design.
If several brands have products that use similar parts, it is common to get lower sales prices for parts. That could be an advantage for customers later on, with lower repair bills after crashes, or when parts are worn out.

Alex

From the article it’s just an open possibility. VW and Ford have shared platforms and even plants in the past so maybe they’re natural partners.

ffbj

Ford is also in talks with BAIDU to develop a self-driving car.

james

Couldn’t be worse than the Energi platform…

Brian

The Energi platform wasn’t half bad when they made it. It’s not as good as Voltec, but it beats the heck out of pretty much any other PHEV platform out there.

TomN

I’ve heard of VW offering the MEB platform to another European company too, though I can’t find the reference at the moment.

VW is also working on the PPE (Premium Platform Electric) platform for Audi/Porsche cars.

Søren Jessing

Toyota should quit the E210 platform and share a new platform with Tesla, to create a new sub 2,800 lbs compact hatch with 50 kWh battery (the one used in the SR Model 3).

Produced on shared production lines in Toyota’s facilities, previously used to make Corolla’s. Tesla to source the batteries, motor units and computers. Toyota to source all other chassis components.

This could be a super quick move for Toyota to get on the beat of BEV’s faster than VW, Ford a.o., and a super quick way for Tesla to gain a huge capacity at a very little investment. A great win for both parties.

Brian

Tesla is pretty much supply constrained on batteries for their own cars. Why would they share with a competitor?

Søren Jessing

Sharing the investments in new production lines and platforms with strategic partners, free a lot of capital to invest in more battery factories in stead – which are really Tesla’s most important moat.

Tesla and Panasonic are already headed for 105 GWh/year, which is enough for 1.75 million cars/year with an average of 60 kWh/car.

Consider how many years and how much capital Tesla has to spend, before they got that car production capacity on their own!

Richard

This translates as- “Unless we form alliances with other OEM’s Tesla is going to destroy us”

So going forward Ford and VW will merge. Who will be next?

Will

Told you Ford was not doing anything but talking out of their butt