VW and Ford meet head-on as vans, pickup trucks, EVs thrive

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By James Raia
As small city vans, large cargo vans and pickup trucks continue to attract more buyers, manufacturers will further collaborate to meet the demand and stimulate business. The most recent meet-up is Ford and Volkswagen.

The two longstanding manufacturers announced their global alliance last year. But Ford and VW have now released details on the partnership’s vehicles on the horizon.

Ford and Volkswagen set to collaborate on several new vans, trucks and electric cars.

A city van created by VW and a one-ton cargo van engineered by Ford will be sold by both manufacturers. Volkswagen will also make a small pickup built on the underpinnings of Ford’s Ranger. And Ford will build an unidentified electric vehicle for Europe based on VW’s modular design.

The companies expect to build as many as eight million vans and pickup trucks under the alliance during the life of the vehicles. Ford is predicting it will deliver more than 600,000 electric vehicles from the VW design.

Jim Farley, Ford’s Chief Operating Officer, said the manufacturer will start making a fully electric F-150 and an electric Transit cargo van within the next two years.

The companies also said last year that they would jointly fund autonomous vehicle development, with VW investing in Argo AI, a Pittsburgh company largely owned by Ford.

The manufacturers emphasized the alliance doesn’t involve cross-ownership between the companies, but that it will create efficiencies.

Ford and Volkswagen have strong commercial van and pickup businesses around the world, including popular models such as Ford’s Transit and Ranger and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle’s Transporter, Crafter, Caddy and Amarok.

James Raia, a syndicated automotive columnist in Sacramento, Ca., publishes the website theweeklydriver.com and its corresponding free weekly podcast and e-newsletter. Contact him via email: james@jamesraia.com.

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