U.S. auto manufacturer Ford is talking with Volkswagen in Washington, DC about the German auto maker possibly using Ford plants to make electric vehicles and sharing its platform with Ford in the U.S.
EVs to be manufactured may include microbusesBack in June the two companies announced that they were planning an alliance to cooperate on some future products. Diess said that the alliance would not include equity stakes for the automakers. Volkswagen chief executive officer Herbert Deiss said recently that he is looking for a place to build the company's electric cars in North America.EV models include classic microbusesAlthough Diess did not say what exact models may be made in the U.S., they may include the I.D. Crozz and the I.D. Buzz.The I.D. Crozz is expected to go on sale in 2021, and the I.D. Buzz in 2022. The Buzz is a remake of the classic microbus. However other possibilities include pickup trucks shown at recent auto shows that are sold worldwide.Diess said: “We need additional capacity here in the United States, we need an additional car plant for VW and Audi combined.” Audi, which is now part of the Volkswagen group. is also planning to sell vehicles in the U.S. including several models that will be based on VW's MEB platform designed to produce more affordable models.A recent article notes: "Volkswagen is expecting to launch at least three new all-electric vehicles in the U.S. in the next five years.The first will be the 2020 introduction of the ID, a unique electric-only that would replace the e-Golf; the much-anticipated, all-electric ID Buzz, a remake on the counterculture-icon microbus, due in 2022; and the I.D. Crozz, a rugged-hatchback spinoff. A flagship sedan, previewed by last year’s I.D. Vizzion concept, could also arrive around 2022."Ford could use VW's EV architectureIf Ford and VW come to an agreement on sharing the development of EVs, both companies could use VW's EV architecture. VW is planning large investments in EVs up to $50 billion.VW hopes that by just 2025 fully a quarter of all the groups' vehicles will be solely powered by electricity. They expect to have some 50 different fully battery powered vehicles plus 30 plug-in hybrids.Using Ford plants would save VW moneyAlthough there are some reports and rumors about VW expanding its existing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee or even building a new plant, sharing facilities with Ford could achieve the aims of VW without the company having to invest a great deal of money in a new or expanded facility. It would help localize production as well and help shield it from currency fluctuations or trade wars.Neither company has released any specifics about their deal, and both said they were still in the process of working out details.