Alliances are forged fast, but they take a lot to maintain. The problems between Ford and Volkswagen open up a new possibility and Ford is already considering launching electric cars in Europe without the help of its partners.
Alliances between manufacturers are the order of the day. In 2020, two of the most powerful in the world strengthened ties with a very important agreement. Ford and Volkswagen agreed to the use of shared technologies to present several sister models. Some of them we already have among us, such as the Ford Ranger and the Volkswagen Amarok or the Volkswagen Caddy and the Ford Tourneo Connect. Although those ties remain solidly united, it is in the field of electrical where the brotherhood is beginning to crack. So much so that Ford is already thinking about using its platform for its European electric future.
The Americans are very focused on updating their range of the Old Continent. Looking ahead to the coming years, Ford passenger cars will give way to new 100% electric units. This transformation is already underway with the disappearance of mythical models such as the Ford Fiesta. Initially, in the 2020 agreement, Volkswagen and Ford agreed to launch two electric vehicles with the German MEB platform, the same one that gives life to models such as the Volkswagen ID.3 or Volkswagen ID. Buzz. The dates initially scheduled are 2023 and 2024. We already have news of the first of them, since a short preview was released a few weeks ago.
With an expected volume of 600,000 units per unit, Ford begins to think about alternatives to the alliance given little progress on the MEB platform. It is well known that the Germans are having serious problems in the development of new technologies and evolutions. The bottleneck generated by the CARIAD division, in charge of generating the software for all the systems, has brought many headaches. The Americans do not want their electricity strategy to depend exclusively on the Germans and that is why they propose alternatives.
All the information comes from an interview by Martin Sander with the Financial Times. Ford’s Electric Vehicle Development manager in Europe has opened the door to his creation. In Sander’s own words, the project is in the early stages of life, although he has anticipated that the new platform will be “very versatile and powerful.” “We are exploring all possible options, see how far we can go and what segments we can cover with it,” said the Ford executive who previously served in the ranks of Audi.
This decision may focus more on the higher-category models. The MEB platform is very versatile, but leaves out the upper segments of the market, focusing more on mid-size and compact models. The last model presented to enjoy it is the Volkswagen ID.7. However, Sander has openly commented that Ford is not interested in an entry-level electric car to replace the Fiesta, at least not yet until production and development costs “get down enough.”
From now on, a whole range of possibilities opens up for Ford. Although its platform for electric vehicles in Europe is far from presenting itself as a production car, the American brand expects to reap profits with its European electric vehicles starting in 2025. At the moment, the Ford Mustang Mach-e remains the only 100% electric vehicle of the oval brand in the Old Continent. Its general interest remains, although the crossover has lost some appeal due to an increase in prices. Prices that, by the way, will continue to rise as the company has already made clear.