As automakers race to solidify their position in the new era of electric vehicles, Ford is pulling from its past to gain an edge in the future. According to a new report, Ford expects to develop its own in-house platform, shifting from its previous alliance with Volkswagen.
Ford developing an in-house platform shifting from VW MEB
Ford partnered with Volkswagen in 2020 to use the German automaker’s Modular electric drive matric (MEB) platform to launch an electric vehicle in Europe.
Although Ford’s EV offerings consist of the F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E in the US, it wanted to take a more global approach, partnering with VW to produce “at least one, probably two passenger vehicles built off the MEB platform, and they will be at a lower price point than the Mustang Mach-E” according to the president of Ford Europe, Stuart Rowley.
To enter the evolving European market with maximum speed and profitability, it made sense at the time for Ford to partner with VW. The partnership is expected to double its planned volume to 1.2 million units over the next six years.
GM of Ford Model e Europe, Martin Sander, gave us a glimpse of what we can expect, teasing a photo of the EV under wraps with a comment, “can’t wait for 2023 to arrive when we will pull the cover off our first electric passenger vehicle coming from Cologne.”
However, it seems the collaboration will be short-lived. According to a new report from Financial Times, Ford is looking to move away from VW’s MEB platform as it’s developing its own in-house system.
Martin Sander, head of electric vehicles in Europe, says the new system has:
No kind of integration [with VW], it is very versatile, very capable. We are exploring all kinds of opportunities, how far we can gom what kind of segments we can cover with this.
Meanwhile, Sanders says a final decision has yet to be made, and Ford is open to developing EVs with VW or other automakers.
Ford announced in October it would scrap Fiesta production as it works to trim its portfolio and focus on electric vehicles. Sanders also claims Ford may end gas-powered sales before the 2030 deadline if demand in the market moves faster than expected (like it always has).
To enter the EU market as fast and profitably as possible, Ford likely made the right decision to partner with VW in the first place to use the automaker’s MEB platform.
However, Ford building its own EV platform makes a lot more sense to remain competitive in the future. The company can scale the technology and use it for a variety of models rather than limiting itself to using a rival’s architecture.
Although nothing is set in stone yet, Sanders mentioning Ford expects to launch EVs on its own “in-house system,” which Ford is engineering in the US, seems like that’s the direction the company is taking.
To compete with Tesla and General Motors, both of which have their own EV systems, Ford is likely to trend in that direction. In November, Ford CEO Jim Farley told reporters Ford is “going back to our Model A” in reference to building its own components and bringing production back.
What do you guys think? Should Ford go in its own direction or stick with VW? We’ll update you when we hear more about Ford’s EV platform plans.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.