Ford and Volkswagen (VW) may be serious about forming a partnership that will work on self-driving cars. Journal sources of the Wall Street claim that VW has tentatively agreed to invest a total of $1.7 billion in the autonomy-focused Argo subsidiary of Ford and turn it into an “equally held joint venture.” While the definite plans for the said partnership were not mentioned, VW could likely bring a number of its related efforts to the table, including its Moia mobility service brand as well as the Autonomous Intelligent Driving group of Audi.
According to the insiders, the negotiations between the two firms are making “good progress,” even though there is still a chance that the discussions could fall apart.
Both VW and Ford have not released comments regarding the apparent leak. Last January, however, Jim Hackett, the Chief Executive Officer of Ford, said that the initial VW partnership was a “foundational framework.”
A collaboration between the two brands would not come as a surprise. Both brands have made it clear that they expect personal car ownership to drop with the rise of driverless vehicles, and they have been stepping up their efforts on ride-hailing and other services that would make sense in that modified landscape. A parnership would help them fend off their competitors who are also forging their own mobility service partnerships, such as Mercedes and BMW, and could ensure that both VW and Ford remain to be oen of the major players in the car industry regardless of dramatic changes.