“The VW and Ford group will together build up commercial vehicles and have identified other potential alliances,” said Herbert Diess, CEO at the press briefing of his annual council meeting.
Rumors about a rapprochement amid Ford and VW have been around since the start of the month, speculating that the brands will also develop electric vehicles. Diess confirmed today that joint development of commercial vehicles is essential to the alliance, adding that the employers identified other opportunities for cooperation with Ford outside commercial vehicles.
However, Diess denies that the relationship lengthens to an alleged merger with Ford, saying this wasn’t the objective of our discussions.”
During the conference, Diess also unveiled that the group augmented its five-year investment in electric vehicles, connected and autonomous technologies from €34 billion to €27 billion in total expenses for the period. Of this amount, €30 billion will be spent on electric mobility, which includes the development of platforms and powertrains to investments in infrastructure.
He also sees a few reasons, of why most car buyers will not use more electric car by 2020 and said that for those traveling less than 30,000 kilometers a year, electricity is the first choice.
Bernd Osterloh, Chairman of VW Works Council, spoke about the brand’s desire to be a part of the production of batteries near the car production site. Diess added that “It does not make sense” to expand the production of electric vehicles across Europe. VW’s current three specialized electric vehicle manufacturing plants in Germany are well thought-out as the largest network for the production of electric vehicles in Europe.
Despite constant awareness to future mobility services and electrification, the brand has confirmed that combustion engines will remain significant for many years. “We are going to offer low-NOx and carbon diesel engines,” Osterloh said.