Volkswagen is investing $40 billion in new electric cars and plans to have 27 new models on the market by 2022.
Ford announced last March that it will invest $11 billion in developing hybrid systems for all but one of its new pickup and SUV models due out by 2020. The company also said at an event in March that it will produce six new battery electric vehicles by 2022.
Put the two together, and it seems some of those new electric cars from Ford may be based on technology from VW, according to a report in Automotive News on Wednesday (subscription required).
The companies announced in June that they were exploring a strategic alliance. Although the original deal was focused on commercial vehicles, Volkswagen Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter wouldn't rule out the possibility of sharing the company's new MEB electric-car architecture with other companies when asked about it on Ford's third-quarter financial conference call.
"Whether we might provide access to other brands outside of the VW Group is theoretically possible, but there is no decision," he said.
VW MEB platform
The MEB architecture will underpin a new small hatchback called the ID starting next year for Europe (and later the U.S.), then a small crossover SUV known as the ID Crozz and, in 2022, the long-awaited electric VW Microbus recreation, the ID Buzz.
VW is expected to decide by year-end whether it may produce any of those vehicles at its U.S. factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Ford has lagged in developing new electric models since it first introduced its Focus Electric hatchback in 2012. The company announced in April that it would phase out sales of traditional cars, besides SUVs and pickups. It is, however, planning to build an electric SUV with Mustang-like styling with a 300-mile range and high-performance off-road capability.
VW has targeted a range of 300 miles for some of the larger models based on the ID platform, including the ID Buzz.
The two models could share underpinnings, or it's possible that Ford will develop new smaller electric offerings based on the ID platform and not abandon cars forever. Other new models could also be possible—at least if such a deal comes together at all.