Ford CEO Jim Hacket, Volkswagen CEO Dr. Hebert Diess, and Bryan Salesky Argo AI CEO stood on stage together in New York on July 13. The three executives announced what could be the biggest shift in the automotive industry since the time of Henry Ford himself. 


The two automotive giants are working together in a global collaboration to expand their electronic vehicle and self driving technologies world wide. 


Don’t worry Ford fans, this isn’t a merger or anything: Volkswagen hasn’t bought Ford. What’s happening is a collaboration, Volkwagen is giving Ford the keys to its electric vehicle platform — the Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB). This advanced, tried and true platform will enable Ford to produce some 600,000 vehicles in Europe over the next six years. MEB is the very same platform that VW plans to use for the production of a planned 15 million battery-electric vehicles over the next 10 years.


This means that MEB will become the new standard architecture for electric vehicles around the world. This puts Volkswagen and Ford ahead of the curve in the changing automotive world. 


Dr. Diess explained that opening up MEB to Ford both companies will be able to drive their production costs down. This is good news for consumers, as lower production costs means lower ticket prices, and lower ticket prices mean higher demand which means even lower ticket prices. 


Ford didn’t buy the Modular Electric Toolkit, Volkswagen sees the potential for a powerful partnership so they gave them access. Ford has a research and development team in Aachen, Germany, so Ford’s engineers can work closely with Volkswagen. 


You might be wondering, “Well, where does Argo AI factor into all this?” The tech company is developing an autonomous vehicle platform that’s very promising. So promising in fact that Volkswagen and Ford now own a majority of the company. What makes Argo AI so attractive is that they have the only autonomous vehicle platform that will be ready for mass distribution and it’s compatible with OEMs.


Jim Hackett notably reminded the audience of the technology sector: think Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft. “There will only be a few winners.” Ford and Volkswagen hope to be among those few.

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