E-mobility: Audi with big goals, VW invests in Ford
Audi wants to invest more in e-mobility in the future and work on its profitability at the same time. The parent company Volkswagen is now pooling its forces in the field of autonomous driving with its competitor Ford.
Audi CEO Bram Schot announced in an interview with the “Automobilwoche” that the Ingolstadt-based automobile group would be transformed into a “thoroughly sustainable mobility provider”. This is “no longer a nice-to-have”, but instead becomes an important basis for car customers’ purchasing decisions alongside design and networking. “We will reduce the CO2 footprint of our products by a third by 2025,” said Schot. It is conceivable that Audi will “completely dispense with combustion engines in one or the other series much earlier”.
Audi plans to have five electric cars on offer in 2020, and in 2025 there should be 20 of the so-called “e-tron” models and around ten plug-in hybrids.
Audi boss Schot: “B.apply our strength to the big issues “
Despite planned investments in e-mobility, Audi boss Schot aims to be more profitable in the future. He says: “Today we sell half a million cars more than in 2011. However, the bottom line is that the result is not higher. We’re changing that now. “
In order to increase the return on investment, Schot wants to use synergies in the Volkswagen Group. “Up until a few years ago, competition among the Group’s brands was expressly wanted. Now we have other omens. We’re joining forces on the big issues, ”he said.
Autonomous driving and e-mobility: VW invests in Ford subsidiary
The Audi parent company Volkswagen is also pooling its strengths on major issues. The Wolfsburg-based company announced that it would be expanding its existing cooperation in the field of commercial vehicles with competitor Ford. The focus is on the topic of autonomous driving and the construction of electric cars. VW joins Argo AI, the previous Ford subsidiary for self-driving cars.
Argo AI wants to develop a system of software and sensors that enables vehicles to drive autonomously within a geographically limited area. Volkswagen and Ford each want to use this technology in their cars – and bring it to the streets in both the US and Europe.
Volkswagen is investing a total of 2.6 billion US dollars in the start-up from the US state of Pennsylvania. On the one hand by providing funding totaling one billion US dollars and on the other hand by bringing in its subsidiary Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID), which is valued at 1.6 billion US dollars. Around 200 experts work at AID, most of whom have developed technologies related to autonomous driving for the Volkswagen Group.
In addition, Volkswagen will acquire a stake in Argo AI from Ford for a total of $ 500 million over a period of three years. Ford will deposit the remaining $ 600 million of its planned $ 1 billion cash investment into Argo AI. Argo AI is valued at more than $ 7 billion, including the full transaction of both companies.
Ford gets access to components for e-cars
While Volkswagen is benefiting from its expertise in autonomous driving as part of the expanded cooperation with Ford, the US car company will get access to components for e-cars from VW. Ford will be one of the first automobile manufacturers to use the Volkswagen Group’s modular electric drive kit (MEB). From 2023, the company plans to offer an emission-free mass-produced vehicle based on MEB for the European market. Ford expects more than 600,000 vehicles to be sold in Europe within six years.
Volkswagen has invested the equivalent of around seven billion US dollars in the development of its MEB architecture since 2016. In the next ten years alone, more than 15 million new vehicles from the group are to be based on the MEB. Ford is investing a total of $ 11.5 billion in electrifying its global range of vehicles. This sum also includes the use of Volkswagen’s MEB architecture.