NewsVW will invest $2.6B in Argo AI and let Ford use its MEB electric car platform
Ford Refreshes Mach 1 Trademark After Risking Losing It
It's not clear when we might see a new Mach 1 on the road, but Ford is making sure it can use the name. Ford filed a new trademark on the name Mach 1 on June 24, 2019, after the United States Patent and Trademark Office determined that the Blue Oval had abandoned its right to the name. The automaker hadn't filed the necessary paperwork showing that it was using the moniker, so the company lost the trademark. The new application is an effort to regain the right to Mach 1. Muscle Cars & Trucks first discovered the new filing, and Motor1.
Volkswagen and Ford first at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, but it was limited to midsize pickup trucks and commercial vans . Various reports about and followed, but nothing was confirmed by either automaker -- until now.
Ford and Volkswagen announced on Friday that the two will deepen their partnerships. Specifically, the two will leverage their strengths in electric vehicles and autonomy, giving the two automakers more solid footing in both arenas.
VW will invest $2.6 billion in Argo AI. $1 billion will come from funding, while the remaining $1.6 billion will come in the form of VW's Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) company, which has more than 200 employees and has been responsible for self-driving-car development for the VW Group. VW will also purchase some Argo AI shares from Ford over three years, bringing the AV subsidiary's total valuation to some $7 billion.
The 2021 Ford Mach E Will Combine Electric Power with Mustang-Esque Styling
2021 Ford Mach E
AID's headquarters in Munich will become Argo AI's European headquarters, with CEO Karlheinz Wurm staying on to head efforts on the other side of the pond. It appears AID's current employees will all stay on board, as well. Argo AI already has a HQ in Pittsburgh and other facilities in California, Michigan and New Jersey. Argo AI's goal is the same -- developing hardware and software for self-driving vehicles that can be manufactured and deployed at scale.
Ford also gets something out of this partnership. Volkswagen will officially open up use of its MEB scalable electric-vehicle platform, which Ford will use for an all-new EV model that's aimed to go on sale in 2023. The two automakers will also look at other ways to work together on electric vehicles, but it didn't go into much detail there. Ford hopes to deliver more than 600,000 MEB-based EVs for Europe over six years. There's no word yet on whether these vehicles will come to the US.
Jaguar Land Rover Announces Electric XJ, EV Production in UK
Jaguar Land Rover has just made a big announcement about the company's future electrification plans that includes where they're to be built, but also what the first new model is going to be; an electric XJ that will be arriving soon. It will be the company's first electric sedan. First, JLR says that its new range of electrified vehicles will be built at the company's Castle Bromwich plant, keeping production of the cars in the UK. Though there was no word on if the company's first EV, the Austrian-built I-Pace would be relocated. That will put vehicle manufacturing, electric drive unit assembly, and battery assembly at the same place.
The OEMs also shared some more details on their already-announced truck and van collaborations. Ford will engineer and build a midsize pickup for both companies for Europe, Africa, South America and other markets. Ford will also engineer and build a large commercial van for both automakers for Europe. Meanwhile, VW will develop and build a city van for both automakers for Europe. Sorry, US buyers, it doesn't appear this part of the partnership affects us in any way.
Honda to Take Big EV Dive by 2025.
Honda is working up a dedicated electric-vehicle platform it says will underpin a range of future EVs, the first of which it promises will arrive in North America "before 2025." Speaking to Automotive News at a corporate technology briefing in Japan, Honda powertrain boss Ayumu Matsuo said the new EV architecture will favour "smooth driving and highly efficient packaging." In its most straightforward form, the platform will place the electric motor in the tail to power the rear wheels. But Honda says it will accept a variety of battery types and motors and allow for a front-mounted motor to offer AWD.