This is the forthcoming Volkswagen Amarok, which is to go into production in 2022 at the Ford Motor Plant in Silverton, South Africa.
That’s not a typo.
The Amarok is being developed on the Ford Ranger platform.
This is part of the agreement signed by Volkswagen and Ford on things including electric vehicles and autonomous technology.
But there was also part of the agreement that was between Ford and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (VWCV), which includes the development of three vehicles:
- A midsize pickup (this one)
- A city delivery van
- A one-ton delivery van
Thomas Sedran of VWVC.
Speaking to the pickup, Thomas Sedran, chairman of the Board of Management of VWCV, said, “What is important for both partners is the utilisation of the same platform. At the same time we will both be able to fully deploy our strengths. Through custom designs and interfaces we will clearly differentiate the two models. For us at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, our sights with the Amarok successor are on our main markets, above all in the EMEA economic area (Europe, the Middle East and Africa). Ultimately it is our customers who will benefit, as without the cooperation we would not have developed a new Amarok.”
- Note that last sentence: No shared platform, no Amarok.
As for the other vehicles, VWCV will develop the city delivery van, using its new Caddy 5 as the basis for the vehicle, which will be produced at a VW plant in Poznań, Poland. This vehicle will become the Ford Transit Connect.
Ford is the development lead for the one-ton van.
Sure, the electric vehicles and the autonomous tech may garner the attention, but the companies estimate that the volumes of these vehicles, over their total lifecycles, will be on the order of 8-million units.
And it will be a long time before AVs or EVs see anything like that.
What’s more, it is important to recognize that before the global pandemic, when the number of vehicles plummeted and which will have a long, slow climb back up, there was global overcapacity: too many factories to make vehicles at a rate where capacity utilization would be financially sound.
So the fact that the companies are not only sharing platforms and development but plants underscores that this is really a sound decision for both companies in vehicle segments that are likely to increase in size going forward.