Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and Volkswagen AG (OTC:VWAGY) said on Wednesday that they will collaborate to make up to 8 million commercial vehicles as part of an alliance announced last year

The automakers will collaborate on a small commercial van to be built by Volkswagen, a midsize (one-ton) cargo van to be built by Ford, and a midsize pickup for Volkswagen that will be based on the Ford Ranger. Both of the vans will be offered under the Ford and VW brands. The companies expect to produce up to 8 million of the vehicles in total over the products' lifecycles.

"Commercial vehicles are fundamental to Ford today and an area where we will accelerate and grow, and working with Volkswagen on these platforms will provide both of us significant financial advantages in things like engineering, and plants and tooling," Ford chief operating officer Jim Farley said in a statement.

Production of the jointly developed vehicles is expected to begin in 2022.

Separately, the companies confirmed that they will produce a new Ford electric vehicle for Europe, to be based on Volkswagen's Modular Electric Drive architecture (called "MEB," its German-language abbreviation), beginning in 2023. A Ford spokesperson said that the MEB-based Ford will be a "highly differentiated" passenger vehicle, not a commercial vehicle, but didn't give further details.  

A Volkswagen Amarok, a midsize pickup truck.

The next-generation of VW's Amarok pickup will be based on the Ford Ranger. Image source: Volkswagen AG.

The partners expect to build about 600,000 of those MEB-based Ford electric vehicles over the course of the product's lifecycle.

Ford and VW said last year that they plan to collaborate on a number of initiatives over the next several years in a bid to lower the per-vehicle costs of important technologies, including self-driving and battery-electric drivetrains. 

Some of that collaboration is already under way. VW's deal to take a stake in Argo AI, the Pittsburgh-based self-driving start-up controlled by Ford, closed last week. 

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