The deal includes increasing investment by Volkswagen in Argo Al - a start-up in which Ford already had ownership and development interests. Argo Al aims to form distinct, highly capable autonomous-vehicle businesses based on its self-driving technologies.

Plans for the agreements were originally announced last July.

The companies anticipate continued growth for EVs, and the partnership will enhance vehicle offerings and deliver more model choices in their core European markets.

The partnership will lead to the development of a highly differentiated Ford electric vehicle for the European market in 2023 - the EV will be built on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive toolkit and allow Ford to expand its zero-emission capabilities in the region. The number of EVs produced using this technology could approach a “multi-year 600,000 units,“ the statement said.

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impacts on the global economy, more than ever, its vital to set up resilient alliances between strong companies,” Volkswagen Group chief executive officer Herbert Diess said. “This collaboration will efficiently drive down development costs, allowing broader global distribution of electric and commercial vehicles, and enhance the positions of both companies.”

The alliance between the two automakers does not involve cross-ownership of equity, although it will create significant efficiencies for both companies, they said.

They will continue to remain competitors in the marketplace.