Ford and Volkswagen AG announced plans to expand their global alliance in what may be a significant auto-industry shift. The goal is to create a new manufacturing standard. VW will invest $2.6 billion in an autonomous-vehicle startup, Argo AI, in which Ford has invested $1 billion. Ford will gain access to VW’s electric-vehicle platform with a goal of building more than 500,000 vehicles in Europe. Using the same platform, VW plans to manufacture 15 million battery-electric vehicles for global consumption in the next 10 years.

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