Jari-Matti Latvala is to join Volkswagen for the 2013 World Rally Championship season having been named as team-mate to Sebastien Ogier.
The Finn will make the switch to VW after Ford revealed it will pull its works involvement at the conclusion of the current season.
The 27-year-old, who has seven WRC wins to his name, will make his debut in the new Polo R WRC on the opening round of the 2013 campaign in Monte Carlo in January.
“I'm very happy to be driving the Polo R WRC in the World Rally Championship in future,” he said. “The determined approach of the Volkswagen team convinced me to accept this challenge.
“The time at Ford was very valuable for me and I would like to thank everyone who supported me there in the past years – it wasn't easy for me to say goodbye. At the same time, I see the change as a personal new beginning.
“I've taken this decision in order to make another step towards reaching my big aim: the world champion's title with Volkswagen.”
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Jost Capito, who worked with Latvala during his time at Ford, said the Finn was a welcome addition to the VW line-up as the manufacturer seeks to make its mark on the WRC.
“We're proud and highly pleased to have gained Jari-Matti Latvala
for our World Rally Championship project,” he said. “He's one of the most distinguished WRC drivers in the field and has experience, aggressiveness and exceptional speed. I've known Jari-Matti since his early days in rallying and have been watching his development very closely. He's a true reinforcement for our team.
“The fact that another top-flight driver believes in our success and is switching to our team gives each member of our team an additional motivation boost.
“In Sebastien Ogier
and Jari-Matti Latvala
we've got an excellent driver line-up for the debut of the Polo R WRC in the 2013 World Rally Championship.”