Ford And Volkswagen Exploring Strategic Alliance And Joint Projects

Ford and Volkswagen have confirmed they are exploring a strategic alliance that would “strengthen each company’s competitiveness and better serve customers globally.”

Details are limited but the companies have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding and will examine a number of potential projects where they could join forces. The companies were tight-lipped on specifics but did mention the possibility of developing a “range of commercial vehicles together to better serve the evolving needs of customers.”

Ford and Volkswagen stressed the potential alliance would not involve any equity or cross ownership stakes but both companies could stand to benefit from teaming up. Joint vehicles tend to be more affordable to develop and produce as costs are spread out. The increased sales volume could also help to lower prices of shared components.

The news comes hot on the heels of a report from Reuters which suggested the companies were eyeing a commercial van partnership. Volkswagen previously partnered with Mercedes to sell a version of the Sprinter but the latest Crafter was developed in house.

Ford and Volkswagen both offer an assortment of commercial vehicles as the American company sells the Transit Connect, Transit and E-Series. Volkswagen, on the other hand, offers the Caddy, Crafter and T6.

Ford president of global markets, Jim Farley, said “Ford is committed to improving our fitness as a business and leveraging adaptive business models – which include working with partners to improve our effectiveness and efficiency.” He went on to say “This potential alliance with the Volkswagen Group is another example of how we can become more fit as a business, while creating a winning global product portfolio and extending our capabilities.”

His sentiments were echoed by Volkswagen Group Strategy boss, Dr. Thomas Sedran, who said “Both companies have strong and complementary positions in different commercial vehicle segments already” and the “potential industrial cooperation with Ford is seen as an opportunity to improve competitiveness of both companies globally.”

While most of the discussions seem to center on commercial vehicles, it’s worth noting there are several projects under consideration. Farley seemed to allude to this fact by mentioning “We look forward to exploring with the Volkswagen team, in the days ahead, how we might work together to better serve the evolving needs of commercial vehicle customers – and much more.”

  • Honda NSX-R

    The vans in the first and second pics already look like Fords.

  • Pedro Gomes

    Autolatina feelings.

    • Miknik

      That, or the famously unreliable VW Sharan/Ford Galaxy twins in their first generation…

  • Six_Tymes

    This is a very Smart idea for both companies really. Hey Ford, just don’t use their Diesels and you’ll be fine.

  • Classic Bob

    Just when you thought Ford was losing their competitive edge by cutting products and isolating itself, they form a partnership that should benefit both product cadance and competitiveness.

    On the other end of the spectrum, mergermaniac Marchionne can’t seem to find any automobile manufacturer to partner with, but just keeps losing JV partners (PSA and Opel being the last to cut commercial JV agreements with FCA).

    • 2sfhim

      Wrong since FCA now partners with Renault to replace the fifty decade old Citroën-PSA partnership

      • Classic Bob

        Where does FCA partner with Renault??? Name one product.

        • 2sfhim

          Fiat Talento is a rebadged Renault Trafic

          • Classic Bob

            Thanks. I stand corrected. I’m also reminded of the rebadged Mitsubishi pick-up, but both are simple re-badges to fill gaps in Fiat’s portfolio.

            Still, a re-badged van and pick-up does not make for wide ranging platform development cooperation. FCA still needs to invest in a new Ducato, which is over 10 years old, not to mention Doblo, Fiorino, small pick-ups, which at this point they have used massive resources to develop solo. They have no partners left that they co-develop platforms with. None.

          • 2sfhim

            As far as I know the Ducato won’t be replaced soon – in a few years maybe. The rebadged Mitsubishi pick-up dates back to a time when Mitsu wasn’t part of the Alliance. But I agree they seriously need to update their models. Especially considering Peugeot-Citroen-Opel will launch their new, very promising, Partner-Berlingo-Combo, and Renault the new Kangoo. Unless Fiat rebadges the kangoo, the Doblo can’t compete against these new vans.

  • ProtectOurHeritage

    VW must have seen how cheap it is for Ford to throw their Transit vans together in the Islamic Republic of Turkey. People may believe this is a smart move, but its really, really not! 😂

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