During a recent interview with the Australian publication, VW Group Australia managing director Michael Bartsch hinted that the commercial vehicle joint venture between the two automakers could help lower the costs of the two mid-size pickups moving forward.
“All options are being looked at. All avenues are being explored. I think it would be disingenuous of me to say there is nothing going on with Ford, otherwise Ford wouldn’t be making the comments that they are making, but I am not in a position at the moment to say what it may or may not be.
“What I think is very clear is, in order to be competitive in Australia, we have to get the cost base of the Amarok down. It’s being produced in Argentina and Germany and both of those are high-cost markets for a product that is in the most competitive environment that you can be in,” Bartsch said.
According to the executive, high manufacturing costs in Germany and Argentina’s unstable currency make it hard for the Amarok to compete with cheaper alternatives built in Thailand and Japan. By sharing parts with Ford, the German manufacturer could rectify this issue.
If Ford and Volkswagen were to collaborate on their future pickups, Bartsch is confident they would do a better job than them.
“If there is a joint venture done, we would do a better job at differentiating the products between the two participants.
“With all the respect I have for Mercedes… I personally think that brands with very definitive cultures and positions in the market be very careful about how they maintain that integrity,” he said.