An official global alliance between Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Company has been announced today, meant to help both companies compete better and innovate in an always-changing automotive landscape.
Initially, the alliance, which does not include any cross-ownership, will see the two automakers deliver medium-size pickup trucks and commercial vans to global markets beginning as early as 2022, which in turn should lead to improved annual pre-tax operating results.
Meanwhile, VW and Ford also signed a memorandum of understanding to investigate collaboration on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles, and have already started to look into potential opportunities, while also considering additional vehicle programs.
“Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society,” stated Ford CEO Jim Hackett. “It will not only drive significant efficiencies and help both companies improve their fitness, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility.”
Meanwhile, VW CEO Dr. Herbert Diess added: “Volkswagen and Ford will harness our collective resources, innovation capabilities and complementary market positions to even better serve millions of costumers around the world. At the same time, the alliance will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness.”
First order of business: trucks and vans
Both VW as well as Ford have strong commercial van and pickup businesses worldwide, evident by the success of nameplates such as the Ford Transit and Ranger, or the VW Transporter, Caddy and Amarok.
Together, the two automakers sold approximately 1.2 million light commercial vehicles globally last year, which as production scales, could translate into the industry’s highest-volume collaboration, especially with demand for both mid-size pickups and commercial vans expected to go up in the next five years.
First, Ford will begin by engineering and building mid-size trucks for both companies (expected by 2022), as well as larger commercial vans for European customers. Volkswagen on the other hand intends to develop and build a city van.