VW And Ford Make It Official, Launch Global Partnership

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.

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  • Marty

    It’s basically what they did in the nineties with the first generation of Ford Galaxy and VW Sharan (and Seat Alhambra).
    But it’s a pity, since VW is one of the few brands that have a clear identity on their vans. Let’s hope they don’t throw it away.

    • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

      The Galaxy-Alhambra-Sharan project produced the blandest vehicles in Europe. No wonder VW are keen!

      • Marty

        Yes, blandness is probably a prerequisite for a project like that to work. Almost GM-esque.

        • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

          Have you ever seen a Skoda or a SEAT? They make GM look like mere amateurs for blandness.

          • Marty

            Well, if VW was as bad as GM, a Skoda could be sold with a Bentley badge. Like that time when an Opel was rebadged as a Cadillac.

            At least VW mostly have different designs on different brands and don’t just slap on a sticker. Mostly…

          • ➡️ProtectOurHeritage⬅️

            You should have seen the Galaxy-Alhambra-Sharan. It was exactly the same car with different badges.

          • Marty

            Um… yes. That’s why I brought it up. Remember? And then I called it “almost GM-esque”, because badge engineering like that is the basis of GM operations.

          • Miknik

            Well you can buy a VW TOuareg with a Bentley badge, that is just one t step away from a Skoda Kodiaq as a new Bentley Baby CUV 😉

            That said, IMO the different design language has all but disappeared with the current generation (they used to have it in the 2000s, though SKodas always looked like VWs, but at least Seat and Audi were different)

          • Marty

            Platform sharing (Touareg -> Bentayaga) is a different thing than badge engineering (Opel Omega -> Cadillac Catera). 🙂

            But I agree 100 % on that the design languages of the different VW brands are becoming a blur, getting more and more similar. Especially Seat and Skoda have the same kind of lines.
            But they are still separate designs (again: mostly) even though their brand segments are basically the same, where especially GM and Fiat Chrysler just slap on different stickers and call it a day, even if the brands live in totally different segments. Like when a tiny Fiat pretends it’s a Ram truck.

  • charlotteharry57

    Initially, this is a bigger win for VW as it gets immediate access to the Ranger and Transit platforms. Then Ford will get access to a new VW platform for the next Transit Connect. I’m wondering: if the economy tanks and hits CUVs, SUVs and pickups hard, could Ford rebadge VW (and maybe Audi) sedans, if need be?

    • TheHake

      There was an obvious plan in Ford discontinuing sedans.

    • Bash

      Imagine a rebadged Passat as a fusion. That’s wicked!

      • USOZ

        Ford is desperate I think.

      • Marty

        Or a real Passat as a Passat in the US 🙂

    • Sébastien

      Why would VW want the ranger? Amarok sells well

  • Six_Tymes

    smart move for both companies. although, my guess is, long term it might not be so good for Ford. “time will tell” I suppose

  • LJ

    If anyone needs to “improve their fitness”, it’s Jim Hackett.

  • Belthronding

    upcoming: dieselgate ford edition

  • Gabriel Chiminazzo

    It won’t be their first partnership, as in the 1990’s they have worked together in Brazil, under the name of AUTOLATINA, developing passenger cars, which were sold in slightly different body designs by each brand.

    • Lucas Mattos Azevedo

      I was already dreaming about the 2020 Versailles hahaha

      • Miknik

        I’d love someone to photoshop a current Passat into a 2020 Ford Versailles and a Focus into a VW Pointer Mk. 2…

    • Giannis Antypas

      Not only that,in the ’90s Ford Europe and the VW Group built in Portugal the AutoEuropa facility.

  • GobbleUp

    So ford brings shitty build materials while VW scams and cheats emissions. Got it.

    • LJ

      Shitty build materials? This is a merger between Ford and VW, not GM and VW.

  • annon

    “Fordwagen” 🙂

    • brn

      Vord.

  • Brabusbus

    And then VW will bring the Amarok to US…

  • Randy Terpstra
    • KareKakk

      Now, that’s a heritage worth continuing… especially today as Fords management cuts corners costs everywere, a Ford Transporter Transporty is only one board-meeting away.

  • alexxx

    Well…the Koreans are a big threat… French uped their game…renault-nissan-mitsubishi is/are practically number 1…and Japanese are always solid..
    I see it that way…maybe I am wrong though…

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