Volkswagen, Ford team up to build vans and pickups
Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co on Tuesday set an alliance that combines forces on commercial vans and pickups and said they were exploring expanding into joint development of electric and self-driving technology, actions meant to save the automakers billions of dollars.
Ford and VW announced their partnership against the backdrop of the Detroit auto show. The partnership, which starts with sales of vans and medium-sized pickups in 2022, will not involve a merger or equity stakes, the companies said.
Volkswagen and Ford said they also are exploring potential collaboration on electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and mobility services.
The two automakers explored closer cooperation as trade frictions force carmakers to rethink where they build vehicles for Europe, the United States, and China.
It is no secret that our industry is undergoing fundamental change, resulting from widespread electrification, ever stricter emission regulation, digitization, the shift towards autonomous driving, and not least the changing customer preferences,” Volkswagen Chief Executive Herbert Diess told reporters and analysts on a conference call.
“Carmakers around the globe, therefore, are investing heavily to align their portfolios to future needs and accelerate their innovation cycles,” he added. “In such an environment, it just makes sense to share investment.”
A deal centered around vans and pickups had been expected. Investors are now focused on the potential for additional deals they believe could offer greater savings. Those include potential deals around the development of electric or self-driving vehicles, as well as combining forces in markets including North America, South America, Europe or China.