Ford and Volkswagen have confirmed the first details of their broad ‘global alliance’, which will begin with the two pairing up to deliver commercial vehicles but could expand to include electric and autonomous cars.
The two companies will initially team up to develop vans and medium-size trucks for global markets, with the first products of the alliance likely to be mid-size pick-ups in 2022. The agreement is likely to involve Volkswagen developing a van based on Ford’s Transit platform and could involve joint development of the next-generation Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok pick-ups.
The two have also signed a memorandum of understanding to “investigate collaboration” on electric and autonomous vehicles and mobility services, plus they say they're open to considering “additional vehicle programmes” in the future.
Ford boss Jim Hackett said the alliance will “help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society” and “give us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility”.
Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess added that the alliance “will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness”.
The alliance will be governed by a joint committee headed by Hackett and Diess and does not involve any cross-ownership between the two firms.
The news follows an announcement in June that the companies were looking to collaborate on the development of future commercial vehicles, among other projects. Ford's president of global markets, Jim Farley, called this move an example of Ford’s commitment to “leveraging adaptive business models”.
Both Volkswagen and Ford are keen to introduce new electric vehicles to the European market, where strict regulations are being imposed on the development and sale of petrol and diesel vehicles. Volkswagen has previously stated its intention to produce 2-3 million electric cars by 2025.