Volkswagen, Ford announce ‘global alliance’

The two carmakers have been exploring closer cooperation as trade frictions rise

Ford and Volkswagen have announced a “global alliance” that will see the two carmakers collaborate on a range of projects from commercial vehicles to the potential to offer new services

Ford and Volkswagen have announced a “global alliance” that will see the two carmakers collaborate on a range of projects from commercial vehicles to the potential to offer new services

 

Ford and Volkswagen have announced a “global alliance” that will see the two carmakers collaborate on a range of projects from commercial vehicles to the potential to offer new services.

The alliance, which will not see either company take a stake in the other, will be run by a joint committee led by Ford chief executive Jim Hackett and VW chief executive Herbert Diess, alongside senior executives from both companies.

The two groups also signed a memorandum of understanding to find ways to collaborate on the development of electric vehicles, self-driving technology and new transport services.

The pair are also “open to considering additional vehicle programmes in the future,” the companies said.

As a first step, Ford and VW will work on joint pick-up truck and commercial vehicle projects, with the aim of launching new products in 2022, and increasing the profits of both companies from 2023.

Carmakers are seeking breadth to invest in a range of new technologies such as electric or self-driving systems at the same time spending on their current vehicle development, something that is forcing many manufacturers to seek out partnerships to spread the costs.

Mr Hackett said: “Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society. 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.”

Mr Diess said: “Volkswagen and Ford will harness our collective resources, innovation capabilities and complementary market positions to even better serve millions of customers around the world. At the same time, the alliance will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness.”

Through the alliance, Ford will engineer and build medium-sized pick-ups for both companies which are expected to go to market as early as 2022.

Ford also plans to engineer and build larger commercial vans for Europe for both groups, while Volkswagen intends to develop and build a city van.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019