Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG have formally announced the beginning of a new global alliance between the two automakers. Today the companies laid out the first formal agreements, providing the groundwork for them to co-develop commercial vans and midsize pickups.
The new alliance is expected to begin bearing fruit in 2022, when the jointly-developed commercial vans and midsize pickups begin hitting the global market. The additional economic scale and shared investment is expected to begin providing financial benefits to the automakers in 2023.
Through the alliance, Ford will take the lead role in developing midsize pickups and large commercial vans for the two automakers. Ford has even detailed its plan to build a larger commercial van specific for Europe and VW. Subsequently, Volkswagen will take the real role in the development of a city van for the two companies.
The automakers outlined that the VW Transporter, Caddy and Amarok will ultimately fall under the alliance. On the Ford side, the Ranger and Transit were listed.
In addition to the commercial vehicle alliance, Ford and Volkswagen have also entered into a memorandum of understanding to further explore a deeper collaboration on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles and have started to explore opportunities. A timeline for these explorations has not been provided.
“Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said. “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.”
“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,” added Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess.
The new alliance will be governed by a committee comprised of both Hackett and Diess, as well as senior executives from both automakers.
Today’s announcement confirms months-long rumors regarding the potential of a Ford and Volkswagen tie-up. Despite the formal announcement via press release and conference call, a joint press conference originally scheduled for the Detroit Auto Show was canceled.