Volkswagen and Ford set to join forces in ‘strategic alliance’

Car giants plan to share technology and split the costs of developing new models

Volkswagen
The partnership will focus initially on commercial vehicles
(Image credit: 2018 Getty Images)

Ford and Volkswagen have announced plans to form a “strategic alliance” that could spawn new commercial vehicles.

The firms, two of the largest companies in the car industry, released a joint statement saying that the proposed partnership would “strengthen each company’s competitiveness” and could lead to “several joint projects”.

Following the announcement, VW strategy chief Thomas Sedran said: “Both companies have strong and complementary positions in different commercial vehicle segments already.

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“To adapt to the challenging environment, it is of utmost importance to gain flexibility through alliances.”

The two carmakers say they will focus initially on commercial vehicles, such as trucks and vans. It is not yet known whether that will lead to jointly produced production models in the future.

Ford and VW say the partnership will “not involve equity arrangements, including cross ownership stakes”.

Instead, the car giants may share technology and split development costs on major joint projects, Auto Express suggests.

This could include hybrid and electric motors, along with “connectivity and autonomous driving systems”, according to the BBC.

The partnership will also bolster VW’s presence in the US, where the German carmaker is currently is “almost irrelevant”, Bernstein analyst Max Warburton told the Financial Times.

VW sold just 339,676 vehicles in the US yesterday, while Ford sold more than 17 million, the newspaper says.

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