Ford and Volkswagen are in early talks about jointly developing a range of commercial vehicles.
The two car giants said they were “exploring a strategic alliance” aimed at strengthening both companies’ competitiveness.
According to a statement available on Ford’s portal,”both companies are exploring potential projects across a number of areas -including developing a range of commercial vehicles together to better serve the evolving needs of customers.” But it was not immediately clear how the duo would fully implement this business plan.
However, the statement adds:” The potential alliance would not involve equity arrangements, including cross ownership stakes.”
Ford’s biggest-selling commercial vehicles are the Transit van and the F-series pick-up truck.
Ford’s management further said: “We look forward to exploring with the Volkswagen team in the days ahead how we might work together to better serve the evolving needs of commercial vehicle customers – and much more.”
For his part, head of Volkswagen group strategy, Thomas Sedran, said: “Markets and customer demand are changing at an incredible speed. Both companies have strong and complementary positions in different commercial vehicle segments already. To adapt to the challenging environment, it is of utmost importance to gain flexibility through alliances. This is a core element of our Volkswagen Group Strategy 2025. The potential industrial cooperation with Ford is seen as an opportunity to improve competitiveness of both companies globally.”
The companies assured that further details would be provided as talks progress.
Sources say vehicle manufacturing has initiated increasing collaboration among firms in this production line, a move viewed as an effort to cut the costs of developing new technology amid a growing demand for more environmentally friendly vehicles.
Earlier this year Volkswagen struck a commercial vehicle alliance with Toyota’s truck division, Hino.
At the time the firms said areas of cooperation could include hybrid and electric engines, as well as connectivity and autonomous driving systems.