Volkswagen and Ford to build vans and pick-ups together in new 'global alliance'

The two could also collaborate on electric car projects

CAR-MAKING giants Volkswagen and Ford have confirmed they will collaborate on a range of commercial vehicles, as part of a newly-formed “global alliance” between the two firms.

The newly-formed partnership will see Ford and Volkswagen initially develop new vans and medium-sized pick-up trucks together. It’s expected these new models will be brought to market “as early as 2022”.

By working together on models in a crucial sector for both companies (Volkswagen and Ford sold a combined total of 1.2m commercial vehicles in 2018), it’s expected that the alliance will bring “significant scale and efficiencies”.

Ford and Volkswagen will not take financial stakes in each other. Instead, the partnership will be run through a joint committee that will be made up of “senior executives from both companies”.

According to Jim Hackett, Ford’s chief executive officer: “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 give us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility.”

Volkswagen’s chief executive Dr. Herbert 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.”

Frost & Sullivan, a “growth partnership company”, said Ford will build medium sized pickups for both companies, and will engineer and build the larger commercial vans, while VW will build a city van.

Veerender Kaul, Global Vice President — Commercial Mobility at Frost & Sullivan, said: “The two companies could save hundreds of millions of dollars in product development costs, thereby improving the efficiency of deployed capital and assets. Additional savings will come from cost reductions in purchasing and manufacturing, further improving margins and free cash flow.”

In addition to the vans and pick-up trucks, this “global alliance” could also see Ford and Volkswagen work together on other projects in the near future. Both companies have confirmed they’re looking into sharing resources to develop new autonomous technology, mobility services and new electric cars.

“It is likely that Ford and VW have been discussing collaboration on connected, autonomous, shared mobility and electrification strategies (CASE) through 2018,” said  Mark Fitzgerald, Mobility Consultant at Frost and Sullivan.

“We are unlikely to see the results of an alliance on CASE technologies until the next-generation of vehicles are launched in the 2022-2024 timeline.”

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