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Ford and VW launch alliance to jointly build trucks and vans

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Ford and the Volkswagen Group are joining forces to jointly develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets from 2022. The two automotive giants have also signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles.
Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett.
(Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess (right) and Ford CEO Jim Hackett. Image via Volkswagen Group).

The first vehicle set to be jointly developed by Ford and Volkswagen will be a medium-sized pickup truck.

The partnership has arisen in a rapidly changing landscape for the automotive industry in which technological change and the rise of new global tariffs are presenting a new set of challenges. According to a statement from the two companies the alliance has been formed primarily as a means of driving ‘significant scale and efficiencies and enable both companies to share investments in vehicle architectures that deliver distinct capabilities and technologies’.

The companies estimate the commercial van and pickup cooperation will yield improved annual pre-tax operating results, starting in 2023. In addition, Volkswagen and Ford have stated that they are open to considering additional collaborative vehicle programs in the future. The teams are expected to continue working through the details over the coming months.

The alliance will likely see the highest-volume collaboration the automotive industry has seen to date as production scales. The two companies collective light commercial vehicle volumes from 2018 totalled approximately 1.2 million units globally. In addition, demand for both medium sized pickups and commercial vans is expected to grow globally in the next five years. The alliance will enable both companies to share development costs, leverage their respective manufacturing capacity, boost the capability and competitiveness of their vehicles and deliver cost efficiencies, while maintaining distinct brand characteristics.
A new medium-sized pickup is likely to be the first vehicle to emerge from the global alliance between VW and Ford.
(A new medium-sized pickup is likely to be the first vehicle to emerge from the global alliance. Image via Ford).

Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed the new global alliance between the two companies, with Hackett saying:

“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”.

Diess added, “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 pickups for both companies which are expected to go to market as early as 2022. For both parties, Ford intends to engineer and build larger commercial vans for European customers, and Volkswagen intends to develop and build a city van.

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