Ford is rumored to be teaming up with Volkswagen to create the next generation of small pickup.
VW and Ford recently announced a joint venture where the two would share technology on commercial vehicles. This is a lot like the first few dates in the corporate world--both parties are still just getting to know each other, asking questions, and finding out what the other side is capable of. Later on they might decide to go steady and announce a few jointly developed cars.
However, it seems that Ford and VW might be skipping the formalities and going straight to the good stuff. Michael Bartsch, VW Australia managing director, told Australian car site GoAuto that the two companies may go in together to develop their next generation of one-ton pickup trucks.
“All options are being looked at,” Bartsch said at the Tiguan Allspace launch in Melbourne. “All avenues are being explored. I think it would be disingenuous of me to say there is nothing going on with Ford, otherwise Ford wouldn’t be making the comments that they are making, but I am not in a position at the moment to say what it may or may not be."
Bartsch went on to say that Volkswagen is looking for cost advantages for the Amarok due to the fact it’s being made in Argentina and Germany--two relatively expensive places to construct vehicles.
He also had only praise for Ford’s F-Series, calling it the best selling vehicle in the world (which is actually only true in America as the VW Beetle and Toyota Corolla have still sold more units than the F-Series). The Ranger Raptor was something that “anybody would be happy to have in their garage.”
Flattery will get you everywhere.
But the current venture only includes commercial trucks and vans, of which the Ranger and Amarok are not. The venture still could easily be amended to include light trucks, but it seems unlikely that Ford would make such a move given that the Ranger has recently been redesigned and wouldn’t be due for a new model until the mid-2020s.
That said, Ford has certainly worked with other carmakers in the past on their light trucks. The Ranger itself has been rebadged and sold as a Mazda in foreign markets as the BT50 until 2011 when the Ford decided to stick with their own name.