Ford and Volkswagen have launched a joint alliance at the Detroit Auto Show.
On Tuesday, two of the largest automakers in the world, Ford and Volkswagen, announced they embark on a global alliance. The alliance will first involve collaborating on mid-sized pickups and commercial vehicles and is expected to expand to exploring electric vehicle technologies as well as autonomous driving software and mobility services.
However, the alliance will not involve cross-ownership of between the two companies
We first heard of Ford and VW’s alliance starting last summer when the two companies announced their intention to partner-up on the creation of their next generation of commercial vehicles. Ford’s Transit family of vans are some of the most widely recognized and best-selling commercial vehicles in the world, while the Volkswagen Transporter is a dominant feature of European cities.
Having both vehicles share a platform for their next generation would greatly reduce costs in an era where both companies are feeling the squeeze from their competitors.
Perhaps most surprising is the agreement to create the next generation of mid-size pickups. Starting in 2023, both companies will begin deliveries of their redesigned Ranger and Amarok mid-sized pickups which will share a platform for the first time in history.
Also on the table will be potential collaborations on electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology. Ford and Volkswagen have signed a memorandum of understanding allowing the two companies to move forward with jointly developing these technologies and further reducing development costs on what is largely expected to be the dominant force in future automotive markets.
Volkswagen is widely seen to be far ahead of Ford in autonomous and electric vehicle tech, with Ford still teasing an electrified version of the Mustang while Volkswagen Group rolls out the Porsche Taycan all-electric sedan.
According to Reuters, Ford will develop and build the next generation of both medium pickups and commercial vans, freeing up Volkswagen’s R&D to focus on emerging technologies. Both companies will retain ownership of their products according to the deal.