Ford and Volkswagen have confirmed that they will jointly develop their next generation of pickup trucks.
We saw this one coming. It was rumored for months now that Ford and Volkswagen would expand their earlier alliance to include not just commercial vehicles but also a new pickup truck design, and it looks like those talks have finally born fruit.
Last June, Ford and Volkswagen entered into discussions for a strategic partnership to jointly develop their next generation of commercial vans and urban trucks. Those are boring from a consumer standpoint, but lucrative from an industrial one. Pickup trucks, however, are a hot commodity right now, along with SUVs. It’s the reason why Ford is getting out of cars and sedans and only stick to SUVs and pickup trucks going forward.
That move is somewhat strategically questionable, but there’s no denying that an alliance with Volkswagen makes sense. It will save both companies billions in research and development costs while also providing each company with access to the other’s technologies.
The announcement was made last Thursday, according to a report from Reuters, and might one day include other emerging technologies such as autonomous driving and mobility services.
“We are in constructive talks about taking a stake in Argo, the Ford division for autonomous driving. A joint company for offering mobility as a service is also a possibility,” said Thomas Sedran, chief executive of commercial vehicles at Volkswagen.
Talks are expected to conclude in the next few months. A Ford spokesperson said that those talks have been fruitful, but declined to comment further.
The contract signed between Ford and VW would be to build the next generation Amarok midsize pickup. Ford is known to be working on a replacement for the Ranger in the coming years, so it seems likely that the new Amarok would share the same platform.
It's also possible that Ford will use VW's new electric platform to help create their upcoming electric crossover design.