Ford And VW Announce New Pickup And Van Partnership

2019 Ford Transit Connect Cargo Van 008
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Ford and VW have detailed their first business partnership as part of a broader corporate alliance Tuesday, outlining plans to produce commercial vans and medium sized pickup trucks together.

The partnership will allow the two automakers to cut costs from their commercial vehicle business and boost pre-tax profit margins.

In addition to the commercial vehicle partnership, Ford and VW also signed a memorandum of understanding to research and collaborate on autonomous vehicles, connected mobility services, electric vehicles and more.

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The Ford-VW alliance will be overseen by a joint committee led by Ford CEO Jim Hackett and VW CEO Herbert Diess. High ranking executives from both companies will also sit on the board.

“Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society,” Hackett said in a statement. “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.”

“Volkswagen and Ford will harness our collective resources, innovation capabilities and complementary market positions to even better serve millions of customers around the world,” added Diess. “At the same time, the alliance will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness.”

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Ford will be responsible for developing a new medium-sized pickup and larger commercial vans under the corporate alliance, while VW will work on a small city van. The two automakers will also leverage each other’s various manufacturing bases around the globe to help reduce manufacturing costs.

Other vehicles could come as a result of the partnership as well, with the automakers saying that it will “enable both companies to share investments in vehicle architectures that deliver distinct capabilities and technologies.”

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The first vehicle to be born out of this new business partnership will arrive in 2022. Neither Ford nor VW have said which of the three vehicle projects will be first out of the gate.

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Written by Sam McEachern

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6 Comments

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  1. Hmm – I’m not seeing this as advantageous to Ford in the long-term. Ford is going to develop a “medium-sized” pickup for VW to sell? Is this based on the F150? Will Ford conduct a technology/engineering transfer with their bread-and-butter product to VW? This move is brilliant for VW as it will jumpstart them into the pickup market and utilize Ford’s best engineering and capability to help build VW brand reputation and market penetration. I can envision one generation of pickups (developed by Ford) where VW establishes itself as a competitor in the US pickup market (now obviously dominated by Ford, GM, and Chrysler), and subsequently, VW dissolving this new relationship. VW will then internally design/engineer and maybe build the follow-up generations of pickups on their own. In my opinion, this is short-sighted thinking within Ford leadership. I don’t see a long-term upside for Ford. What do they get – a city van?? Let’s not take this down a political angle (because after writing it I can see how people may want to go there – NOT my intent). On the surface, it just does appear to be a good long-term business decision on Ford’s part…

    • Medium sized pickup should be a Ranger platform, F150 would be full size. I would imagine there are provisions in the contract to keep the scenario you described from happening to either company, either by controlling IP or by limiting access to certain markets/regions

      • Good points Ryan. IP for sure is going to be contractually limited, but learning best-practices is not always protected as IP. My overriding concern is VW jumpstarts their brand reputation and ability to market pickups – and the future potential to directly target Ford’s big money makers. VW can obviously do this on their own, but timing is key as larger passenger vehicles are in demand right now in the US (e.g. Ford/GM cutting car models from their portfolio). I’m not seeing a huge upside for Ford. Maybe this is the first of other deals to come – time will tell.

  2. The small and medium collaboration in the truck/van field has president for both companies. Ford with Mazda, started when Ford owned a small percentage of Mazda and Volkswagen with Chrysler FIAT and their van. This is a way Ford can sell a few thousand more trucks, the same way that Mazda sells a few thousand more Miatas as FIAT 124 Spiders. VW would have offered a pickup and larger vans with or without Ford, so why not sell the ” competition “?

  3. ford did something similar in the 90’s with Mazda so it’s not a big deal. VW will get a lot out of this deal and it might help them overcome their emissions issues with their diesels. Also, it could be a strategic move where ford can finally dump all of their FWD platforms to make room for more vehicles on the CD6 platform and other modular platforms.

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