The two CEOs Herbert Diess (Volkswagen Group) and Jim Hackett (Ford) confirmed the planned development of vans and medium-sized pick-ups for the global market from 2022 as a first concrete step in their cooperation. In the opinion of the two companies, the alliance creates the conditions to enable significant economies of scale and efficiency increases. At the same time, the companies want to invest in the development of new joint vehicle architectures that offer distinctive features and technologies.
In addition, the two car manufacturers intend to explore cooperation on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles.
As part of the cooperation, Ford will initially develop and produce medium-sized pick-ups for both companies. In addition, Ford will develop larger transport vehicles for the European market to be distributed by both companies. No reciprocal equity participation is foreseen, the companies announced.
Observers see the planned cooperation mainly against the background of accelerated innovation cycles and the increasing importance of electronics and software in vehicles. At engineering meetings, Volkswagen has presented a highly simplified and powerful unified electronics platform that controls many or most vehicle functions, and it is likely that this platform will also play a role in Ford's developments in the future. In addition, the companies will then have a much greater purchasing and pricing power in the electronics market.