Volkswagen and Ford have announced the first “formal agreements in a broad alliance” that will include the Blue Oval brand engineering and building “medium-sized” bakkies “for both companies”.
This effectively means the next-generation Amarok will be based on the next-generation Ranger. A joint statement from the two brands indicated the first bakkies built under the alliance would hit the market “as early as 2022”.
In addition, for both parties, Ford intends to engineer and build “larger commercial vans for European customers”, while Volkswagen intends to “develop and build a city van” (we suspect this will serve as the next-generation Volkswagen Caddy and Ford Transit Connect).
The statement said the alliance – which would not entail cross-ownership between the two firms – would position the companies to “boost competitiveness and better serve customers in an era of rapid change in the industry” and “drive significant scale and efficiencies and enable both companies to share investments in vehicle architectures that deliver distinct capabilities and technologies”.
Furthermore, VW and Ford signed a memorandum of understanding to “investigate collaboration” on autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles and have “started to explore opportunities”.
Both companies also said they were “open to considering additional vehicle programmes in the future”, with the respective teams continuing to work through details “in the coming months”.
“Over time, this alliance will help both companies create value and meet the needs of our customers and society,” Ford CEO Jim Hackett said. “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 CEO Herbert Diess added that the two firms would “harness our collective resources, innovation capabilities and complementary market positions to even better serve millions of customers around the world. At the same time, the alliance will be a cornerstone for our drive to improve competitiveness”.
In June 2018, the two automakers signed of a memorandum of understanding confirming they were “exploring a strategic alliance”.