Since the Volkswagen Group and Ford announced plans to enter “a strategic alliance” back in June 2018, there has been plenty of speculation regarding the possibility that the next-generation versions of the Amarok and Ranger bakkies could share a platform.
Now a fresh report out of Europe suggests that VW is eager to save development costs on its second-generation Amarok by basing it on the Ranger, since the former is currently the only body-on-frame vehicle in the Wolfsburg-based automotive group’s line-up.
“Several" sources "familiar with the matter” told Automotive News Europe that Volkswagen was keen to base its next-gen Amarok on the Ranger platform, essentially following the lead set by Mercedes-Benz, which has built its X-Class on Nissan Navara underpinnings.
Thomas Sedran, the new CEO of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brand, would not be drawn on the joint projects that the automakers had planned, but did tell Automotive News Europe that the alliance would see the two firms on equal footing.
"When we finalise this alliance, you can be assured it will be balanced. There is no junior, nor senior partner, but rather two companies at eye level that will closely co-operate with one another," he said.
"There might be specific years where there will be a difference in production volumes, but in the sum total it is very balanced."
"The product life cycles are a good match. We will build for them. They will build for us," Sedran added.
Of course, a deal has yet to be officially signed, although Sedran is optimistic that it will happen before the end of 2018.
"We realised fairly quickly that it worked from a cultural perspective and there was the right chemistry with the main actors. At the end of the day, both sides need to sign, but I'm confident since it's all been constructive and in a spirit of partnership."
In August 2018, the head of Volkswagen Group Australia refused to rule out the possibility of the next Amarok and Ranger bakkies sharing architecture.