Today brings the unexpected announcement that Volkswagen and Ford are “exploring a strategic alliance" – including several joint projects aiming to strengthen both companies’ global market share.
Could this mean a jointly developed car from both VW and Ford?
Well, maybe hold your horses on that one – as the press release says the alliance includes discussions around “a range of commercial vehicles to better serve the evolving needs of customers globally.”
In other words it merely means at the moment the two carmakers are exploring the possibilities of what they could do together.
Commercial vehicles for now – and much more ?
While it may sound a bit dull that any potential alliance would be just for a range of trucks and vans – every partnership has to start somewhere with Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets commenting:
“We look forward to exploring with the Volkswagen team in the days ahead how we might work together to better serve the evolving needs of commercial vehicle customers – and much more.”
All of which could mean a potential tech sharing agreement – or to provide us all with some excitement, a jointly developed model of the future.
Why partner up at all?
In 2018 developing a new model – and everything that goes into it – comes with a cost in the billions.
So, an alliance with a rival carmaker does make sense with Ford jettisoning a majority of its passenger car line up in North America, where VW is struggling for market share after the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal.