Volkswagen and Ford Considering Vehicle Co-Development

VW and the Blue Oval are playing with the idea of cooperative product development, with an emphasis on commercial vehicles.

Left: Sean Gallup/Getty Images Right: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images

In a joint press release Tuesday, Volkswagen and Ford announced that the two companies would evaluate an alliance to develop a multitude of joint projects, namely, a line of commercial vehicles.

"Ford is committed to improving our fitness as a business and leveraging adaptive business models, which include working with partners to improve our effectiveness and efficiency," stated Ford's Jim Farley, president of global markets, in the joint press release. "This potential alliance with the Volkswagen Group is another example of how we can become more fit as a business, while creating a winning global product portfolio and extending our capabilities."

Volkswagen Group's Head of Strategy, Dr. Thomas Sedran, issued his own comments alongside Farley's in the release.

"Markets and customer demand are changing at an incredible speed," explained Sedran. "Both companies have strong and complementary positions in different commercial vehicle segments already. To adapt to the challenging environment, it is of utmost importance to gain flexibility through alliances. This is a core element of our Volkswagen Group Strategy 2025. The potential industrial cooperation with Ford is seen as an opportunity to improve competitiveness of both companies globally."

If the two companies move forward with the deal, no company ownership will be exchanged. Both promise updates as talks develop. Volkswagen confirmed to The Drive in an email that discussions between Volkswagen's own commercial vehicle arm and Ford are ongoing, and that the next-gen Volkswagen Krafter and Ford Transit vans are the subject at hand.

Late last year, Volkswagen was reported by the Wall Street Journal to be in similar discussions with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, with the two examining co-production of "light utility vehicles."

The Drive reached out to Volkswagen for comment on whether Volkswagen and Ford are exploring a deal similar to that evaluated by it and FCA, though no comment was made on similarities between the VW-FCA and VW-Ford exploratory talks.