Farley: “This potential alliance with the Volkswagen Group is another example of how we can become more fit as a business.”
UPDATED: 6/19/18 5:53 pm ET
DETROIT/FRANKFURT — Volkswagen and Ford are exploring a development and production alliance for commercial vehicles, including vans, and possibly other projects that could strengthen both companies’ competitiveness.
Ford, in a statement, said the two automakers have signed a memorandum of understanding allowing them to explore “potential products across a number of areas — including developing a range of commercial vehicles together to better serve the evolving needs of customers.”
The statement said the potential alliance “would not involve equity arrangements, including cross ownership stakes.”
Some preliminary talks have already been held, one source told Reuters earlier on Tuesday. Word of the preliminary talks leaked out of Germany earlier in the day.
“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,” Jim Farley, Ford’s president of Global Markets, said in the statement. “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.”
Ford is a leader in medium-duty trucks in the United States, and its F-series pickup has been the best-selling U.S. vehicle for decades. The Ford Transit Connect small van and Ford Transit large van also dominate the U.S. market for commercial vans.
VW, which owns the MAN and Scania truck brands in Europe, earlier this year formed a commercial vehicle alliance with Japanese truckmaker Hino Motors Ltd., a Toyota affiliate. VW and Hino said they would consider cooperating in areas such as diesel and gasoline-electric hybrid engines, connectivity and self-driving technologies.