Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG have signed a Memorandum of Understanding as each explore a mutually beneficial strategic alliance. The companies say the association would help them remain competitive while increasing their ability to serve customers.
“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,” explained Jim Farley, President of Global Markets, Ford Motor Company. “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.”
While the potential alliance would not involve equity arrangements or cross ownership stakes, the automakers will consider what collaboration would look like in various areas, including the development of commercial vehicles.
“Markets and customer demand are changing at an incredible speed. Both companies have strong and complementary positions in different commercial vehicle segments already,” said Dr. Thomas Sedran, Head of Volkswagen Group Strategy. “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.”
Both Ford and VW are expanding their individual operations to meet an evolving automotive market. Ford recently purchased an iconic Michigan landmark that will serve as an innovation hub, while VW is conducting advanced scientific research that aims to improve battery technology. Now both companies are testing the waters with this possible strategic alliance in the hopes they can find common ground.
“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,” Farley said.
“The potential industrial cooperation with Ford is seen as an opportunity to improve competitiveness of both companies globally,” Dr. Sedran added.
The talks between both companies are expected to progress in the coming weeks.