Potentially saving billions of dollars in the process.
Ford and Volkswagen have announced they are in preliminary talks to form a strategic alliance to jointly develop new vehicles together. The only specific type of vehicle mentioned, at least so far, is a range of commercial vehicles that'll be sold on a global scale, assuming the deal is finalized. It should be pointed out that this alliance would be limited solely to research and development, meaning "no shared equity" or "cross ownership stakes," such as in the case of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
"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," said Jim Farley, Ford's president of Global Markets. "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." Dr. Thomas Sedran, Head of Volkswagen Group Strategy, said "Markets and customer demand are changing at an incredible speed. 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." No doubt it'll be interesting to see what, if anything, comes from this agreement. It does make sense for two of the world's largest automakers to seek common areas of interest that'll benefit both. This, in turn, will also save billions of dollars in R&D and other related expenses.