Is this how Ford and Volkswagen will work together?
Ever since Ford and Volkswagen announced preliminary talks for an alliance to build cars, the internet has been awash with speculation regarding what exactly the two automakers will build together. The talks have been ongoing but we are still waiting to hear the exact details of this partnership as well as an official announcement from either company.
Following a meeting at the White House this week, VW CEO Herbert Diess told Automotive News the company was "considering building a second car plant." He also added, "We are in quite advanced negotiations and dialog with Ford to really build up a global automotive alliance, which also would strengthen the American automotive industry."
Ford and VW met on June 19 to discuss the details of a strategic alliance, then met again in October for further talks. Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, said: "We haven't gotten that granular in our talks yet, but clearly we are talking with them," adding that the talks are going "really well" and that "the culture fit is good."
VW currently has a US plant in Chattanooga, Tennesse, which could potentially increase its output in 2019. "We need additional capacity here in the United States, we need an additional car plant for VW and Audi combined," said Diess.
VW could build a second plant from scratch but the company is also considering borrowing an existing plant. "We are building an alliance with Ford which will strengthen Ford's position in Europe because we will share platforms," he said. "We might use Ford capacity here in the US to build cars for us."
So what would Ford and VW build together? Some suggest the two automakers could collaborate on autonomous cars. Another possibility is a joint-partnership where VW supplies electric car platforms for Ford. Our favorite rumor is for a US-bound VW pickup truck based loosely around a recent concept vehicle. In any case, these discussions between Ford and VW continue to happen, with a partnership of some sort doubtless to be announced soon.