DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen A.G. are exploring the possibility of working together to co-develop a range of commercial vehicles to serve customers globally.
The commercial vehicle joint development is one of several strategic initiatives the auto makers are investigating, the pair said in a joint statement.
Potential projects aim to strengthen each company's competitiveness; the companies will share updates as talks progress.
VW and Ford ruled out equity arrangements, including cross ownership stakes, in any strategic alliance that would emerge.
"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.
"This potential alliance…is another example of how we can become more fit as a business, while creating a winning global product portfolio and extending our capabilities.
"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."
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."