In this day and age the international automobile industry is at something of a crossroads. The latest cars tend to be really hefty in price to the public. At the same time, trade agreements are finding themselves at the mercy of political friction between countries. These in turn lead to car makers not having enough to cover the costs of further development in line with emission standards for internal-combustion vehicles, and the manufacture of electric-powered and self-driving automobiles. To resolve the matter of funds, companies sometimes find themselves teaming up. That is now the case for two big names in cars, from America and Europe.
Reuters has it that an alliance between Ford and Volkswagen might be in the cards sometime in the future. It is believed that the US and German car makers are looking to forge a strategic partnership to share tech and funding towards e-vehicles and self-driving cars, as revealed by an insider on both companies Wednesday, January 9. A possible official joint statement from VW and Ford is now expected to be given next week during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, with a possible hint to confirm such an event happening in the reservation of the main stage by the DAS organizers between 8:30-9:30 AM local time next Tuesday, January 15.
This turn of events would be the culmination of a long period of discussion between Ford and Volkswagen regarding the pooling of resources. They are going to need such a partnership especially considering the current trend of slowdown in car sales in the two largest auto markets in the world, namely China and the US itself. Cutting costs is now at the forefront of any car manufacturer’s future strategy as the second decade of the 21st Century winds down. No further information has been gleaned on this possible VW-Ford deal according to the source, who requested anonymity as talks between the two have not concluded.
Some specific points in the framework of the proposed alliance between Ford and Volkswagen have been speculated on. VW will begin investing on Ford while the latter will license the former’s MEB electric car platform stateside. There is also internal discussion within Volkswagen regarding the prospect of being able to have their cars being assembled in Ford auto plants. Ford meanwhile is keeping mum on outright confirming any planned partnership with VW beyond the fact that both companies are talking, though Ford global markets President Jim Farley has remarked that their discussions are going well.
Image courtesy of CAR Magazine