By on June 20, 2018

Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG seem to be on the verge of a relationship that could yield jointly developed products aimed at the commercial sector. It’s looking a lot like the rumored FCA/VW partnership we reported on last year, only that date ended with cold showers.

Late Tuesday, Ford and VW issued a joint statement announcing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two automakers. This “potential alliance” might lead to the conception of any number of vehicles.

The two automakers state they’re “investigating several joint projects – including joint development of a range of commercial vehicles to better serve the evolving needs of customers globally.”

It’s early days still, and neither automaker wants to delve too deeply into the specifics of what this would-be strategic alliance means, or where it could one day lead. Both Ford and VW said the partnership “would not involve equity arrangements, including cross ownership stakes.”

“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, adding, “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.”

Naturally, the mind turns to vans and trucks. Ford’s Transit and Transit Connect vans are popular haulers, and then there’s the automaker’s ubiquitous truck line. A Ranger midsize appears this year. Volkswagen’s commercial vehicles remain absent from the U.S. market, though it sells the Transporter and Caddy vans almost everywhere else. Still, what fruit this partnership might bear remains a big question mark.

A Ford spokesperson tried to pour cold water on early reports claiming the two automakers had vans and trucks in mind, telling Germany’s Deutsche Welle that it was too early to speculate on what products might come from this team-up.

The rumors last year of early talks between FCA and VW also mentioned light commercial vans, as well as the possibility of a midsize pickup. Considering VW’s now weighing a production version of its Atlas Tanoak concept and FCA has its own midsize in the works, it looks like those talks went nowhere.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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16 Comments on “Ford and Volkswagen Team Up, Trucks and Vans Could Follow...”

  • avatar

    So those rumors of a VW Ranchero were true.

  • avatar
    Mike Beranek

    Oh, just what we need… vehicles that must be “Fixed or Repaired Daily” AND require outrageously expensive parts and specialized tools from Germany.
    Sign me up!

  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    Mike-they are already here.

    My son is in charge of a pretty big fleet of Mercedes Sprinter diesel vans. The repair and maintenance costs have increased so much for his company, they are ALL BEING PHASED OUT and they are going to gas. Only a handful of dealers can even work on them-due to specialized training and tooling.

    The commercial sector would like more choices in that segment.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      I owned a 2006 Sprinter with 2.5L 5 cylinder diesel. I had an ECU and oxygen sensor failure during the first 1000 miles. Once those niggles were addressed, I had 50k miles of very reliable service. I had the dually with high roof. I ran heavy, about 9600lbs always. Fuel consumption was pretty respectable…actually got 20 mph a few times.

    • 0 avatar

      I thought everyone has replaced their Sprinters with gas powered Transits already…..

  • avatar

    Frankly I find the new Jetta to look like a Ford especially in profile. Maybe this isn’t too far off.

  • avatar

    Modern VW Bus ! Unless it looks like Transit Connect.

  • avatar

    Probably low volume models which are not very profitable or core to the brands. E.g Galaxie & S-max/Sharan minivans, Transit Connect/Caddy small vans, Transit/Crafter large vans. Or, perhaps less likely, C-max/Touran compact minivans, Ranger/Amarok pick ups, Ka/Up small cars.

  • avatar

    Good maybe VW can show Ford a thing or two about vehicle assembly! I believe it was mentioned here when Lutz asked Piech how he was able to get segment leading panel gaps. Piech (paraphrasing) said he simply walked in and told his engineers to get the panel gaps right or look for a new job.

    Love my GT350 and the ’15 GT before that but the fit and finish on the body is not exactly meeting or setting standards in the industry.

  • avatar

    Slap a Ford face on a Jetta, and build it here: new NADM Focus.

    Just the thing for when the Middle East sneezes, and all those xUVs suddenly start costing a Benjamin at every fillup!

  • avatar

    Perhaps Volkswagen can help Ford make the F-150 more reliable.

    Ford – what a disgrace!

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      60,000 miles and it hasn’t seen the dealership since I purchased it (15 F150). First year body with a first year motor so I think thats pretty solid. But I’m sure those Turbos will spit their guts through the hood any day now. After all, I read the rantings of a couple of morons on the internet that said they would.

      Incidentally the last first year model my family had experience with was a MKII Jetta (85 model). Here nearly 25 years later it remains the single biggest pile of crap to ever grace our driveway totally eclipsing the previous champ (1974 Duster).

      It took a test drive of a Golf R to make me consider a VW again, but they dont lease worth a darn and I’ll be darned if I’m owning the most complex VW money can buy. Fool me once…

  • avatar
    Frank Williams

    Now you know what Ford will do when their decision to ditch family sedans bites them in the ass in a few years. Fordwagen Fussant or Focetta, anyone?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      They will import them from any number of the markets where they do build and sell cars. Gas prices would make the cost of federalization worthwhile at that point and with the tariff progress being made with the EU it may become a more enticing proposition.

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