By on June 13, 2019

Herbert Diess Jetta 2017

Volkswagen is close to sealing a deal with Ford Motor Company for the next phase of the two companies’ fledgling alliance. The German giant seems poised to join Ford in its pursuit of self-driving technology through Argo AI — the autonomous startup Ford sunk $1 billion in back in 2017. Paving the way for some sort of tie-up or investment, VW this week ended its partnership with another self-driving startup, Aurora Innovation.

As well, news could soon be forthcoming about a much-rumored electric vehicle pact between the two automakers. (Read More…)

By on June 11, 2019

Image: Ford

Last week’s sinking of the proposed merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and French automaker Renault may not be the final word on that story, but a tie-up between FCA and a rival domestic automaker is definitely not on the table.

It once was, in an informal sort of way. And that table was the dinner table — one populated by Ford chairman Bill Ford and late FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne. (Read More…)

By on June 11, 2019

2017 Ram ProMaster City Tradesman SLT - Image: FCA

For some time, Fiat Chrysler has partnered with Waymo, providing Chrysler Pacificas for its partner’s fledgling autonomous ride-hailing business. Now, FCA has another partner.

Announced Monday, FCA has signed a memorandum of understanding with Aurora, maker of Aurora Driver — a package of hardware and software capable of Level 4 driving that the company hopes to sell to other companies. (Read More…)

By on June 6, 2019

Thursday night’s falling apart of the proposed Fiat Chrysler-Renault merger was a setback for FCA, but the automaker wants everyone to know it remains on the hunt for a willing partner. Essentially, nothing’s changed from the days when former CEO Sergio Marchionne made eyes at the likes of General Motors and Volkswagen, only to receive the cold shoulder.

Sure, it didn’t work out with the French, Chairman John Elkann wrote to FCA employees, but that doesn’t mean FCA won’t soon find a date for the dance. (Read More…)

By on June 6, 2019

Subaru Legacy 2018 Logo Emblem Grille

This is what handing 16.8 percent of your company’s ownership to another automaker gets you. Just days after BMW and Jaguar Land Rover announced an electric powertrain agreement, Subaru and Toyota claim a new, shared electric vehicle platform is on the way, as well as a jointly developed crossover.

The effort will mean Subaru — a brand with only a single (Toyota-assisted) plug-in hybrid on the market — will finally have the means to enter the growing EV field. (Read More…)

By on June 5, 2019

2019 Jaguar I-Pace

On the eve of D-Day, a British automaker and its German rival have teamed up to defeat a modern foe: spiraling development costs born of electrification. Europe’s going green these days, and the need to ditch diesel (and eventually gas) to satisfy the boys on Brussel, coupled with a general cooling off in Western demand, is placing strain on automaker budgets.

The cure, OEMs believe, is collaboration. In a world where BMW hopped into bed with its closest German rival on the mobility front, an electric powertrain partnership between Jaguar Land Rover and Bimmer doesn’t seem all that weird. (Read More…)

By on June 4, 2019

GM

General Motors and tiremaker Michelin no doubt hope a joint research agreement announced Tuesday bears riper fruit than Goodyear’s early-60s attempt to offer illuminated Neothane tires.

The two companies plan to develop and test an airless, puncture-resistant tire, aka the Unique Puncture-proof Tire System (Uptis), with the intent to introduce the product on GM vehicles by 2024. Is the era of the steel-belted radial drawing to a close? (Read More…)

By on April 24, 2019

Not long ago, it was expected that General Motors would sink a pile of cash into upstart electric automaker Rivian. Instead, GM held its horses while Amazon plunked down a $700 million investment in the Michigan-based company.

Now, Ford Motor Company is filling GM’s shoes, offering up half a billion dollars and announcing a co-developed product with the EV company, creator of the long-range R1T pickup and R1S electric three-row SUV. The big question now is: what form will that vehicle take? (Read More…)

By on April 19, 2019

2018 Mercedes-Benz X-Class Power - Image: Mercedes-Benz

The promising partnership that kicked off at the tail end of the last decade might end before this one is over. Compounding rumors about the troubled relationship, a report in a German business publication claims incoming Daimler CEO Ola Kaellenius will pull the plug on the automaker’s tie-up with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

Cost savings are at the core of the unconfirmed plan, and a peek at the recent past makes it seem all the more likely that the two will go their separate ways. (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2019

Image: FCA

Like characters on a long-running TV show, PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler remain the topic of intense speculation as to when they’ll hook up. There’s been romance in the past, including that time in 2007 when they spent the night and walked away with a series of jointly-developed small vans. The children’s names were Peugeot Bipper, Citroen Nemo and Fiat Fiorino. Only the latter survives to this day.

In the large van segment, FCA builds the Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer, and Citroen Jumper at its Italian Sevel Sud plant, with production recently extended through 2023. Thanks to PSA’s acquisition of GM’s European operations, Opel and Vauxhall-badged vans will soon roll from the FCA factory.

As rumors of a kiboshed merger deal swirl (FCA’s controlling family reportedly didn’t approve of the marriage), a new report claims there’s another limited partnership in the works. (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2019

Image: FCA

Ford and Volkswagen cosied up last year, cementing their relationship in an automotive alliance announced earlier this year, but could the same thing happen with Fiat Chrysler and France’s resurgent PSA Group?

PSA, which plans to sell Peugeots in North America by 2026, is reportedly hunting for a partner, and FCA Mike Manley isn’t ruling out the possibility. (Read More…)

By on February 13, 2019


Hoping to minimize development costs, Volkswagen Group and Ford Motor Co. recently forged an automotive alliance. Collaborative projects officially include commercial vans and pickup trucks, though the duo are also said to be working together on electric and autonomous vehicle development. Unfortunately, trouble in pinning down the details has slightly soured the relationship.

Through the alliance, Ford could make use of VW’s MEB platform, aiding its plan to roll out a myriad of electric cars in the coming years, while Volkswagen would have access to the Blue Oval’s autonomous unit, Argo AI. But the Germans reportedly aren’t interested in paying what Ford’s asking.  (Read More…)

By on January 22, 2019

Cooperation is commonplace among automakers. Chrysler has worked with, or been purchased by, just about everyone at this point, but it’s far from the only manufacturer to get chummy with a rival company. Ford and Volkswagen are busy discussing their future together and Toyota tapped other brands to help it co-develop performance models like the 86 and Supra.

Despite their longstanding and occasionally bitter rivalry, Mercedes-Benz and BMW could be the next duo to cozy up to one another. According to German outlet Handelsblatt, BMW chairman Harald Krüger and Daimler management board member Ola Källenius are currently examining the possibility of an automotive alliance.  (Read More…)

By on January 9, 2019

Ford and Volkswagen, two auto giants who spent much of 2018 making eyes at each other and playfully batting away rumors (and sparking a few of their own), might lay their relationship bare in Detroit next week.

The two automakers have already signed a Memorandum of Understanding, partnering initially with the aim of developing joint light commercial vehicles. But that was just the start. Over the course of the past year, this partnership grew to include pickup swaps, electric vehicle platform sharing, joint U.S. plants, and God knows what else — at least according to rumors. Both companies made it clear something big was brewing, but always fell back to a “we’re just talking” line.

Now, it looks like we have a time and place for the announcement. (Read More…)

By on December 20, 2018

Despite representing one of the great automotive rivalries, Daimler and BMW aren’t immune from the need to seek out cost savings in a rapidly evolving landscape. The two automakers have already teamed up on matters like components purchasing, and last year combined their respective car-sharing ventures.

However, sources close to the companies claim Daimler and Bimmer want to take it further, potentially sharing vehicle platforms and electric vehicle batteries. (Read More…)

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