Volkswagen and Ford are in talks to do business together, and the rumors are swirling of what that could mean.
Volkswagen, in an effort to expand its U.S. manufacturing footprint, could team up with Ford and share platforms for vehicles in the future. It’s either that, build a new manufacturing facility or add to its current one in Tennessee, according to Automotive News.
Of all those options, the partnership with Ford is the most interesting. As The Drive accurately points out, the two automakers have worked together before in the European and Latin American markets, so the idea that they would do so again isn’t completely outlandish. That could make for some interesting additions to both automaker’s lineups.
What Would Ford and VW Get?
Ford would get access to VW’s modular electric platform called MEB and VW would gain access to Ford’s manufacturing facilities as well as the ability to possibly use some of the company’s vehicle platforms.
One that stands out is the Ford Ranger. If VW could use the Ford Ranger pickup platform and build a new VW Amarok, it could possibly sell that model in the U.S. if it made business sense for the brand.
There’s also the possibility of a unibody pickup truck, which Volkswagen Global CEO Herbert Diess said would be a “risky” vehicle. That is less of a possibility, but still very interesting.
Talks Between the Companies Continue
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As of right now, nothing is certain. VW could just decide to build a new facility or expand its current one. However, if the company did solidify a partnership with Ford it wouldn’t be the first of its kind. Mazda and Toyota also have a similar partnership. One that resulted in a joint plant in Alabama.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see VW and Ford move forward with the partnership. It actually seems to make sense for both companies. If they can come up with a plan that is appealing to both parties, we might have a new VW Amarok built somewhere in the U.S. sooner than we think.
The possibility of a joint manufacturing facility will be the focus of the talks that the companies will have over the next month or so. However, Diess did tell Automotive News, “we are touching other options,” so it’s fair to think they will discuss platform sharing and other interesting possibilities.
I know some hardcore Ford guys won’t be happy if the company teams up with the German automaker in the future, but I think it’s an awesome possibility. I love the idea of a VW pickup truck here in the states, and any step in that direction I see as a good one.
VW and Ford have a ways to go before anything is set in stone. VW’s board will meet later this month to further discuss the possibility.