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VW & Ford Partner To Develop EVs And Self-Driving Cars And Save Costs

VW & Ford Partner To Develop EVs And Self-Driving Cars And Save Costs
With the aim of saving billions of dollars, top global car makers Volkswagen AG and Ford Motor Co are entering into a partnership to develop commercial vans and pickups and would also jointly conduct projects for the development of technologies for electric and self-driving technology. The two companies made the announcement on Tuesday at the Detroit Auto Show.
The companies announced that the sale of vans and medium-sized pickups would kick start the partnership in 2022 and would not involve mergers or transfer of equity stakes.
All across the global; auto industry, there is increasing pressure on companies to develop new technologies to meet the ever stricter standards of emissions for millions of internal combustion vehicles which the companies would be selling in the coming years as well as management of the costs involved in the development of the technologies for electric and self-driving vehicles. This has forced companies to get together into alliances like the one between VW and Ford which the companies said would be an expanding one and would be guided by a joint committee that includes the CEOs of both companies.
Ford Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett said that the details of the partnership would be spelled out in the coming weeks as well as how it would impact regional operations of the company. The company however said that it does not expect to have any retrenchment in jobs at Ford plants because of the partnership.
Volkswagen said that medium-sized pickups for both companies would be engineered and built by Ford. On the other hand, a city van would be developed and built by VW and Ford would also develop and build a larger commercial van for European customers. VW said that Ford’s plant in Turkey would be used to built vans.
VW Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess said that joint development of electric and self-driving vehicles would be done by Ford and VW under the memorandum of understanding.
Car makers over the world have been forced to contemplate where to build vehicles for Europe, the United States and China because of the trade frictions and this had led to VW – the largest automaker of Europe and Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, to explore avenues for closer cooperation. Additionally, there are pressures on car makers to cut costs because of a slowdown in the economies of the two largest auto markets – the US and China.
The markets were taken by surprised last week when Ford announced that it would be forced to cuts thousands of jobs, stop manufacturing of loss making models and reconsider shutting down production units as a part of a larger reconstruction and turnaround plan with respect to its European operations.
On the other hand, injection of an additional 3 billion euros for enhancement of its p[rofit margins and for financing its new strategy of focusing on electric cars and automated driving was announced by Volkswagen last month.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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