autoevolution

Ford & Volkswagen Partnership Talks Kick Into Overdrive, Mahindra Joins In

Expected to go official in 2019, Volkswagen is interested in Ford and the Blue Oval is willing to help the German group by sharing development costs of the Transit and Ranger. According to the head honcho of Volkswagen in Brazil, the talks regarding the partnership are “advancing nicely.”
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Automotive News reports Volkswagen has declined to further comment on the alliance, but knowing the trends of the automotive industry, Ford and the Germans are like two peas in a pod. For starters, the commercial vehicle division of Volkswagen is ailing, and Ford isn’t doing so great in Europe. Combining their know-how and assets in order to make the best out of their arrangement, however, would be godsend for both parties.

As opposed to previous reports on the alliance, Automotive News has learned that Mahindra has joined Ford and Volkswagen for negotiations. Two people familiar with the plans of the Indian automotive group claim that Mahindra could be used “as a benchmark to bring down supplier costs in the region.”

The sources further believe that Ford and Mahindra are working on two vehicles for the Indian market, coming in the guise of a compact SUV and an EV. How does Ford benefit from such an arrangement? Chief executive officer Jim Hackett plans to reduce vehicle platforms from nine to five, which is why marketing and selling a badge-engineered Mahindra would be perfect for the Blue Oval in India.

In regard to Volkswagen, sharing the Transit and Ranger would benefit Ford in Europe and South America, two markets where the Ford Motor Company is bleeding resources. If everything goes according to plan, the arrangement will help the second automaker in North America with the $11 billion restructuring plan outlined for the next three to five years.

“Ford isn’t running out of money that badly, so why bother with Volkswagen in Europe and South America plus Mahindra in India?” The answer to that is electrification and self-driving technology, two areas that take billions of dollars from the available budget for research & development. To this effect, leveraging the strengths of other automakers is unavoidable.

 
 
 
 
 

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