Volkswagen is the big boy, generating $268 billion in 2017 compared to the $156 billion posted by Ford. Moving on from revenue to sales volume, make that 10.7 million (including heavy commercial vehicles) versus 6.6 million. As for market capitalization, the difference between the two companies favors Volkswagen by a long margin.
Thomas Sedran, which is the chief executive officer of the light commercial vehicle division at Volkswagen, is also pleased with the arrangement. "I wouldn't rule out anything [on the car side], but the focus is let's first get the LCV project running," he told Automotive News.
In regard to passenger cars, the last time Ford and Volkswagen teamed up was in the 1990s, when the Sharan and Galaxy people carriers were joined at the hip. Turning out focus back to Sedran, he added that “the product life cycles are a good match. We will build for them. They will build for us."
The biggest question regarding the alliance is platform sharing. Ford just rolled out the C2 with the all-new Focus, which means that the MQB from Volkswagen isn’t of interest to the American side of the deal. Then there’s the CD6 that acts as the backbone of the next-generation Explorer and Mustang, which Volkswagen can’t use in applications such as the Touareg or Passat-based Arteon.
Even if things go sour on this level, the truth of the matter is that building the Ranger and Amarok as twins would benefit both companies. Mazda and Isuzu will do it with the BT-50 and D-Max, Renault and Nissan are doing it with the Alaskan and Navara, so why wouldn’t Ford and Volkswagen follow the same course of action?