Ford and Volkswagen announced in January a plan to team up on development of light commercial vehicles, with a special focus on battery-electric vehicles. The move could help Ford and VW save billions of dollars by sharing R&D efforts.
But now it seems highly unlikely that both companies can find common ground when it comes to battery-electric vehicles. According to company officials, their programs are out of sync, and the timing just doesn’t seem to match.
With the global business environment becoming more challenging every day, auto manufacturers across the globe are continuously looking for partners -- even if they are rivals. These negotiations are aimed addressing current challenges and also developing new technologies, such as electrification and autonomous driving - areas in which Ford and Volkswagen aim to take a lead.
But with both companies taking markedly different strategies with their electrification programs, the successful execution of the partnership remains in doubt.
VW has recently allocated over $50 billion to develop more than 50 pure battery-electric vehicles by 2025 to be sold through the German automaker's dozen passenger car brands, including Porsche and Audi, as well as the flagship Volkswagen marque. But the majority of the products will target everyday consumers, not just millionaires.
Likewise, Ford, itself a proponent of electrification, now plans to introduce its first long-range model in 2020, and then expand its line-up over the next ten years.