Ford, VW expected to announce global alliance today

The reveal would take place at the Detroit auto show

Photo: EPA

Volkswagen Group and Ford Motor are expected to unveil an alliance on Tuesday that would reportedly combine forces on commercial vehicles and is likely to expand into joint development of electric and self-driving technology. Even though the details of the partnership are still a mystery, the move is aimed at saving the automakers billions of dollars.

Ford and VW have been reportedly in talks about a global cooperation for a while, but what that cooperation might look like is not clear yet. Originally, the two were discussing an alliance on vans and other commercial vehicles, but indications are the talks have progressed past that. This was hinted by Ford CEO Jim Hackett who on Monday spoke in generalities about the talks.

"Through alliances - these are different than partnerships -- we can get shared investment in areas that, in the future, both of us need, and cut the cost substantially," he said, hinting that those areas include autonomous and electric vehicles.

More about the framework of the alliance and its scope would be announced today in a joint conference call at the Detroit auto show.

The expanding partnership highlights the growing pressure on all global automakers to manage the costs of developing electric and self-driving vehicles, as well as technology required to meet tougher emissions standards for millions of internal combustion vehicles they will sell in the years to come. Furthermore, slowdowns in the world’s largest auto markets - China and the United States - have ratcheted up the pressure to cut costs.

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