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Volkswagen, Ford alliance will see Amarok based on Ranger

16 January 2019

The commercial-vehicle alliance may do more for VW than Ford, as it fills two weaknesses in the German automaker's commercial lineup - pickups and delivery vans - that are already areas of strength for Ford, Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois wrote to investors. The large van will be based off Ford's Transit Custom, which is not sold in North America, and will be built for the European market.

The deal does not involve cross-ownership, the companies said in a statement.

The joint efforts of the two will be handled by the companies' two chief executives, Herbert Diess and Jim Hackett, seconded by senior executives from both companies.

The jointly developed vehicles will primarily be for Europe, South America and South Africa, at least for now.

"Ford keeps frustrating investors by delivering piecemeal information on its future plans", Houchois said in a note.

"Both companies also said they were open to considering additional vehicle programs in the future", the two confirmed today.

"It will not only drive significant efficiencies and help both companies improve their fitness, but also gives us the opportunity to collaborate on shaping the next era of mobility".

Located in northwestern Kocaeli province, Gölcük and Yeniköy plants in of Ford Otosan, the US carmaker's Turkish venture, are the main production hubs of the Ford Transit and Ford Tourneo light commercial vehicles in Europe.

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South African bakkie enthusiasts can keenly anticipated a next generation of Ranger and Amarok which perhaps combine the best of what both brands offer: Ford's traditional bakkie ruggedness and workability with VW's car-like bakkie cabin environment and cruising refinement.

"Cutting costs by sharing vehicle architectures and manufacturing facilities is just table stakes in this new world and is a nice place to start", Caldwell said. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions.

Hackett emphasized that Volkswagen and Ford vehicles built on shared platforms would maintain their own, separate brand identities, including driving dynamics and user interface.

Last week, Ford said it would cut thousands of jobs, discontinue building money-losing vehicles and look at closing plants as part of a turnaround effort for its unprofitable European business.

"The problem is, there's never a ninth inning because this business keeps reinventing itself", Bill Ford said Monday.

The press conference, which is being called an industry announcement, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. More details of this Ford Volkswagen partnership will be made known in the weeks ahead.

In November, he blasted General Motors' decision to idle several plants and cut 14,000 jobs as part of a major restructuring, calling it "unacceptable" and "nasty".

Volkswagen, Ford alliance will see Amarok based on Ranger