Car Industry

Ford and Volkswagen partner on midsize pickups, commercial vans

Ford will build a pickup truck for both brands by 2022.

Ford Transit Custom

The deal refers to the Ford Transit Custom, shown here, which is not and will not be sold in the US.

Ford

Ford and Volkswagen on Tuesday confirmed plans for a partnership to codevelop pickup trucks and commercial vans. Specifically, Ford will build a midsize pickup for both companies, which will launch by 2022, and also will build a large commercial van. Volkswagen, meanwhile, will develop a "city van" for the brands.

The tie-up between Ford and VW had been rumored for some time. The companies said that the cooperation should help both of them improve their profit margins by 2023 by allowing them to share development costs. There are no plans for cross-ownership between the companies. And the automakers plan for their vehicles "maintaining distinct brand characteristics."

In addition to the work on trucks and vans, Ford and VW will also investigate working together on "autonomous vehicles, mobility services and electric vehicles," and say they are "open" to partnering on other vehicle projects in the future. It has been rumored that VW could share its MEB electric-car platform with Ford.

The partnership will apply to European-market models, which will be sold in Europe, Africa and South America -- but not North America. The truck involved will be a version of the European-market Ranger, not the different US-market Ford Ranger. The commercial van will be related to Europe's Transit Custom, which is distinct from the full-size Transit van sold in the US.

Ford and VW say that their midsize truck and commercial-vehicle offerings -- Ranger, Transit, Caddy, Transporter and Amarok -- account for 1.2 million vehicles per year globally, potentially making this tie-up "the industry's highest-volume collaboration as production scales."