DETROIT — Ford Motor and Volkswagen Group, which for months have discussed a strategic alliance with potential global implications for the auto industry, are likely to provide an update about their joint plans Tuesday at the Detroit auto show, Automotive News, a sibling publication of Automotive News Europe, has learned.
The automakers, which have a long history of collaboration, in June signed a memorandum of understanding to explore a strategic alliance across a number of areas, including joint development of commercial vehicles.
The two sides are discussing partnering on autonomous and electric vehicles, and on midsize pickups.
The framework of the alliance could include the pooling of resources in autonomous technology and VW investing in Ford's self-driving vehicle business, a source told Reuters, and Ford licensing Volkswagen's MEB electric vehicles platform.
Ford expects to launch self-driving vehicles for sale by 2021, when a new vehicle architecture designed specifically for autonomous vehicles is expected to be ready. In July 2018, Ford created a separate unit to house its self-driving vehicle operations and was seeking outside investors in a move similar to one made by General Motors Co with its Cruise Automation self-driving unit.
Discussions are ongoing, and sources with knowledge of the talks caution that the sides could still decide to postpone an announcement.
Ford and VW declined to comment on the possibility of a Tuesday announcement, which was first reported by Reuters.
If the companies go forward with that plan, auto show organizers have reserved an hourlong slot for them Tuesday morning, labeled on the official schedule only as a "pending industry announcement." Representatives for the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which runs the show, declined to discuss that event — slated for the convention center's main stage from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning — or say which company requested that time slot. The event has been listed on the schedule since it was released Dec. 14.
Ford reintroduced the Ranger to the U.S. this month, and VW is considering basing its next-generation Amarok off the Ranger, VW CEO Herbert Diess has said.
Diess also said that the German automaker wants to use some U.S. Ford plants with excess capacity to build VW vehicles, although Ford has few options.
Executive Chairman Bill Ford last month said the talks were going "really well," adding "the culture fit is good."
VW’s board is scheduled to discuss the matter Friday, Bloomberg reported.
Larry P. Vellequette, Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report.