[YesAuto News] Yesterday’s competitors may become today’s teammates. Recently, foreign media reported that Ford and Volkswagen may be discussing deeper cooperation, and the two companies may even merge. The reason for this speculation is that the two companies can complement each other's advantages. In addition, sharing the huge costs and risks of new technologies such as electric intelligence has become the main demand for the integration of vehicle companies.
As early as June 19 this year, Volkswagen and Ford signed a memorandum of understanding, the two sides are studying a number of cooperation projects, including the joint development of a series of commercial vehicle products. Industry analysts believe that the cooperation between Volkswagen and Ford may not be limited to the commercial vehicle market, and may involve equity swaps or mergers. In response, a Volkswagen Group spokesperson declined to comment to the media.
Ford recently announced that in order to cut costs and increase profitability as soon as possible, it will abandon its car business in the North American market and shift its focus to pickup trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. The car is a strong product of Volkswagen. If the two are combined, it will make up for the shortcomings of Ford's car business. Commercial vehicles are a relatively weak area for Volkswagen, and Ford's advantages in the field of commercial vehicles will also benefit Volkswagen. For example, in the U.S. market, Ford F series pickups and SUVs account for a considerable market share, especially Ford full-size pickups occupy approximately 40% of the U.S. market.
In addition to Ford and Volkswagen, GM and Honda, Daimler and Nissan and other automakers have reached alliances and cooperation. The huge cost of developing self-driving cars, electric vehicles and other advanced technologies has made competitors become teammates. They are forming new alliances to jointly develop and build new technologies that may take several years to enter the market. Although each automaker remains independent, they share some assets and often collaborate, from parts sourcing to product engineering and manufacturing.
“Everyone needs to spend billions of dollars for electrification, billions of dollars for autonomous and mobile services, even if they have to spend billions of dollars on traditional product lines,” John, host of the TV show “Autoline Detroit” McElroy said. “No one has so much money.”
In 2017, the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance collectively sold 10.6 million vehicles, making it one of the world's three largest automobile manufacturing groups. The chief executive of the alliance, Carlos Ghosn, believes that without this partnership, automakers would not be able to approach, and this partnership reportedly produced 5.7 billion euros of “synergies” last year.
If Volkswagen and Ford form a closer cooperative relationship, the two companies have their own advantages and disadvantages, and their product lines have their own advantages, which can form complementary advantages. However, it is not an easy task for two companies of this size to merge. The heirs of Ford founder Henry Ford and the holding family may not accept such a proposal lightly. Because the merger may cause the holding family to lose control of the company. (Source: Detroit Free Press; Compiler/Car Home Du Junyi)