Ford wants the V (W, that is) and it has admitted that it’s in talks to expand its alliance with the German automaker beyond commercial vehicles, reports Automotive News.
“We have a history with VW. We get along with them. And if you look at the strengths and weaknesses of each of us, we match up really, really well,” Bob Shanks, Ford’s CFO, told Automotive News.“In the world we’re in, where the future is so ill-defined because it’s yet to be created, companies are going to have to collaborate more together.”
Ford just wants somebody to lean on. But they recognize that relationships have to be a two-way street.
“We’re having a very broad set of discussions about how we can help each other around the world,” Shanks said. “Collaboration isn’t being limited in any way whatsoever, whether it’s different types of technology, product segments or geography.”
And the strategy may work because Ford knows North America, but has been struggling in Europe and South America—where it has reportedly lost more than $4 billion since 2012. Everybody has baggage, but Ford’s stock is on the rise.
The company revealed its stock rose almost 10% recently on the heels of stronger than expected earnings. And even though it’s backing away from margin targets it set for 2020, it’s still committed to lowering costs and improving itself.
“We look forward to sharing more about this global redesign of the company,” said Ford CEO, Jim Hackett, during Ford’s earnings call. “We are going to be coming to you more frequently, including we’re going to talk about these strategic partnerships in the near future.”
Just what the future will look like, though, is still a little fuzzy. But Ford doesn’t want to define things yet. Can’t the companies just get together and see where things go?
“We haven’t put boundary conditions in terms of where we could collaborate,” Shanks said. “We’re looking at the strengths and the gaps of each company on both sides of the table and trying to understand how we can help each other.”
That said, Ford is trying–working as hard as it can to figure something out and is promising to know what it wants in the near future.
“Starting next year, the picture will start to come more and more into focus,” Shanks said. “It’s something that won’t be a big bang. It will be done as fast as we possibly can, but it will be done in chunks and pieces.”