HAMBURG/DETROIT (Reuters) – Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and Ford Motor Co (F.N) will unveil a deeper alliance next week that goes beyond cooperating in commercial vehicles in a move meant to save the automakers billions of dollars as they develop new technologies, two people familiar with the plan said on Wednesday.
Ford and VW have been exploring closer cooperation as trade frictions force carmakers to rethink where they build vehicles for Europe, the United States and China, and as software companies prepare to launch their own self-driving cars.
“A global alliance is expected to be announced,” one person said, adding that the pact will be unveiled next Tuesday during the Detroit auto show. The companies have previously said any alliance would not involve a merger or equity stakes.
The expanding alliance highlights the growing pressure on all global automakers to manage the costs of developing electric and self-driving vehicles, as well as technology required to meet tougher emissions standards for millions of internal combustion vehicles they will sell in the years to come.
Slowdowns in the world’s largest auto markets – China and the United States – have ratcheted up the pressure to cut costs.