Since last week, there was evidence that VolksWagen and the American automaker Ford may announce a cooperation during the show. The German number one and the American number two car makers had already announced an alliance for commercial vehicles in the summer of last year. Now they obviously want to work together in the fields of autonomous driving and electromobility. According to CEO VW Herbert Diess, details of the cooperation will be announced on later Today.
At the edge of the VW press conference, Diess initially spoke only about the cooperation in light commercial vehicles, where his company and Ford complemented each other well. Ford Chairman Bill Ford also stayed with details on Monday, but talked about the motives for closer ties with the Germans beyond commercial vehicles. In addition to its traditional activities, Ford also needs to invest in non-traditional areas with unproven business models, and that would be expensive. “It makes sense for us to seek partners.”
VW CEO Diess first used his appearance on Monday to announce new investments at the US production site in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is now planned to build a second plant for 800 million dollars and create 1000 new direct jobs. “We feel at home there, and we will continue to invest in the United States to broaden our research and development efforts and grow our production,” said Diess. According to him, in the new plant also the new electric vehicles of the core brand VW to arise.
From the year 2022 on the small sporty SUV “ID Cross”, later also the electrically driven bus “ID Buzz”. The Volkswagen chief again emphasized the importance of his company at the location in Tennessee. There VW has already invested 2.3 billion dollars and there were 3800 direct jobs created, plus several thousand more jobs at suppliers.
For Ford, the homecoming in Detroit is just a few days after the company has ordered its European business a rehabilitation program that could cost thousands of jobs. Details are still being worked out, but deep cuts are likely to occur, and the group has not even ruled out giving up entire works. The losses of the company in Europe have increased considerably. Unlike the competitor General Motors, which has separated from its European business to the German brand Opel one and a half years ago, Ford wants to hold on to its presence in the region so far.