Ford Motor Co. President and CEO, Jim Hackett, left, meets with Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG, Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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Volkswagen and Ford are forming a global alliance to develop commercial vans and medium-sized pickups together while exploring broader cooperation on future battery-powered and autonomous vehicles and services. Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess and Ford CEO Jim Hackett said in a statement Tuesday that the first jointly developed vehicles could hit the market as early as 2022 and that the linkup would offer efficiencies that would mean stronger profits starting 2023 .Ford last week announced a shake-up of its European operations that will mean dropping less profitable vehicle lines.Volkswagen CEO Diess said that while Volkswagen is generally highly competitive it lacks volume in light trucks and midsize pickups.Cooperating with an American company also makes sense for Volkswagen, which is based in Wolfsburg, Germany, and owns the Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Skoda and other brands, because the regulatory conditions for preparing the start of widespread autonomous driving are more advanced in the U.S. than in Europe.
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