Detroit - Volkswagen and Ford will announce a deeper alliance next week, one which goes beyond just collaborating on commercial vehicles, in a move meant to save both car companies 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 Motor Show. The companies previously said that any alliance would not involve a merger or equity stakes.
The expanding alliance highlights the growing pressure on all global carmakers to manage the costs of developing electric and self-driving vehicles, as well as technology required to meet tougher emissions standards for the millions of internal combustion vehicles that they will sell in the years to come.
Slowdowns in the world's largest car markets - China and the United States - have ratcheted up the pressure to cut costs.