Ford and the Volkswagen Group announced last week plans to discuss various partnerships, including the joint development of vehicles.
The two auto giants specifically mentioned joint development of a range of commercial vehicles, which has led to rumors that next-generation versions of the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok mid-size pickups may share a platform.
Such an outcome wouldn't be unique. In fact, the current Ranger's platform is used by Mazda for the BT-50 pickup. The platform of Nissan's NP300 Navara pickup is also used by Mercedes-Benz and Renault for their respective X-Class and Alaskan pickups.
In addition to pickup trucks, we may also see the two develop vans together.
All Ford and the VW Group will say is that the potential partnerships aim to strengthen each automaker's competitiveness and that updates on the talks will be released at a future date. The automakers also said that there were no plans for joint equity arrangements, such as cross ownership stakes.
Ford has ramped up the number of partnerships with outside firms under the leadership of current CEO Jim Hacket. Since his appointment in early 2017, we've seen Ford link up with Mahindra in India, with Lyft in North America, and with Zotye in China.
The VW Group has attempted partnerships in the past but hasn't had much luck. Its most notable was a partnership formed with Suzuki in 2009, though things went sour just two years in and ultimately ended following a court decision in 2015.