Ford and Volkswagen appear increasingly unlikely to pull together a deal to work together on battery-electric vehicles, a senior executive with the Detroit automaker said this week.
The two companies announced plans last month to team up on the development of light commercial vehicles and confirmed that other projects were under consideration. It has been widely reported that a key focus was on battery-electric vehicles, a move that could help Ford and VW save billions of dollars by sharing R&D efforts.
But their programs are out of sync, "almost like snowboarding and skiing," Jim Farley, Ford's president of global markets, said Monday during a taping of the local TV show "Autoline Detroit."
Automakers around the world have begun looking for ways to partner with erstwhile rivals in order to address an increasingly challenging environment. Many of these alliances focus on the development of new technologies, such as electrification and autonomous driving, areas in which Ford and Volkswagen aim to take a lead.
But the two carmakers are taking markedly different approaches with their electrification programs, said Stephanie Brinley, principal auto analyst with IHS Markit and a participant in the "Autoline" panel discussion.
"They have two very different strategies," Brinley said, and the "timing issues that just won't mesh."