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June 19, 2018 4:45 PM, EDT

VW Is Said to Mull Van Alliance With Ford to Share Costs

Volkswagen subsidiary Moia’s concept vehicle, an electric van with room for six. (Volkswagen AG)

Volkswagen AG is considering forming an alliance with Ford Motor Co. to share costs for development and production of vans and pickup trucks, according to people familiar with the matter.

An announcement that the two will start discussions on a commercial-vehicle alliance could be made as early as June 19, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the deliberations aren’t public. There are no plans in place to exchange any equity, they said.

Asked for comment on whether his company was in talks with VW, Ford CEO Jim Hackett said at an event in Detroit that “it’s premature to talk about that.”

Automakers across the globe are exploring ways to share expenses for developing light commercial vehicles, including electrified models, as cities from Paris to London to Shanghai push for models that will help them improve air quality. The tightening restrictions come at the same time that demand is rising for delivery of goods rising due to increasing popularity of online shopping.

VW had cooperated for years with Daimler AG to produce vans, but the German peer ended the joint project several years ago.

Eckhard Scholz, the head of VW’s light-commercial vehicle division, told Bloomberg News in October that the company was exploring ways to work together with other manufacturers.

Evolving emissions rules were one factor prompting the talks, he said then.

Volkswagen reviews possible joint projects with other companies in all regions of the world, the company said June 19 in an e-mailed statement. The carmaker declined to comment further on speculation.

The plan was reported earlier June 19 by Reuters.