An announcement from Ford on Tuesday came after Volkswagen's supervisory board gave its managers a green light to strike a deal with U.S.-based Ford.
The goal is a partnership to share development and production costs. Preliminary talks have already been held, a source said.
The potential projects could span "a number of areas," Ford's announcement said, including commercial vans.
"Ford is committed to improving our fitness as a business and leveraging adaptive business models – which include working with partners to improve our effectiveness and efficiency," said Jim Farley, Ford's president of Global Markets. "This potential alliance with the Volkswagen Group is another example of how we can become more fit as a business, while creating a winning global product portfolio and extending our capabilities.
"We look forward to exploring with the Volkswagen team in the days ahead how we might work together to better serve the evolving needs of commercial vehicle customers – and much more."
Dr. Thomas Sedran, head of strategy for Volkswagen Group, said, "Markets and customer demand are changing at an incredible speed. Both companies have strong and complementary positions in different commercial vehicle segments already. To adapt to the challenging environment, it is of utmost importance to gain flexibility through alliances. This is a core element of our Volkswagen Group Strategy 2025. The potential industrial cooperation with Ford is seen as an opportunity to improve competitiveness of both companies globally."