Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG are exploring a strategic alliance that could lead to the joint development of a line of commercial vehicles, the manufacturers announced.

The two automakers signed a memorandum of understanding on June 19 they say will "strengthen each company's competitiveness and better serve customers globally," according to a Ford release. The alliance won't involve equity arrangements or cross-ownership stakes.

"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," said Jim Farley, Ford’s president of global markets.

The agreement will begin a series of discussions between Ford and Volkswagen. The two will provide updates as the talks progress.

"Both companies have strong and complementary positions in different commercial vehicle segments already," said Thomas Sedran, head of Volkswagen Group strategy. "To adapt to the challenging environment, it is of utmost importance to gain flexibility through alliances."


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