Volkswagen Might Use Ford Manufacturing Capacities in the U.S. After White House Talks

By Tiffany Meier

Two of the world’s biggest carmakers, Volkswagen and Ford, have announced they are planning to join forces.

After a meeting at the White House on Tuesday, Dec. 4, Volkswagen’s CEO said that the German automaker was building an alliance with Ford Motor Co. and that they might use the U.S. automaker’s plants to build cars.

“We are in quite advanced negotiations and dialogue with Ford Corporation to really build up a global automotive alliance, which also would strengthen the American automotive industry,” Volkswagen CEO, Herbert Diess, told Reuters.

The meeting in Washington was in part to discuss foreign tariffs with President Trump.

Diess said, “Yes, we met the president and the meeting’s atmosphere was very good. I believe a lot is at stake and a lot of jobs are on the line, also in Germany, should the president impose import tariffs of 25 percent.”

“We had constructive discussions on the possibilities of additional investments here in the United States,” Diess continued.

“The atmosphere was constructive which makes me happy,” Diess said.

Currently, Volkswagen has an assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but is thinking of opening a second car plant.

“There is plenty of potential for, I’m speaking now for Volkswagen. We have a relatively low market share although we are considering building a second car plant,” Diess said.

“What we are here to do is to present our investment plans for the United States, which I think are quite convincing, so I think we made a big step forward to avoid the tariffs,” Diess told Reuters.

Joining with Ford, and having access to Ford factories in the United States, could help the German company save costs on the next generation and also avoid the U.S.’s 25 percent import tariff, according to Autonews.com.

While the deal does not involve any financial commitment from either company at the moment, there might be in the future.

“There will be more detailed negotiations and dialogue about the projects and I think this dialogue will continue and probably in January or February we will then announce real investments,” he added.