Ford boss Jim Hackett highlighted the company’s relation with Volkswagen as a delicate dance while stating that the company was open to investment by automakers and others in its autonomous vehicle business.
Reports suggest that the German auto giant’s supervisory board has scheduled a meeting on Thursday to review a strategic plan by Chief Executive Herbert Diess that is expected to propose joining hands with rivals to cut development costs for electric and autonomous vehicles and potentially other types of vehicles.
On Wednesday, Hackett confirmed that a previously announced partnership to share development of future light commercial vehicle was proceeding “going better than we thought it would.”
“Herbert and I had a great discussion,” about the commercial vehicle business, Hackett said.
The American giant has been witnessing sinking share prices that plunged 22 percent this year. This reflected investor frustration with the company’s pace of rolling out plans to restructure money-losing operations in Europe, Latin America and China.
Earlier this year Ford commenced a separate unit for its autonomous vehicle operations, which includes a majority stake in self-driving car software company Argo AI. Potential investors could put money into either Ford’s autonomous vehicle unit, or Argo, Ford executives said.
“We see equal opportunity between moving people and moving goods,” said Sherif Marakby, head of Ford’s autonomous vehicle unit.