Detroit Free Press: Marick Masters on the partnership between VW and Ford

Ford and Volkswagen are working toward making a major announcement during the Detroit auto show on Jan. 15, people close to months-long talks about an alliance between the two automakers confirmed Wednesday. Sources in the U.S. say the situation is fluid but hopeful. "Nothing is definite," a person familiar with the discussions told the Free Press. The North American International Auto Show media schedule lists a "pending industry announcement" for Tuesday morning at the Cobo Center Atrium stage. Marick Masters, a business professor at Wayne State University, said a partnership with VW "is a very significant step in the right direction for Ford." The move would recognize the realities of a changing market in which the cost of competition is high and growing, he said. "This is an opportunity for two companies to combine resources, drive economies of scale and get ahead of the curve on electric cars ... That'll be good for their positions in terms of growth in areas of research and new product development. Why reinvent the wheel if it's already there?" The move, Masters predicted, could result in more jobs in both companies.

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