UK: Ford Europe, Mazda and Volvo to share technology on large cars
The Financial Times reports that Ford is to share basic components between its European large cars and models from Volvo and Mazda, after an experiment with common parts for small cars (C1 Shared Technologies) saved almost $200m from annual production costs and reduced investment by $65m.
The move to share technology and componentry within the Ford Group on large cars as well as small was widely expected, but the FT report provides confirmation of a strategy that could be controversial within Group's participating units.
The report also said that the company is also considering how far Jaguar, its loss making luxury brand, should be included in the project, which is called Global Shared Technologies. The report notes that past attempts to save money by producing Jaguars using the platforms that underlie the Ford Mondeo and a US Lincoln model have resulted in criticism of the resulting cars.
Mark Fields, head of Ford's European operations, said the company had started work on a suite of systems that would be used as the base for the replacement for the Volvo S80 and the Mondeo large saloons, the FT report said. Mazda engineers are also involved, and the Mazda 6, Mazda MPV and the Ford Galaxy minibus are all likely to be based on the same set of technology. He said: "We have got to leverage the scale of Ford Motor Company," the FT reported.