Savvy alliances such as VW and Ford’s make a lot of sense

It’s perfectly natural if the first thing that pops to mind on the news of Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG forming an alliance is a sense of history repeating itself. After all, 2018 was the 20th anniversary of the ill-fated “Merger of Equals” between Daimler-Benz AG and Chrysler Corp.

But this new alliance between a German automaker and a U.S.-based competitor feels different — because it is different. It offers the potential for both sides to reap ongoing financial rewards if they continue to proceed on a slow and steady pace — working together where it makes sense, separately where their needs dictate an individual course.

We have long advocated cooperative development agreements between automakers to share costs on new technologies and new products.