DETROIT—Ford and Volkswagen plan to build commercial vans and medium-sized pickup trucks together as early as 2022 as part of a new partnership.

It is the first formal agreement in a broad alliance between the American and German automakers. The Ford-Volkswagen partnership will be governed by a joint committee led by Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford, and Herbert Diess, CEO of VW.

The two firms will not take ownership stakes in each other, as French carmaker Renault did with Japan’s Nissan in the late 1990s. “Ford and Volkswagen will continue operating as two separate and competitive entities,” Hackett said.

Ford will make medium-size pickups and commercial vans for the partnership, while Volkswagen will develop a city van, Hackett said. The medium-sized pickup will be made for markets in Africa, South America and Europe only so far.