Automakers betting big on variable platforms image

Among the cost-cutting measures that managers of the global automakers want to implement is one that should yield massive financial saves, as well as a never before streamline of the production process.

Every single carmaker uses vehicle platforms to underpin its models – and that consists of the basic components of the car: front and back axle, engine, transmission, etc. – which can be used (today) for more than one model. While back in the day only related models had the same platform, now automakers aim to integrate as many cars as possible onto one – albeit highly functional, variable platform.

One prime example (also because of its problems) can be used: Volkswagen Group’s MQB megaplatform – a set of pre-defined dimensions and standardized interfaces for modules can be easily swapped, lowering costs, as well as research & development time.

But they’re certainly not the only ones. Mary Barra, the CEO of the most powerful US automaker (and third ranked globally), has foregone attendance to Europe’s Paris Motor Show to strategically announce her most ambitious plan to date: slash down to just four megaplatforms GM’s more than two dozen, largely integrated vehicle architectures. Ford has the same idea and many automakers now use platforms that transgress traditional segments and categories.

Via Automotive News Europe