With the heat intensifying at the top of the global luxury sales, both Mercedes-Benz and BMW seek to cut down their number of architectures to speed R&D, tone down costs and intensify components sharing.
The BMW Group – currently the world’s biggest automaker in the premium segment will use just two architectures for two of its brands – BMW and Mini, with Rolls-Royce and especially the “i” facing exemption.
The two brands would go down from five to just two vehicle platforms, one for front wheel drive and one for rear wheel drive, says Herbert Diess, board member for R&D.
“We could not have such a product portfolio if we had not established architectures for our front-wheel Mini and smaller BMWs and the rear-wheel-drive architecture,” Diess said.
On the other side, Thomas Weber, head of worldwide R&D at Mercedes-Benz, said the brand will cut down from nine platforms just five years ago to four – MFA (fwd), MRA (rwd), MHA (large crossovers and SUV’s) and MSA (sport cars).
“You will see how many vehicles we can now bring to market. It would not be possible without this approach,” Weber said, calling the savings from the more unified architectures “huge”.
For both brands, the lower number of platforms brings a host of enhancements: easy sharing of production equipment and parts, improvements in quality and the reduction of time needed to bring new cars to the market.
Via Automotive News Europe