Platform sharing and common parts across segments by Mercedes Benz to reduce costs
German luxury car marquee Mercedes Benz looks forward to a tomorrow that works on reduced vehicle platforms, and greater commonality in parts sharing across vehicle segments. This will works towards Daimler’s luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz aim to reduce costs each year.
Head of research and development at Mercedes, Thomas Weber, had this to say in an interview with Automobilwoche. “We expect a reduction in costs of more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.94 billion) annually. It’s our target to achieve the full savings effect in 2014 ideally, or 2015 at the latest.” “Instead of designing every new car from scratch, we will focus on three architectures: one for rear-wheel drive cars, one for SUVs and one for front-wheel drive compacts.” “My goal is to increase R&D expenditure disproportionately less than our sales growth.”
Weber went on to add that the goal was to reduce R&D budget at the Daimler group to 4% considering situational consolidated revenue of 100 billion euros in place of 4.9% of sales as was recorded in 2010.
The Renault-Nissan-Daimler alliance serves as an example for OEMs that look to ‘harness platform and procurement synergies without undergoing full operational integration’. VW shares a platform with the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne. Auto manufacturers like Volkswagen and Daimler are working on production of modular toolkits to be utilized across vehicle segments to achieve synergies. The Volkswagen Group MQB (Modular Transverse Matrix) platform is responsible for a range of VW,Skoda and Audi vehicles. The VW Group has attained cost savings across brands using the same chassis, as in the VW Golf and Audi A3 that were built on the “PQ35” platform for compacts.