BMW And Mercedes-Benz To Reduce Number Of Platforms In Order To Cut Costs
|   Thursday, March 20, 2014
BMW and Mercedes-Benz, two major players in the premium segment, will reduce the number of platforms in order to reduce costs and accelerate the launch of new models. According to Automotive News, the BMW Group will retain only two architectures, while Daimler will retain four architectures for the Mercedes-Benz brand, in addition to the Smart range.

As explained by the Thomas Weber, head of global research and development for Mercedes-Benz, reducing the number of platforms will bring impressive savings for the premium manufacturer, which will apply this decision.
This measure brings at the same time an increase in the quality and reliability of models offered, because the components used in these models will be shared. Thus, the engineers will be able to invest more in research and development. Furthermore, there will be no problems with money because the sale volumes made ​​by those models will compensate this.

Audi already applied a similar strategy with the help of the Volkswagen Group. The group ensures costs are kept low by sharing components and platforms, both between models, as well as other brands of the corporation, with few exceptions.

Mercedes-Benz will have only four architectures in the future, called MFA, MRA, MHA and MSA. The first has already been launched and is for models with front wheel drive. The second is reserved for rear-wheel drive models, the third is devoted to large crossovers, while the latter is for the sport models of the manufacturer.

BMW will operate even an even simpler strategy with sharing platforms, according to the way the traction is placed: front or rear. The BMW i3 will be the only one excluded from this strategy. Meanwhile, the models in the MINI range will share the platform with BMW front-wheel drive. Currently, the BMW Group has five platforms and Mercedes-Benz has nine types of platforms.

The new architecture from BMW will make its debut over the next two years, with the new generation of the Series 7. Unlike other models in the BMW Group, the Rolls-Royce brand creations will not receive this platform, but will still use systems and technologies from BMW. In addition, all vehicles of the BMW Group will share electronics and other components. Initially, it could be a disadvantage in terms of cost, but the measure will bring technologies found on the Series 5 and Series 7 models to the Mini range, for example.


"There is a cost disadvantage for the smaller cars but it allows us to bring all of the technical features we have in the 3, 4, 5 and 7 series down into the Mini and smaller cars" said Herbert Diess 
BMW management board member, department of research and development.

Diess also stated that BMW's cars have always shared some components but "we are making it even more synergetic, which does not mean the cars will be more similar."

Despite the fact that the models will share technical platforms, they will have different characters achievable by changing the settings of the suspension, steering and interior configuration.
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