VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

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ds.raikkonen
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VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by ds.raikkonen » Thu May 31, 2012 10:17 am

With the VW group comprising of more than 200 individual models of cars, a new platform sharing architecture was required to reduce costs, number of components, meeting exceedingly strict emission and safety standards. MQB not only represents a new car specific part platform, but also an all-new modular engine program and modular production program. This gives VW group brands the ultimate flexibility to build market specific trim variations and response to regional needs far quicker while reducing the overall complexity involved as different models from, say, VW Skoda and SEAT can be manufactured on the same assembly line without any major change over times. This is flexible manufacturing at it's very best!
Evolution-
Image
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I. NSF - the new generation of small "city" cars like the Volkswagen Up! and the Audi A2
II. MQB - an all-new component platform designed to span a range of vehicles:
a. A0-class i.e. Audi A1, VW Polo
b. A-class i.e. Audi A3, Audi TT, VW Golf
c. B-class i.e. VW Passat, third-row mid-size SUV and the CC (utilizing a transverse engine configuration)
Volkswagen is responsible for developing the MQB architecture.
The MQB Golf 7 chassis (front):
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The MQB Golf 7 chassis (rear):
Image
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The blue area above is the fixed dimension (again only front to back - width is flexible) with the rest of the areas all permitting a wide variety of sizes and configurations.
Weight saving has been significant:
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III. MLB - longitudinal engine component architecture:
a. B-class i.e. Audi A4, Audi A5, Audi Q5, Porsche Boxster
b. C-class i.e. Audi A6, Audi A7
c. D-class i.e. Audi A8, VW Phaeton, Bentley Continental) and will also include the Q7, Touareg and Cayenne
Audi is responsible for developing the MLB architecture.
IV. MSB - comprises the sports cars in the group brands with mid-engine front configuration like the Porsche Panamera, as well as future Lamborghinis and Bentleys.
a. MSB-M for mid-engine cars like the Cayman, Boxster and eventually the Audi R8 and various Lamborghini models.
b. MSB-P for rear-engine applications, ex. Porsche 911.
Porsche is responsible for developing the MSB architecture.
(Source: http://www.fourtitude.com/news/publish/ ... 7484.shtml)
“Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary...that’s what gets you.” - JC

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by JohnsonsEvilTwin » Thu May 31, 2012 10:59 am

Right, but how do VW AG justify their premiums on higher brand like Audi in comparison to say Skoda?

Most people will know Skoda has VW engineering throughout, it is infact a rebadged VeeDub. The Fabia/Polo/A1/Ibiza are all pretty much the same car with wildly variating price tags.
My girlfriend wanted the A1 over a Polo and I stopped here right in her tracks. The reason being that the A1 model she wanted cost over £16,800 (1.4 TFSi), and the equivalent Polo comes in at £13,750. She didn't even know the 2 cars shared identical running gear along with shared componentry.
The VW dealer was prepared to offer a discount(£500) and throw in a winter pack(£355) along with a fixed price service plan for 3 years(£299). Air con could be added for half the listed £400.

Audi Chandlers Ford where very polite, but they wouldn't budge on price and all they would throw in was a set of for the rear of the car(£45). To further clarify the fiscal gulf between these 2 nigh on identical cars, When the A1 was specced to the level of the Polo, the Audi comes in at a heft £17,950 quid compared to the Polo's £13.250. Thats £300 short of a £5k!

I didnt drive the A1, simply because of Audi's insistence that a discount was non negotiable. But from most reviews, the A1 is a Polo in all but name. Some A1's fare worse on ratings due to the oversized alloys.

I will accept I'm in a minority, but there is no way the Audi is worth 5k more. People have paid that, so they obviously do. Just strikes me as blatant badge engineering and people have yet to cotton on.
More could have been done.
David Purley

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by Richard » Thu May 31, 2012 11:13 am

Having recently test driven comparable VW and Audi models, you can tell the difference in the quality of the trim, the materials, sound proofing etc...

The other thing I noticed is that an Audi is always smaller than the equivalent VW because Audi's are expected to be sleek and sporty. Compare Golf-A3, Passat-A4, and Tiguan-Q3. So not only do you pay more, you get a smaller car, albeit one that has a better quality feel.

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by ds.raikkonen » Thu May 31, 2012 11:16 am

JohnsonsEvilTwin wrote:Right, but how do VW AG justify their premiums on higher brand like Audi in comparison to say Skoda?
Most people will know Skoda has VW engineering throughout, it is infact a rebadged VeeDub. The Fabia/Polo/A1/Ibiza are all pretty much the same car with wildly variating price tags...
....But from most reviews, the A1 is a Polo in all but name. Some A1's fare worse on ratings due to the oversized alloys.

I will accept I'm in a minority, but there is no way the Audi is worth 5k more. People have paid that, so they obviously do. Just strikes me as blatant badge engineering and people have yet to cotton on.
I completely agree with you on the badge pricing thing. Even with the same basic platform, the price differences are substantial. I suppose the quality of sheet metal might be different for the Polo and the A1, along with the quality of the interiors. What say? Here in India, the VW group has launched the Vento (which is basically an extended, 3-box Polo) and Skoda have launched the Rapid, which are essentially the same cars, but with a price difference of over $3000-3500! I have a Vento petrol, which is pretty well equipped and I can't see how it can be that much more than the Skoda Rapid? :? The only obvious difference is in the interior plastic quality and the infotainment systems. And, of course, the 'Volkswagen' insignia carries more badge value than 'Skoda'.
“Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary...that’s what gets you.” - JC

ds.raikkonen
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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by ds.raikkonen » Thu May 31, 2012 11:21 am

richard_leeds wrote:Having recently test driven comparable VW and Audi models, you can tell the difference in the quality of the trim, the materials, sound proofing etc...

The other thing I noticed is that an Audi is always smaller than the equivalent VW because Audi's are expected to be sleek and sporty. Compare Golf-A3, Passat-A4, and Tiguan-Q3. So not only do you pay more, you get a smaller car, albeit one that has a better quality feel.
Yeah, let alone VW, Audi's interior quality is at par or beats that of BMW and Mercedes-Benz! The A1 actually appears to be tiny and a bit front heavy, IMO, looks like an A4 with the rear-end chopped off! Also, the superb ZF 7HP and 8HP boxes are available only in the Audis right? I don't think VW has been offering those in any model.
“Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary...that’s what gets you.” - JC

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by bhall » Thu May 31, 2012 11:32 am

This sounds an awful lot like the strategy that led to the near-collapse of the U.S. auto industry. Maybe the differences will be enough to, well, make a difference.

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by ds.raikkonen » Thu May 31, 2012 11:55 am

bhallg2k wrote:This sounds an awful lot like the strategy that led to the near-collapse of the U.S. auto industry.
Oh, it so is nt. This architecture is an evolved version of platform sharing concept. The US industry followed the one where only vehicles of a particular class could be developed using a particular platform, I don't think module sharing was there. Correct me if I am wrong. The MQB , though, will achieve inter-class platform sharing and reduced costs as the same production line will be able to produce multiple brand cars and car classes. It is the the latest 'Design for Manufacturing' technique. Also, regional demands can be met without having a massive plant with different lines.
“Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary...that’s what gets you.” - JC

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by Richard » Thu May 31, 2012 12:12 pm

Also the VW group have different badges for specific market segments, each has a very definite reason for being.

As I recall GM in particular had a glut of brands without any particular reasoning for them? So when a new platform came out, the Saturn guy would say "heh I need a model based on that" and the SAAB, Pontiac and the others would do the same. So you end up with a glut of vehicle development. Also because each brand developed their own nuance, then there was less repetition. you also end up with the brands chasing the same market segments. In contrast VW achieve higher repetition in design and have a very coordinated market segmentation.

There was also the protectionist instinct that led to selfish decision marking by each brand rather than thinking of the overall outcome for the group.

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by JohnsonsEvilTwin » Thu May 31, 2012 12:24 pm

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The difference in materials is noticeable, I agree. But not £5K noticeable. The plastic's are the same, but the Audi does with more chrome fittings(most are extra's you need to pay for like the centre console air blowers).
To me, it's an unashamed Polo in slightly fancier dress in the hope of parting the general public of an extra few more thousands.

Fair play to VW, they found a market full of people who don't care, or that are plain oblivious to what is happening. If Mrs Jones paid £25k for her plush new A1Tdi black edition(yes really) and miss Smith turn up in her R line Tdi Polo for a not unreasonable £16.5k, what would Mrs jones be thinking if she actually knew that she paid 8.5k more for a car that looked a bit nicer, rode a bit firmer but was effectively the same car, with same suspension, seats engine and gearbox?
Non too chuffed I reckon.

I wonder what BMW and Mercedes could conjure together to counter the VW juggernaut? 1 series based A-Class in 2018?
S-Class based 7 series in a few years? It may just happen if VW continue printing cash the way they are.

@Richard
When you compare Skoda to Audi the difference is stark in Price and Quality. When you compare VW to Audi, the difference is marginal on quality, and remains stark on price.
With Mercedes and BMW both getting into the A3 market(Audi's most successful model by units sold), and the Chinese starting to develop a taste for things not Audi(Mercedes and BMW growing faster in these markets) time will tell whether consumers will be happy to part with premium cash for products that to the eye appear premium, but run sub premium running gear.
EDIT: For the Audi fans out there, I mention sub premium, not sub standard.

And with all this cash swirling around, why the hell dont they enter F1?
More could have been done.
David Purley

ds.raikkonen
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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by ds.raikkonen » Thu May 31, 2012 12:49 pm

JohnsonsEvilTwin wrote:I wonder what BMW and Mercedes could conjure together to counter the VW juggernaut? 1 series based A-Class in 2018?
S-Class based 7 series in a few years? It may just happen if VW continue printing cash the way they are.
...And with all this cash swirling around, why the hell dont they enter F1?
But why on earth would BMW and MB share platforms? :shock: they would rather eat glass than 'share' anything even if they re about to crumble.
As for why Audi has not entered Formula 1, it is because they enter any motorsport event only if it has direct relevance towards tech-adoption in road cars. The TDi, quattro and now e-tron being the shining examples. Dunno what they get from DTM though.
“Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary...that’s what gets you.” - JC

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by JohnsonsEvilTwin » Thu May 31, 2012 1:36 pm

They already share some components and materials. Seat fibres, some electronics and bulbs. And this is the latest in a long string of stories about Bavaria sharing with Stuttgart and vice versa.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/indus ... re-engines

And some older stories.
http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1023 ... aring-next
http://wot.motortrend.com/bmw-and-merce ... p-746.html


There where 2 people in this world. Ones that bought mercs, and other that bought beemers. They where very different beasts. The market has evolved to the point where many of their products are now extremely similar.
Add into the mix how Audi can role out a similar product using the VW parts bin, for much less cost yet asking similar prices and you begin to see the logic of these 2 cooperating.

The enemy of my enemy, is my friend so the proverb goes.
More could have been done.
David Purley

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by dumrick » Thu May 31, 2012 1:56 pm

ds.raikkonen wrote:But why on earth would BMW and MB share platforms? :shock:
Mercedes is working in sharing platforms with Renault and BMW seems to be staying on their own, in terms of platforms, but is cooperating with other players in R&D and procurement.

Concerning the quality and difference of price issues, I fail to see how the modular platforms change the current situation: VW Group cars already share their mechanical components, these modular platforms will only increase their flexibility in terms of production and further increase their margins. As the costumer is concerned, the cars will still look and feel different.

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by noname » Thu May 31, 2012 3:25 pm

JohnsonsEvilTwin wrote:And with all this cash swirling around, why the hell dont they enter F1?
Audi is very clear on this. F1 is not offering them the "road relevance" they expect from Motorsport.

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by JohnsonsEvilTwin » Thu May 31, 2012 7:05 pm

dumrick wrote:Mercedes is working in sharing platforms with Renault
No this isn't accurate I'm afraid, Desculpa.
Mercedes is using Renault's small engines(1.4 through to 1.8...petrol and diesel), In exchange for Renault to have access to Mercedes sub brand Smart's chassis and engines as well as Mercedes diesel running gear for trucks.
The deal still favoured Mercedes, and it would be Infiniti using Mercedes chassis for 1 model range in Europe. It's still being discussed so nothing we can talk about for sure.
dumrick wrote: BMW seems to be staying on their own, in terms of platforms, but is cooperating with other players in R&D and procurement.
We will see a Mercedes/BMW alliance in the next 5 years is my prediction. Not a merger, but a strategical alliance.
noname wrote:
JohnsonsEvilTwin wrote:And with all this cash swirling around, why the hell dont they enter F1?
Audi is very clear on this. F1 is not offering them the "road relevance" they expect from Motorsport.
DTM has what relevance exactly? So Audi is clear as mud on this.
More could have been done.
David Purley

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Re: VW group's unique platform sharing architecture

Post by marcush. » Thu May 31, 2012 7:52 pm

wake up -you will find Mercedes gearbox in a Panamera ..and PAG cannot afford to have only a single car build on their panamera platform ..stay tuned if they drop the whole concept or find ways to introduce ,lambos ,audis or bentleys and bugattis to share the underwear.
The MLB is a serious attempt to make upper class car more profitable and I´m not sure if sharing some common geometry is really a big issue .
It´s not any less different then a opel vs Ford or what have you..to find worlds between cars is over for a long time ,A Toyota is not the sturdy little bastard anymore it is level with all the other rubbish produced anywhere in the world and you need to reed the badge to know what you are driving .. :roll:
a Daimler just does not have that purposeful feeling to it anymore -it does not really make a quality and castle like impression and of course iit breaks down just as often as other cars.