Automotive platform sharing

Automotive platform sharing

Automotive platform sharing is a way for automobile manufacturers to reduce the costs associated with the development of products by basing those products on a fewer number of platforms. This further allows the manufacturer to create distinct models from a design perspective on similar underpinnings. cite web|url= |title=Uncommon Knowledge: Automotive Platform Sharing's Potential Impact on Advanced Technologies |accessdate=2008-04-29 |last=Brylaswski |first=Michael |date=2008-04-16 | ]

Since the majority of time and money are spent on the development of platforms, platform sharing affords manufacturers the ability to cut costs on research & development by spreading the cost of the R&D over several product lines. Manufacturers are then able to offer products at a lower cost to consumers. Additionally, economies of scale are increased as is return on investment.cite book | last = Balu | first = Deepak | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Automotive Platform Sharing: an Overview | publisher = Frost & Sullivan | date = 2004-06-30 | location = | pages = | url = | doi = | id = | isbn = ]

Platform sharing has been a common practice since the 1960s when GM used the same platform in the development of the Pontiac LeMans, the Buick Regal, the Chevrolet Chevelle, and Oldsmobile Cutlass. Furthermore, it is a practice not confined to one continent or market – it really is a global affair. After Daimler-Benz purchased Chrysler, Chrysler engineers used several M-B platforms for new models including the Crossfire which was based on the M-B SLK roadster. cite journal|title=Platform Sharing for Dummies|journal=Car and Driver|date=2003-06|first=Csaba|last=Csere|coauthors=|volume=|issue=|pages=|id= |url=|format=|accessdate=2008-04-29 ] Other models that share platforms are the European Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and the Volvo S40. cite journal|title=Q&A: Richard Parry-Jones, Ford Global Product Development VP|journal=Automobile Magazine|date=2008-04-22|first=|last=|coauthors=|volume=|issue=|pages=|id= |url=|format=|accessdate=2008-04-29 ]


*Easier inventory management/smaller number of parts:Platform sharing allows for less parts for different models and therefore the task of inventorying those parts is greatly reduced.
*Lower development costs:Platform sharing allows manufacturers to cover many different market segments when a platform sharing strategy is implemented. This is exemplified by Ford Motor Co. in the case of the Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer and Lincoln Navigator. They are essentially the same only they are considered mass-market, near luxury and luxury vehicles.
*Increased quality and innovation:Platform sharing allows manufacturers to design parts with fewer variation. A byproduct of this is increased quality which results in lower defect rates.
*Global standardization:Platform sharing allows manufacturers to design flexible platforms that can be tailored to a country’s specific needs without compromising quality. It also allows for manufacturing standardization and improved logistics.
*Greater product variety:Platform sharing allows manufacturers to build/design differentiated products faster and cheaper. This is possible because the development and cost of the original platform have already been paid for.


*Badge engineering/Look-alike models:Manufacturers that practice platform sharing have the ability to create several models based on the same design, but with different names. This leads to the public looking over certain models and cannibalized sales from competing divisions with essentially the same product. This was very prevalent among U.S. domestic manufactures during the 70s, 80s, 90s & 00s with a prime examples being the Chevrolet Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Saab 9-7X and Isuzu Ascender. [cite journal|title=Inside Truck Platform Sharing|journal=Motor Trend|date=2008-04-22|first=|last=|coauthors=|volume=|issue=|pages=|id= |url=|format=|accessdate=2008-04-29 ]
*Incompatible changes to platforms:The two elements of platforms are constant and non-constant. If the non-constant elements are not designed to be easily integrated into the constant elements of the platform, extensive and expensive changes will have to be made in order to make the elements compatible again. Failure to do so negates the purpose of platform sharing in that it increases costs as opposed to reducing them.
*Product dilution :Platform sharing has the ability to be used in too many different models. In the mind of the consumers, the products may be too similar and more expensive products may be perceived to be cheaper. Conversely, platform sharing may increase the price of economic models.
*Risk concentration/Higher recall rate:The propensity for a higher number of recall is greatly increased with platform sharing. If a defect is found in one model and that model share it’s platform with ten other models, the recall would be magnified by ten thus costing the manufacturer more time and money to fix.

See also

*List of Volkswagen Group platforms
*List of Mazda platforms
*List of Ford platforms
*List of GM platforms
*List of Chrysler platforms
*List of Mitsubishi platforms


External links


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