Volkswagen Looking To Extend Life Of MQB Platform
Platform will be used by two more generations of Volkswagen modelsby Kirby Garlitos, on
Volkswagen’s cost-cutting measures has now put its MQB modular platform in the spotlight after reports surfaced that the German automaker plans to use a tweaked version of its all-purpose platform for the next two generations of cars that it plans to develop. The move not only saves the company money in terms of research and development of new platforms, but it also helps streamline the VW’s finances as it embarks on the development of electric and self-driving vehicles.
The versatility of the platform is largely thought of as another big reason behind this move. It’s already being used by a lot of Volkswagen’s small and medium front-wheel-drive models and it utilizes a big number of common parts that are needed across its range of models and brands. On the surface, it’s a sensible move because production of future vehicles could trend towards becoming easier, faster, and cheaper to build.
However, questions on modernism and reliability are different matters altogether and they’re legitimate ones if Volkswagen plans to extend the life of the MQB platform longer than it previously intended. On that note, the automaker is also taking a reassuring tone in explaining the decision. Volkswagen’s brand chief Herbert Deiss said as much when he told German daily Boersen-Zeitung that work on the cost side of updating the MQB platform has made “significant progress.”
Depending on where people stand with this news, this is the new reality for Volkswagen as it continues to deal with the fallout from the diesel emissions scandal. How it’s able to navigate around these new plans will only be answered in time.
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This is looking more and more like the “new” Volkswagen
The list of dramatic moves Volkswagen has made in the past month in response to the diesel emissions scandal are all noteworthy. This one though is significant for a lot of reasons. On one end, the rationale to keep using the MQB platform makes sense. It’s cheaper and its versatile enough to accommodate plenty of Volkswagen’s models. Keeping it for two more generations-worth of models will save VW a lot of money. That can’t be questioned.
On the other end, there are legitimate concerns that Volkswagen may be relying too much on the MQB platform to live up to its all-purpose name. It’s true that it can probably accommodate the incoming models in the next few years, but what about those that are arriving after that? It’s possible that a time will come when the platform because overused or outdated, maybe even both. Is Volkswagen making any plans for when that day arrives? Just as important, is Volkswagen sacrificing short-term cost savings for a more unpredictable long-term future?
I know this sounds like questions for another day, and there’s some speck of truth to that. But it still should be asked, in part because there’s a feeling that the German automaker may be getting a little desperate in searching for every possible way to soften the blow of the scandal it created in the first place.
Here’s to hoping that Volkswagen knows what it’s doing here and isn’t compromising itself by taking this shortcut, which some people perceive it’s doing. And let’s also hope that the German automaker’s commitment to dive straight into the hybrid and zero-emissions markets will be able to help get it back on track. These news items of Volkswagen cutting costs on things it normally shells money out for is jarring to say the least.
Source: Automotive News