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From being an automotive almost-ran in the early 1990s, Volkswagen has rebounded to become one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers. The success the company is currently enjoying has its foundation in the idea that its cars must be good looking, technologically advanced and fun to drive, but while Volkswagen continues to produce models that generally combine these traits, it is the changes made beyond such fundamentals that have resulted in the inexorable growth of Volkswagen and its group partners.
One of the key strengths of Volkswagen can be traced back to the judicious selection of those companies which now make up the Volkswagen Group. With few exceptions, the various brands represent the group’s only offering in that segment, meaning that there is little crossover and little repetition. Yet despite this, the brands within the VW Group have managed to achieve considerable crossover in terms of part-sharing which has helped to drive down overall costs. Although in the past Volkswagen was content to take advantage of such part-sharing as the opportunities arose, this policy has now become the norm across the group as it further looks to reduce costs with the roll-out of a new platform strategy.
With the introduction of the New Small Family (NSF), MLB, MSB and the MQB platforms, Volkswagen has launched a series of chassis solutions which, teamed with a series of matched powertrain designs, the various group companies can use to produce more than 80% of their total global model mix. While the capital investment behind such a move is considerable, the advantages in terms of production efficiency, finished vehicle quality and overall cost reduction can be expected to improve margins and substantially increase the already prodigious cash liquidity controlled by the Volkswagen Group.
About this report
The specifics of how the VW Group has planned the introduction of these various platforms, the models that will be produced using the architectures and how the group is anticipated to move forward in terms of production and the effect this will have on suppliers delivering components across single or multiple regions are covered in Supplying the VW Group 2013.
UPDATE - March 2013: Now includes a new interview with Tom Loafman, Director of Purchasing, Volkswagen of North America
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