According to the Detroit News, both Ford and GM are looking at unifying their full- and mid-sized car platforms around a single platform in hopes of capturing economies of scale. Ford will move future Taurus and Fusion models to its European (Mondeo) C/D platform, while GM is looking at basing a future Impala on the Malibu’s Epsilon II platform. The Ford Flex/MKT would also likely move to the C/D platform, leaving the Taurus/Current Flex’s D3 platform available for the next generation Explorer.
While some analysts laud the move towards global platforms and lower engineering costs, this plan will still require major work to avoid the old bugbear of brand engineering. Especially at GM, where Epsilon II (and a Holden-developed stretched variant) could underpin as many as six sedans (Caddy XTS, Buick LaCrosse, Buick Lucerne, Buick Regal, Chevy Malibu, Chevy Impala) not counting onward-soldiering Saturns and Saabs. Meanwhile, as Ford and GM blandify their mid/full-size sedans in the name of cost-cutting, Kia is aiming at capturing enthusiasm and economies of scale by offering a Genesis-based RWD Amanti. Motor Trend says a V8 won’t be available on the Amanti, but budget RWD could just be a key differentiation amidst platform-sharing renaissance in Detroit.