The Truth About Cars » cmf The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:48:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » cmf Renault-Nissan To Launch Modular Architecture For Low-Cost Cars Wed, 17 Jul 2013 12:00:47 +0000

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In India for the relaunched Datsun brand’s first car, the Go, CEO of the Renault-Nissan alliance, Carlos Ghosn, announced that Renault and Nissan will jointly develop a platform for low cost and ultra low cost cars aimed at India and other emerging markets, which Ghosn believes will make up 60% of the global automotive market by 2016. To do that, the alliance will spend another $5 billion on investments in their Indian operations over the next five years. Renault-Nissan is committed to using India as its global hub for emerging markets, developing the cars there as well as assembling and exporting them.


Renault-Nissan’s CMF Architecture

The new low cost cars will reach the market in 2015 and be engineered from the CMF-A platform, an iteration of the alliance’s  recently announced Common Module Platform. The CMF-A platform will be used across the alliance at the Renault, Nissan and Datsun brands. Don’t expect a CMF-A based Infiniti, as the platform is engineered for low cost, not luxury. The variant of the CMF was developed in India itself. Speaking to The Hindu at an event in Chennai, Ghosn said

We see India easily being in the top five markets for Renault and in the top ten markets for Nissan in future… The new platform was Indian designed, Indian engineered and made for Indians. This platform has been built ground up jointly by Renault and Nissan and it will be state-of-the-art and most innovative… We are breaking new ground with CMF-A to meet and exceed the high standards of consumers in the world’s fastest growing economies, particularly people buying a new car for the first time,.. Our frugal car will be at entry-level prices, if you understand what I mean. Our intention is to come out with a car that will be totally modern, Indian engineered and not have outdated technology, but let’s make it clear, we don’t want to compare ourselves to the Tata Nano, or benchmark against it.”

Much of the money for their investments in India will apparently come from the savings that Renault and Nissan are achieving through things like shared development costs. Christian Mardrus, Renault-Nissan managing director for logistics, said that the two companies together will save $4.57 billion (3.5 billion euros) in 2015 alone.

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Nissan/Renault Join The Kit Car Age Thu, 20 Jun 2013 09:33:30 +0000

The first CMF-based cars will be produced in a new section of Nissan’s plant in Chennai, India

As you know, TTAC has been following the modularization trend in the industry with great interest. At TTAC, you received an early heads-up on Volkswagen’s MQB kit architecture four years ago, and we followed it ever since. TTAC was one of the first to tell you that Toyota is working on its own kit architecture, called “Toyota New Global Architecture,” TNGA for short. More than a year ago, we told you about Nissan’s Common Module Family (CMF). Now, everybody is talking about kits and modules. Let’s talk a little more.

Yesterday, the Renault/Nissan Alliance formally announced what you had known for more than a year: That it will base future generations of their cars on “a Common Module Family (CMF,) an engineering architecture that covers Renault/Nissan Alliance vehicles, from one or more segments, based on the assembly of compatible Big Modules: engine bay, cockpit, front underbody, rear underbody and electrical/electronic architecture.”

Let’s cover a few things that may went overlooked.

Nissan/Renault is going to great pains to underline that “CMF is not a platform.” Technically less astute may not know the difference, and the kit-have-nots eagerly exploit this lack of know-how.

Again: A kit and its modules are not a platform by another name. You build on a platform, but you build with kits. Their modules plug together. Or as Nissan/Renault says: “A platform is a horizontal segmentation; a CMF is a cross-sector concept.”

A lot has been said about the phenomenal savings these kit architectures bring, and some said this is hype. It is important to understand where the savings are. Nissan/Renault expect a “20%-30% cost reduction in component purchasing.” And they hope for a “30-40% cost reduction in product + process engineering.” In other words: Some parts that go in a car should cost less, and the upfront development costs will be reduced. The car itself will not cost 30 percent less to produce.

A year ago, the people I talked to at Nissan already had said that government demands on safety and fuel efficiency raise the cost of a car, and that the savings from standardization pay for compliance with government rules.

New kit architectures also demand new factories – or completely rebuilt ones. Nissan/Renault stress that CMF is united with AIMS, a.k.a. the “Alliance Integrated Manufacturing System.” This process, says Nissan/Renault, “enables the same product to be manufactured at several different sites or many products to be manufactured at a single site. It simplifies planning, facilitates management, enables adjustments to global capacity and lowers entry costs.”

In other words: You no longer dedicate a plant to a car, you dedicate it to the kit architecture.

Interestingly, the first plant geared up for CMF will be Nissan’s new plant in Chennai, India, where, even more interestingly, the first new budget priced Datsuns will roll off the assembly line next month – and with it the beginnings of a new global small car.

Having covered the road to kits for the last four years, TTAC will hit the road and be in Chennai when the plant opens. TTAC will also be in Wolfsburg this coming week to hear more about Volkswagen’s MQB, MLB, MSB kit architectures (and maybe, report from the back seat of the Golf GTD, and the XL-1 – if it would have a back seat.)

Our jetlag, your gain.

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Renault-Nissan Debuts Common Modular Family Wed, 19 Jun 2013 19:21:11 +0000 CMF


Renault-Nissan gave us their first look at their new “kit” dubbed “Common Modular Family”. The new will use four pieces, the powertrain, the dashboard and area aft of the firewall, the “cradle” that holds the engine and front suspension and lastly, the rear section that could be configured for the guts of an all-wheel drive system.

Renault-Nissan expects CMF to underpin as many as 14 nameplates, accounting for 1.6 million vehicles annually. According to the auto maker, purchasing costs should decrease by 20-30 percent, while R&D costs should see a 30-40 percent reduction.


Like VW’s MQB kit, CMF should be able to underpin a wide variety of cars, with the various “Lego pieces” able to make everything from hatchbacks and sedans to larger SUVs that require a higher driving position. In world markets, CMF will underpin the Renault Laguna, Espace and Scenic, while the Nissan Qashqai, X-Trail and Rogue will adopt it on the Nissan side. The Nissan vehicles will debut later this year, while Renault’s offerings will have to wait until the end of 2014.

While the choice of using CMF for popular high-position cars like the Scenic and Qashqai is obvious for Europe, the addition of the D-segment Laguna is interesting; could we see CMF being used for Nissan sedans on our shores at a later date? I wouldn’t bet against it, though the first interation of CMF will reportedly be limited to just the three crossovers through 2020. The FF-L platform that underpins the Altima, Maxima and Murano is a bit long in the tooth, and there’s no reason why CMF couldn’t be adapted for these purposes.


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