Tag: platforms

By on September 16, 2016

Ford_ExpeditionEL_2016

Ford’s full-size SUV will adopt aluminum architecture when the next-generation model arrives in 2017 as a 2018 model, Ford has told investors.

With less weight and a full redesign on tap, the automaker hopes to make the Expedition more attractive to buyers, as well as environmental regulators. (Read More…)

By on August 23, 2016

2016 Nissan Frontier

At a recent Nissan truck and SUV event in Carmel, a senior Nissan rep indicated there is zero chance the Smyrna, Tennessee based operation will alter its winning mid-size pickup formula.

When asked about the prospects of a unibody Frontier, Dan Passe, Senior Manager of Nissan Brand Communications, laughingly responded, “We don’t normally comment on future product, but a unibody Frontier is not happening.”

Honda is encountering strong demand for its recently launched, second-generation unibody Ridgeline, but Nissan will not follow Honda down the dedicated lifestyle truck path.

(Read More…)

By on August 5, 2016

2015-mercedes-benz-c63-amg-02

Forget the American displacement wars of the 1960s (and to a lesser degree, the 1990s). On the other side of the Atlantic, it’s all about who has the biggest all-electric lineup.

Volkswagen, hoping to wash its hands of diesel residue, announced three modular vehicle platforms that could spawn 30 electric vehicles across the company’s brand portfolio. Meanwhile, Mercedes-Benz wants a whole new sub-brand for its looming crop of EVs. (Read More…)

By on May 30, 2016

2015 Dodge Charger V6 AWD Rallye (2 of 13)

The venerable rear-drive LX platform will soldier on underneath the Dodge Charger into the next decade, according to sources close to the company.

A platform swap planned for late 2018 won’t come until after 2020, with a styling refresh serving to stretch the lifespan of the current generation, a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles insider told Automotive News. (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2016

2016 Nissan Titan XD PRO-4X Grille, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

Yesterday’s news that Nissan will buy a 34-percent controlling stake in Mitsubishi for $2.2 billion was the latest win for Carlos Ghosn, the man behind the Renault-Nissan Alliance of 1999 and possessor of many fingers in many pies.

Ghosn, CEO of both Nissan and Renault, inked the agreement with Mitsubishi as the other automaker battles a misleading gas-mileage scandal. At a price of 468.52 yen/share, Ghosn’s purchase of new shares was a smoking deal. Mitsubishi shares traded for 1,100 yen just last December.

What becomes of the two companies now? And how will Ghosn’s world-straddling empire benefit by snapping up beleaguered Mitsubishi? (Read More…)

By on March 26, 2016

2016 Fiat Toro

A top Ram executive is heading to Brazil next week as the truck maker increasingly cozies up to the idea of adding a smaller pickup to its lineup.

The trip comes after Mike Manley, global head of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep and Ram brands, told The Detroit News that an “opportunity” exists in the U.S. midsize pickup market.

“I think that space is big enough, certainly, to have two offerings there,” Manley said at last week’s New York Auto Show, referring to the recently-announced Wrangler pickup and a hypothetical Ram model.

(Read More…)

By on April 24, 2015

Mercedes-Maybach 01

Not too long ago, Mercedes didn’t have plans for either a Maybach or smart crossover. Looks like those plans have changed.

(Read More…)

By on February 4, 2014

Common Module Family (CMF): A New Approach to Engineering for th

Carlos Ghosn, head of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, told the Automotive News that the companies will jointly develop two vehicle platforms that, shared between the two companies, will each provide the basis for more than 3 million vehicles by 2016.

(Read More…)

By on June 13, 2013

gmkits

Most large automakers are working on a modular architecture of some sort. Farthest ahead appears to be Volkswagen, which already is rolling out new car after new car on one of four related kit architectures, and which is rumored to be working on one master kit. The other day, Toyota showed me glimpses of its new kit architecture, first cars to be expected in 2015. Today, GM showed us this chart. And there are no kits on it. (Read More…)

By on October 24, 2012

After a lot of he loves me, he loves me not, GM and Peugeot PSA finally took their fledgling 7 percent relationship a few concrete steps forward. At least on paper. GM and PSA will not just buy new parts together. They will share platforms, the key to make joint purchasing work. The timing of this announcement, coinciding with a bailout by the French government, however is a bit unfortunate. (Read More…)

By on March 29, 2012

Carmakers all over the world strive to make more with less. All car companies that want to be around in a few years are on some kind of a standardization drive.  GM wants to cut its 30 platforms down to 14. Volkswagen wants to get rid of platforms altogether .

Mercedes will halve its vehicle architectures to two by 2015, and will double its number of model variants to 30, Automotive News [sub] reports. (Read More…)

By on December 22, 2011

Editor’s Note: The image above is from Autobild (and is posted elsewhere in the German media), and is not labeled as a rendering, a spy shot or an official image. An anonymous tipster who has seen the upcoming Buick “Encore” (which GM has shown to select fans and journos under embargo for years now) says the vehicle shown here is “basically the same design” as the Encore. 

At first glance, it’s fairly obvious that there’s something not quite right with this picture. Better than most photoshops or renderings, but not quite convincing as a real picture, this car seems trapped in the Uncanny Valley, as if it were photographed undergoing winter testing on the set of the film The Polar Express. In any case, this little Corsa-based CUV (allegedly to be named “Mokka”) will debut at the Geneva Auto Show, and will take on such B-segment crossovers as the Nissan Juke, Suzuki SX4 and Ford’s forthcoming new Ecosport.

Meanwhile, GM’s American-market interpretation of a B-segment CUV is likely to be quite different from these little rough-and-ready softroaders [Ed: Or, not]. Buick is slow-strip-teasing its forthcoming Encore on Facebook, and it’s already looking like the Baby Enclave rumors were well-founded in terms of its exterior design. On the other hand, this isn’t a wildly detailed photo, so who knows? Either way, both the Mokka and the Encore are based on a jacked-up version of the Gamma II subcompact platform, and based on a video of what appears to be some relatively early chassis testing, the short-wheelbase and tall suspension took a little taming. Hit the jump to see for yourself…
(Read More…)

By on November 16, 2011

Throughout its history, Cadillac has fed the press some glorious concept cars dripping with opulence, snazzy features and WTF styling. This works when production cars live up to the concept’s hype, but a history of histrionics is less helpful when you’re launching a car that somehow defies hype  altogether [Ed: see AutoWeek’s headline: “Cadillac aims its flagship XTS at imports and traditional buyers”].  Don’t get it wrong, the XTS is not intended as a true flagship for the brand (GM’s release calls it “the newest addition to the lineup” and “the most technologically advanced production car in the brand’s history”), but at the launch at the LA Auto Show the XTS’s FWD proportions, slab sides and generally predictable exterior dominated the first impressions. Put simply, the midsized sedan exudes none of the presence that makes the CTS-V coupe exciting, possibly due to the fact that it has what may be Cadillac’s shortest hood ever. No wonder GM CEO Dan Akerson warned us that the XTS “wouldn’t blow the doors off” the competition.

(Read More…)

By on August 21, 2011

Few will be surprised to hear that Chrysler Group will end production of its Dakota compact pickup truck next Tuesday, as sales of all small-to-midsized pickups have cratered over the last decade. Indeed, the Detroit News reports that the end of Dakota production will result in the layoffs of only 39 employees, although that number may climb as high as 150. In any case, the end of Dakota production is just the tip of the iceberg: Ford’s Ranger goes out of production in December of this year, and GM’s Colorado/Canyon twins will be discontinued sometime next year. Though Dodge plans to bring a minivan-platform-based AWD “lifestyle pickup” to market as a 2014 model, and Chevy is planning to build a North American variant of its new Global Colorado for the 2015 model-year, we’re looking at a several-year interlude in which no American OEM will offer a small pickup in the US. And looking at this chart, you almost can’t blame them…
(Read More…)

By on August 11, 2011

“In attempts to boost profitability, GM wants to cut the number of vehicle platforms by half over the next decade and consolidate the number of engines,” reports the DetN. That’s the good news. The bad news is that “GM’s executives admit the automaker continues to have an inefficient manufacturing network, weak supplier relations and too many variations in the types of engines and vehicle underpinnings it uses to build cars and trucks globally.” If the DetN says it, then it must be true. Putting platforms and engines on a diet is seen as the cure. (Read More…)

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