By on November 17, 2010

As the global auto industry becomes ever more competitive, the pressure to deliver a high volume of products and sales per platform is driving companies to develop mega-platforms that underpin millions of global sales units. And sorry folks, but mass market cars aren’t going to become less homogeneous any time soon… in fact PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Anthony Pratt took a look into his magic crystal ball recently, and he forecasts that in just over five years, a mere ten platforms will account for over 27 million units of global sales volume. It’s just the next step on the way to the ultimate dystopia: a world in which every new car in the world is identical under the skin. Spooky! Hit the jump for more details on the (projected) top ten platforms of 2016.

Via Automotive News [sub]:

1. Renault-Nissan X85: 3.9 million units. The X85 is best known for the Nissan Micra and Renault Clio superminis, but it also is used on the Nissan Versa, Juke and Cube. Renault’s no-frills Romanian subsidiary, Dacia, uses this versatile platform, too.

2. Volkswagen MQB: 3.86 million units. The MQB, which is just being launched and will be used on a scant 24,000 vehicles in 2010, will provide the mechanicals for nearly all of VW’s front-wheel-drive models. The VW Polo, Golf and Passat are likely to generate the biggest volume. Interestingly, the midsized sedan to be produced in VW’s new Chattanooga, Tenn., plant will use an older platform instead of the MQB architecture. VW did that to keep the price down.

3. Toyota MC: 3.3 million units. With hot-selling models such as the Camry, RAV4 and Prius, this is the auto industry’s largest current platform, with 3 million units in 2010.

4. Ford C1: 2.7 million units. With a diverse model lineup that currently includes the Ford Focus, Mazda3, Volvo C30 and others, this platform is a good example of Ford’s One World strategy.

5. Fiat 199: 2.6 million units. This platform underpins the Palio, Punto, Uno and other small cars — the heart of Fiat’s lineup. The Italian automaker plans to introduce Dodge and Chrysler variants.

6. Hyundai HD: 2.5 million units. In North America, this platform supports the Hyundai Elantra and Tucson, plus the Kia Sportage and Forte. As Hyundai gains share in Europe, the United States and China, look for it to move steadily up this list.

7. Toyota NBC: 2.2 million units. This platform, which informally stood for “New Basic Car,” spawned the Yaris supermini and Scion xD, among others. Toyota plans to spin off a small hybrid from this platform.

8. GM Gamma: 2.1 million units. The Opel Corsa is this platform’s top seller. In the United States, the Chevrolet Spark and Aveo will carry Gamma’s DNA.

9. GM Delta: 2.0 million units. The Chevrolet Cruze and Opel Astra will be big sellers — proof that GM can design common platforms for Europe and the United States. In China, the Buick Excelle has carved out a profitable niche.

10. PSA PF2: 1.8 million units. Peugeot and Citroen derive superminis, sedans and MPVs from this platform, the only one in the top 10 that doesn’t have a U.S. model.

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10 Comments on “The Top Ten Platforms Of… 2016?...”

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I look into the future six years and see………….
    Ford F150 still best seller in the USA. The world may well adopt those smaller cars but I don’t see Americans doing that anytime soon.

  • avatar

    The bigger question this raises for me is this:
    How does one find these types of jobs within a giant, dull accounting machine like PWC? Sounds unusually awesome compared to most of their work.

  • avatar

    Ed, please explain the developer of the Ford(?) C1.
    I thought it was Mazda that developed this particular platform.

    This as well as the platform under the 6, Fusion, CX7 and Edge.

    • 0 avatar

      The C1 platform is a development of the origional C170 platform that the US focus still uses. Ford of Europe was the lead developer with input from Mazda and Volvo. Products include Euro Focus, Mazda 3, Volvo C30/S40/V50, Ford Kuga, Ford C-Max, Mazda 5.

      CD3 on the other hand was largely developed by Mazda with input from Ford of America. Products include Ford Fusion and Mazda 6. The Ford Edge and Mazda CX-9 are officially supposed to be on this platform too but are significantly different from the Fusion and 6.

      EUCD is sort of based on C1 and has commonalities at a supplier level that allow cost savings. Products include the Ford Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy. This platform provides the basis for the next Ford Fusion.

      As you can see, Ford managed to develp and maintain 5 platforms for the compact and midsize market segments. C1, C170, CD3, CD3 crossovers and EUCD. One Ford means they are develping one and a half platforms. C2 (developed Europe) and EUCD2/CD4 (developed in the US). Lower development costs are one of the many reasons that Ford are making money hand over fist, where they were once bleeding to death.

      Still kicking myself for not investing at $1.50!

  • avatar

    You’re being a bit overdramatic.  This isn’t just badge engineering.  Most modern car platforms are seriously adaptable.
    Saying that a 370Z is the “same car under the skin” as an Infinity FX and the M56 is almost deliberately obtuse.  Sure, they all use the FM platform, but they are not remotely the same car, and they have vastly different capabilities in the real world.  It’s like saying, “all those cars with four wheels are basically the same underneath.   After all, they all have engines, transmissions, oil pans, bearings and stuff.”
    Heck, Lotus designed the Variable Vehicle Architecture to accommodate anything from a 2500 lbs. mid-engine two-seater to a front-engine 3800 lb. 4-door, with a few cars in between.  That in no way makes those cars “identical under the skin”.
    It actually makes *sense* to deal with crash testing, torsional rigidity and passenger safety zones in a similar way.  Why re-engineer those parts of the car every single time?  Cars today are vastly more complex – and vastly better – than body-on-frame cars of the sixties.  Platforms require hundreds of millions to develop.  Sharing actually allows you to have more, and better, cars than you had before.  Acting like it’s K-cars all over again is just hysteria.

  • avatar

    So Mr. Pratt thinks he can estimate the production quantities of automobile platforms six years from now to an accuracy of four significant figures?  Ri-i-i-i-i-i-ght….

  • avatar

    Pretty stupid predictions. Why would everyone increase at a faster pace than Toyota?
    If the past 30 years are of any indication, Toyota will not only hold on to the lead, but also increase the gap from the runner-up.

  • avatar

    What you should expect is two things:
    One, more recall numbers in the millions.  Not that this is a bad thing as net quality will probably improve, but any recall on a common component in any of these platforms will be huge.
    Two, more posts on Autoblog by people who don’t understand #1.

  • avatar
    Glenn Mercer

    Platform data is of course important and I always like to read about trends in platforming, etc.  However, one enduring problem I have with platform counts is the lack of clarity around the definition of the word.  Let me illustrate:
    OEM A has 3 platforms from which it derives 15 models, for a total volume of 1,500,000 units.
    OEM B has 5 platforms from which it derives 15 models, for a total volume of 1,500,000 units.
    Simplistically, we would say OEM A is “better” because it has fewer platforms and thus can generate more scale economies.  But can it?  Let me add a complication:
    For each of the 5 models OEM A derives from each of its 3 platforms, parts commonality is 20%.  At OEM B it is 60%.  NOW who has the best scale economies?  My point is that until we know what a platform really is discussions of it are like evaluating basketball teams by average height of player: good to know, and useful, but so very far from the whole story.
    Further (while in professorial mode) what scale economies are we looking at anyway?  If OEM builds all these cars in 25 plants and B in 10, tooling investments are radically different.  And finally, most component scale economies exhaust at the SUPPLIER plant level: if the largest machine in the world for making brake calipers (e.g.) makes 150,000 a year, then for any volume over that I just buy more machines… I don’t go to a 500,000-unit machines.
    I think “scale” is the single most over-rated concept in automotive, beyond some minimum output level per OEM of say 2 mm cars.  (It’s a different story in powertrain, I agree, but the platform discussion is usually not about powertrain.)

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