By on June 19, 2013



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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16 Comments on “Renault-Nissan Debuts Common Modular Family...”

  • avatar

    Clearly this means the demise of General Motors.

    • 0 avatar
      Da Coyote

      Beat me to it. After reading the earlier article on Gubmit Motors once again leading the charge to the rear, methinks you’ve hit the nail on the head.

      Kinda sad when even the French can out do the dolts in Detroit. (Admission – I had to say that even though I’ve got a lot of frog blood in me.)

    • 0 avatar

      It had better work for Nissan and VW.
      They are at the bottom of the 2013 JD Powers initial Quality list.

      All GM vehicles are leading the list!
      Say it isn’t so. Bertel will not get any sleep tonight.

      Copy the link to see the chart:

      • 0 avatar

        Audi, which has already adopted MLB, is doing much better (see same link). So assuming there is a relationship between the two, then the signs are good for VW as well.

  • avatar

    It would be kind of awesome if customers could build their car using these “Lego” pieces to their specific specs. I’ll take a low-light-high-middle!

    Yes, I want fries with that.

  • avatar

    I remember a couple years ago people complaining about cars sharing too much below the skin. “This expensive XX is really a cheap X in a different wrapper” and so on…

    • 0 avatar

      who did complain exactly? the same people who complain about the lack of manual transmission diesel wagons that they intend to buy as 10-year old used car with 150,000 miles on? Those 3 people are not relevant in an industry requiring million unit sales.

      if done right sharing is a sales success. Look at Audi, Lexus, Infiniti.

      Of course, you can’t compare the Detroit-3 since they just replaced the badge.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ll argue 90% of the plebs will be too stoned/drunk/stupid to pick up on the lego-block nature of their new purchases.

  • avatar

    I’m not really seeing any modularity in that diagram above; the sedan and hatchback share everything and the MPV and SUV share nothing except the engine .. that looks exactly like they’re making vehicles today. If there’s no commonality then there’s no savings then there’s no point.

  • avatar

    If Toyota is to be believed, as reported by Bertel, 60% of car building cost is investment in plant, 20% in parts, 20% in labor and miscellaneous. In which case, this modular kit flavor of the month stuff might save 5% of building cost, IF everyone got their sums right. That starts with sales projections meeting target, otherwise factory utilization factors throw all the planning assumptions out the window.

  • avatar

    Add Daimler to the list too. They are going to use the Renault-Nissan frames and motors for their small car segment.

  • avatar

    When I read Nissan I just think “more CVTs”. I hope the modular stuff doesn’t work for them and they go out of business. The Altima is on my list for the worst rental car I ever rented.

    As for JD power – that list is stupid anyway. Initial quality? Huh. Most cars have like 100 things wrong with them according to that stupid list but funny the new cars I have had were just fine. Seriously.

    Oh wait I went to the link. It’s even dumber then I thought. New cars have so few things wrong with them it focuses on ‘design’ flaws not actual problems. Haha. So basically we know Porsche and Audi have the biggest fanboys buying them.

    As much as I dislike Nissan outside of their lousy CVTs the cars are reliable enough for any more person who does like drive off curbs at 40mph or ignore the low oil light..

  • avatar

    FF-L Platform is no longer used in current gen Maxima, Altima or Murano. It was replaced in 2007 by Nissan D platform.

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