09/12/2011

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Study forecasts 30 % reduction in vehicle platforms by 2020

The adoption of a global platform standardisation and modular strategy is put in place in order to reach a platform reduction of more than 30 %. The top ten platforms will result in a growth from nearly 17 million vehicles in 2010 to more than 33 million by 2020 in the global passenger car and light truck production figures, featuring a staggering increase of 94 %. Consequently, by 2020 the key 12 OEM groups are expected to account for an almost 74 % share in the same segment."With more than 95 % of its total vehicle production by 2020 targeted from just three platforms each, Volkswagen group in the volume segment and Daimler group in the luxury segment globally are expected to have the highest degree of platform standardisation and widest range of vehicle models on a single platform," says Partner and Practice Director, Sarwant Singh, from Frost & Sullivan. "Volkswagen group is expected to surpass the current frontrunner, Ford group, with its modular toolkit strategy. The German carmaker will produce increased numbers of models and their respective volumes per platform, while efficiently integrating new and innovative technologies."The standardisation of platforms is expected to impact the OEM group brands with their vehicle model permutations and combinations look leaner than ever before. By 2020, Daimler, Volkswagen and the Fiat-Chrysler groups respectively, are expected to reduce 60 - 65 % of their platforms. As a result, their average production volume per platform is expected to increase more than four-fold by 2020 compared to 2010. Overall, the average vehicle production per platform is expected to increase at least three fold by 2020 from current levels of more than 0.24 million units in 2010. And, nine out of the top ten platforms are expected to have volumes in excess of two million units annually by 2020 as against three out of the top ten in 2010."Emerging Asian economies will certainly be driving platform standardisation and modular approach over Europe and North America," explains Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Vishwas Shankar. "India and China are major drivers themselves for OEMs to strongly adopt platform standardisation strategy. Approximately 160 of the 800 discrete models to be manufactured and sold globally by top 12 OEM groups between 2010 and 2020 are expected to be manufactured - and also ideally sold - in China, in comparison to 140 discrete models for the United States.""More than 24 of these 800 discrete models, or approximately 3 %, are global vehicle models and expected to be manufactured and ideally sold in both China and the Unites States," he continues. "This clearly shows the focus on emerging economies as key to growth."The study also identified several factors for OEMs to derive a blueprint of their platform standardisation strategy. The emerging regions in which the OEMs operate, both produce and sell, and which directly govern their platform standardisation and modular strategy, are certainly one. Another factor is the modules themselves used as building blocks of future platforms, and OEMs are expected to bring variations into the vehicle through effective use of electronics. And finally, there is the ability of the OEM groups to quickly understand the perceived benefits gained by having a reduced supplier base as a result of sharing components, systems and modules across platforms."Global suppliers are willing to follow vehicle manufacturers and set up global facilities closer to OEMs final assembly lines, resulting in the reduction of discrete parts which otherwise are another cause of concern from handling just too many parts in the entire supply chain," says Shankar. "As fewer off-the-shelf, readily available, proven components and systems from an existing supplier base lead to quicker decision making from an OEMs point of view, avoiding time delay in developing new parts and investing in identifying these building blocks as sub-groups or modules largely form the modular vehicle platform blue-print," concludes Singh.

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