Over the next five years, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. will be able to catch up with their rivals on one key measure of potential profitability: annual sales of their top global car platforms, according to AT Kearney consultant Daniel Chang. Toyota Motor Corp.'s Camry platform is currently the world's largest automaker platform.
In this top ten list of global platforms, there is not a siDngle Detroit-based company. Chang predicts that by 2015, Ford's Focus platform will be No. 3 in the world, trailed by GM's Cruze platform at No. 4. This is a significant achievement since carmakers can take advantage of the higher sales to offset the costs of creating a new vehicle platform.
They can also use the prospect of expanded global sales across shared platforms to bargain with their component suppliers for decreased costs on parts. During the Reuters Global Autos Summit, Chang said that domestics will be “a different picture when you get to 2015.” He explained that automakers need to compete globally since that’s where you get the “economies of scale."
GM and Ford are moving toward global platforms to reduce production costs and make vehicles that will succeed in markets in North America, Europe and Asia.
Ford has provided an outline for doing this under its One Ford plan. Chang claimed that about 400,000 vehicles on average are built on a single platform by a typical manufacturer in a year. In the development of a vehicle platform, carmakers set the foundation of a vehicle, as they decide on the engine and transmission for it. [via autonews - sub. required]