Mercedes-Benz to reduce number of vehicle platforms and use more common parts

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 23, 2012

It appears that Daimler found a new way to help its Mercedes-Benz brand to cut costs. The method is quite simple and was recently adopted by Audi, owned by the Vw Group, and consists in reducing the number of vehicle platforms and using more common parts across segments. These words came from Thomas Weber, head of research and development at Mercedes-Benz in a recent interview with Automobilwoche.

With this strategy, Mercedes-Benz is expected to reduce costs by more than 1.5 billion euros ($1.94 billion) annually. Webber also said that this method will help Mercedes-Benz to achieve the new fuel savings numbers by 2015.

Still, we have a bad news, as Mercedes-benz will not design every new car from scratch, as the German manufacturer will focus on three architectures: one for rear-wheel drive cars, one for SUVs and one for front-wheel drive compacts.

In addition, Mercedes-Benz standardized around 90 components that can now be used across all architectures. Webber also added that he wants to thin out the R&D budget at the overall Daimler group to 4 percent assuming a consolidated revenue of 100 billion euros.

Back in 2010, the numbers were 4.9 percent of sales. "My goal is to increase R&D expenditure disproportionately less than our sales growth," he told Automobilwoche.

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