To be successful as a major automaker these days, building several models off a common architecture or platform and sharing components is the only way to go. Just ask Volkswagen
, both of which announced new modular platform designs for their next-generation of vehicles recently.
Nissan is the latest to hop on the bandwagon, announcing today a new Common Module Family (CMF) that will underpin a range of new cars coming onto the market from 2013 onwards.
Aimed at cutting cost, production complexity, and improving the safety and environmental concerns of its vehicles, Nissan’s new CMF combines a number of the automaker’s own technologies with the modular vehicle concept.
Nissan has long been promoting the sharing of platforms, or “commonization" as it likes to call it. One example is the FM platform, short for front-midship. It debuted in 2001 in the Infiniti G35 and has since gone on to spawn cars like the Infiniti FX crossover and even the Nissan GT-R supercar.
The CMF, on the other hand, will be used for more mainstream models and will underpin everything from compacts cars through to sedans and SUVs. The platform basically entails the use of four modules--engine compartment, cockpit, front underbody and rear underbody--as well as the architecture for electronic components, with each module having appropriate variations. Vehicles are designed by combining these modules in different ways.
The CMF is just the latest initiative of Nissan’s ambitious Power 88 strategy
, which calls for the introduction of 51 new or updated models and 90 new technologies between now and 2016.