Renault Nissan is the latest automaker to adopt a strategy of widespread platform and parts sharing across models, announcing today it will soon implement a modular platform architecture in 14 of its models from both the Renault and Nissan brands.

Called the Common Modular Family (CMF), Renault Nissan hopes the architecture’s adoption will generate an average 30-40 percent reduction in the cost of developing a new model and a 20-30 percent reduction in the cost of parts for the alliance. Another benefit will be the streamlining of production centers around the globe.

The initial deployment of CMF will cover 1.6 million vehicles per year and 14 models (11 from Renault and 3 from Nissan). The first of these will be seen as early as this year.

Note, only one vehicle built around CMF is expected in local showrooms: the 2014 Nissan Rogue due out at the end of the year.

Rather than rely on a largely common platform, akin to the highly successful MQB platform from the Volkswagen Group, Renault Nissan’s CMF relies on a set of core modules that are interchangeable and can form a variety of platforms. Called Big Modules, these cover areas such as the engine bay, cockpit, front underbody, rear underbody and electrical/electronic architectures.

As a result, a much larger variety of vehicles can be created using CMF--and with much greater distinction between models. Renault Nissan claims CMF can be used for compact cars right up to large cars.

Going forward, CMF will enable Renault Nissan to expand into more segments much faster than before. The trend will be to increase the number of modules that will be compatible with CMF.

In addition to the aforementioned Rogue, CMF will be used in redesigned versions of the Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail crossovers sold overseas as well as replacements for Renault’s Espace, Scenic and Laguna models.


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