Risks and opportunities from the modular toolkit strategy
We are continuously expanding our modular toolkits, focusing on future customer requirements, legal requirements and infrastructural requirements.
The Modular Transverse Toolkit (MQB) has created an extremely flexible vehicle architecture that permits dimensions determined by the concept – such as the wheelbase, track width, wheel size and seat position – to be harmonized throughout the Group and utilized flexibly. Other dimensions, for example the distance between the pedals and the middle of the front wheels, are always the same, ensuring a uniform system in the front of the car. Based on the synergy effects thereby achieved, we are able to cut both development costs and the necessary one-time expenses and manufacturing times. The toolkits also allow us to produce different models from different brands in various quantities, using the same system in a single plant. This means that our capacities can be used with greater flexibility throughout the entire Group, enabling us to achieve efficiency gains.
We are currently transferring this principle of standardization with maximum flexibility to the Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB), a concept developed for all-electric drives. The synergy effects and efficiency gains achieved from the modular toolkit strategy will give us the opportunity to bring e-mobility into mass production manufacturing worldwide from 2020 with the introduction of the first MEB-based vehicle.
Higher volumes will, however, increase the risk that quality problems will affect an increasing number of vehicles.