[YesAuto Technology] Earlier, we had talked about anecdotes about the cooperation between car companies in the early years. The “marriage” of some unfamiliar car companies has created a lot of twin models that can be used to play “Let’s find the difference” . Today, we see that more car companies will adopt a shared technology platform, and at the same time they will independently complete the model design cooperation. The models manufactured have different appearances and styles, but they have the same or similar mechanical structures. When global production and resource integration become more and more important, such a cross-brand platform strategy will become more and more favored by companies. Therefore, by observing the chassis structure of some new cars exhibited at the auto show, we can further understand how modern car companies play Transition to a cross-brand platform strategy.
At this year’s Guangzhou Auto Show, the production version of Infiniti QX30, Dongfeng Renault Correga, Dongfeng Nissan New Qashqai and Venucia T70 have attracted the attention of many consumers. They have their own different model positioning and styling styles, attracting different The crowd, if you only look at the appearance, it is really hard to think of the close connection between these four cars.
Although the exteriors and interiors are quite different, it is not difficult to see one thing in common from the background of these models, that is, despite the completely different brand logos, these brands are directly or indirectly related to Nissan, but In addition, in terms of the internal vehicle platform and chassis suspension, these models also have some “blood relations” more or less.
● Qashqai, Ke Lei Jia, T70: the continuity of the new and old platforms
The Nissan CMF platform (Common Module Family) is a new modular model platform launched by Nissan in 2013. Its design concept is to maximize flexibility. The CMF modular platform is not a platform in the traditional sense, but a “hybrid”. The platform consists of 5 modules: engine module, cockpit module, front chassis, rear chassis and electronic control part. Engineers organically combine these modules in various ways. At the same time, each module can be modified according to the needs of different models. This means that only one part of the CMF platform needs to be replaced to realize the production of compact cars to medium-sized SUVs.
According to the wheelbase and size of the vehicle, the products on the CMF platform are divided into three series: CMF-A, CMF-B and CMF-CD. Among them, the CMF-CD series is positioned for compact and medium-sized vehicles. The new Qijun (T32), The new Qashqai (J11) and Correga are both in the category of CMF-CD. However, despite the brand-new model platform, CMF still retains many mature technologies and components of Nissan. This is reflected in the chassis structure of the vehicle. As a result, the old Qijun (T31) and old models based on the Nissan C platform are used. Suspension structure and components of Qashqai (J10). In this way, the new Qashqai and Ke Lei Jia have contact with Kai Chen T70 in terms of suspension structure.
Through comparison, it can be seen that there is no significant difference in the suspension structure of Renault Correga, Nissan Qashqai and Kai Chen T70. This is firstly due to the inheritance characteristics of the chassis structure between the Nissan CMF platform and the previous C platform. This also shows that the design of the C platform, which was born in 2004, can stand the test of time. In addition, the use of components from the old platform is also very helpful for the cost control of new platforms and new models. The original chassis components have formed a large-scale effect, and the manufacturing cost is lower than the redevelopment of new components. Therefore, although the origins of the three models belong to Japan (Nissan), France (Renault) and China (Venus), it is not surprising that they have almost identical chassis structures.
-Enlightenment from Renault-Nissan Alliance
The first reason why Renault and Nissan can successfully share the platform and technology is that the brands and product market positioning of the two parties are similar. Therefore, sharing the technology platform will not harm one of them. In addition, the dominant markets of the two parties are different, so the two brands will not have direct confrontation in the existing market and cause internal friction, and at the same time, they can help each other open up and deploy new markets. Today, Fiat and Chrysler have also begun to adopt a similar form of production cooperation. The two parties maximize the sharing of platforms and technologies, and the R&D and production costs can be effectively shared. At the same time, Fiat uses Chrysler to deploy the North American market, and the Jeep brand also places some models in Europe. And for sales, obviously produced a positive synergy effect.
● Infiniti QX30: Abandon “Japan” and vote for “Germany”?
At this Guangzhou Auto Show, Infiniti exhibited the final production version of its compact SUV QX30. This dynamic car and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class are also derived from Mercedes-Benz’s MFA model platform. Judging from the engine, gearbox and some interior parts that are most accessible to people, QX30 has too many Mercedes-Benz elements, and is it the same as GLA-Class in terms of chassis?
-Discovery at the Geneva Motor Show
We once analyzed the chassis structure of the QX30 Concept Edition at the Geneva Motor Show. At that time, the chassis structure under the body of the QX30 Concept was not the same as the GLA-Class, but the chassis came from Nissan’s CMF platform. In layman's terms, the suspension structure of that car is basically the same as the previous Venus T70, Nissan Qashqai and Renault Correga.
-Production version QX30: “Draw a clear line” with Nissan
Although the QX30 Concept is not 100% complete in the chassis structure, especially the rear suspension does not have springs, but only uses a cross bar to support the entire rear suspension, it already clearly has the structural characteristics of the Nissan CMF platform. At that time, we speculated that the future mass-produced QX30 will also follow the chassis structure of the Nissan series models, and the technical cooperation with Mercedes-Benz is more reflected in the power and transmission system. However, at this Guangzhou Auto Show, we finally saw the production version of the QX30. Although the exterior design is not much different from the QX30 Concept, the chassis structure is obviously different.
Overall, the chassis of the Infiniti QX30 production version model did not continue the structure of its concept car, but completely replaced the chassis structure of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. Why did Infiniti abandon Nissan in the choice of QX30 chassis and choose Mercedes-Benz? Perhaps it is because the chassis structure of the Nissan CMF platform cannot meet the sports performance and driving texture required by the QX30 as a luxury brand compact SUV, or because consumers are concerned that Infiniti and Nissan Qashqai use the same mechanical structure, or The chassis of Mercedes-Benz is already in Infiniti’s plan, and the chassis of the QX30 Concept concept car itself is only used as a temporary “guest” for demonstration… Regardless, this is an engine, gearbox, and chassis structure. Infiniti with pure Mercedes pedigree.
-Why did Mercedes-Benz team up with Infiniti?
Editor's summary: Enlightenment from platform sharing to China
In the current automotive market, platformization has become an overwhelming vocabulary, and the benefits of platformization are self-evident, that is, controlling production and development costs, shortening the vehicle development cycle, and reducing the risk of vehicle failure to enterprises. In addition to the same-brand platform strategy we are familiar with, due to the increasing number of cooperation between car companies in the form of alliances and technology sharing, many cross-brands and even cross-nationalities of the same platform “sister models” have appeared around us. Therefore, there may seem to be huge differences between many models, but as long as you carefully observe their chassis structure, you will find that these models with different shapes and styles are actually the same roots. With the increasingly fierce market competition, more and more manufacturers will choose platform sharing and cooperation.
Having seen the platform sharing and cooperation among international auto giants, many times we can't help but wonder whether this model is also applicable to the growing Chinese brands. In today's domestic automobile market, various Chinese brands are still fighting on their own. Even the China Development Federation, which was once led by the National Development and Reform Commission, survived in name only because of their own thoughts. If the cost of all model platforms and technology development is completely digested by its own products, then the cost of the vehicle will obviously not be able to be reduced. At the same time, if the model does not perform well in the market, the company will have to bear all the losses alone, which is not considered for the “family property”. It can be regarded as a big blow to Chinese brands that are too generous. Therefore, Chinese brands can actually learn from this alliance and cooperation approach, share platforms and technologies in some car models, share costs, exchange what is needed, and unite to fight the market together, and perhaps achieve a win-win effect like Renault-Nissan.