Next-Generation Ford Fiesta May Benefit From Ford's New Platform Family
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Next-Generation Ford Fiesta May Benefit From Ford's New Platform Family


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Just the Facts:
  • Ford is taking a page from the Volkswagen playbook and developing a new three-prong platform family.
  • The next-generation Ford Fiesta, due in around three years, could be the first recipient of the new hardware and component set.
  • Insiders tell Edmunds that the core Ford Fiesta, Focus and Fusion models and their crossover spin-offs will be part of the new platform family.

LONDON — Ford is taking a page from the Volkswagen playbook and developing a new three-prong platform family.

The next-generation Ford Fiesta, due in around three years, could be the first recipient of the new hardware and component set.

Insiders tell Edmunds that the core Ford Fiesta, Focus and Fusion models and their crossover spin-offs will be part of the new platform family.

Ford's new platform family will be similar in concept to Volkswagen's MQB modular platform, but with structural variations to suit the sizes of the cars that will be spun from each of them.

According to Ford insiders, one drawback of VW's highly publicized MQB strategy — in which the group's small, midsize and crossover models share the same core hardware — is that the smaller models carry a weight penalty because the platform has to suit bigger and heavier cars.

The Ford approach still provides most of the same scale economies, but allows more variation in the weight, strength and substances of the platform to better suit the needs of each individual model.

The trio of platforms will cover the B, C and CD segments represented by the Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo/Fusion — the three building off the company's global platforms.

The Ford platforms also include the Ranger pickup truck and the Transit light commercial range. Ford also has four regional platforms, which include the F-Series pickup trucks.

Ford committed to reduce its platform count from 11 to nine at the beginning of the year as part of its One Ford program.

Minimizing the platform count has the potential to save significant money by reducing the tooling and component design requirements, while achieving potentially huge scale economies in basic components, such as brakes and steering.

Edmunds says: According to some observers, platform development accounts for almost half of a manufacturer's overall R & D costs, providing a substantial incentive to source multiple models from the same hardware.

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