The Italian Junkyard

Thoughts, ideas, criticism about cars. Interesting news and facts from the world of the automobile. Events in Italy and Modena. What you can find elsewhere, filtered through the eyes of a discerning enthusiast. Design, style, everything on the chopping block. Nobody is safe anymore.

Monday, March 23, 2009

1.1 Lok or Substance

Sharing parts is a common use in automotive industry.
Raising costs, times of development, growing requests and global markets, required cars to be cheaper to design, easier to build and faster to assembly, so using the same parts for many vehicles was only a matter of time.
Even if at first it might seem as a bad idea, killing identities and personalities of various models which could be heavily modified in such a process, it makes also possible to design substantially different cars, even low volumes ones, at lower costs so making them more easily profitable, which after all it's the only things that matter, for the survival of a company. Even the final customer can gain something in this way.
Therefore we can have a sporty coupe and a comfortable sedan based on the same platform, sharing the main parts, but still resulting in two very different vehicles. The last example being the Genesis family in Hyundai line-up, for instance.
It's not that easy though, and it's certainly a trade-off, so it's a matter of how much we are disposed to loose, while gaining synergies and costs reductions. It couldn't work when trying to create a masterpiece or the new benchmark for the segment. Ask Maybach, or rather Mercedes-Benz. When it comes to high prices and exotics or super luxury cars, trade-offs aren't welcomed and journalists and enthusiasts are there to criticized bitterly.
I think it isn't a matter of price, or of performance that didn't meet the expectations, and heritage isn't a problem either. A lot of historical brands basically sold their soul for larger market's shares and managed to survive or enlarge substantially their profits trough this.
Regardless, a lot of fuzz is raised when a new car with shared parts is unveiled.

post header source: Porsche-VAG Alliance

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