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Mercedes-Benz going towards modular build strategy

It would appear that Mercedez-Benz are moving towards a modular engineering philosophy so that they can deploy their upcoming models much faster.

Thomas Weber – the head of group research and Mercedes-Benz cars development at Daimler AG, has recently said, at the Detroit auto show, that the current modular strategy has allowed the company to develop their products much faster than before.

According to the same representative, the entire Mercedes-Benz family is now being built on a clear platform or architecture strategy and every component is part of their overall modular strategy.

In the past, Mercedes-Benz models had different steering wheels for each model, thus creating a huge number of variety and part complexity which in turn slowed down the development process.  The steering wheel would be decided upon on a case by case basis for each car, but with a modular strategy in place, it’s much faster and much clearer for a chief engineer to decide between a couple of options.

So the decision to reduce that type of complexity significantly has been made.

At first glance, the limited options might look like a cost-cutting measure, however Mercedes-Benz ensures that their philosophy guarantees that those options are the absolute best of their kind. This means that entry-level models, such as the A-Class for instance, will benefit from the look and feel of their considerably more expensive stablemates.

Weber further mentioned that it is thanks to this modular strategy that Mercedez was able to deploy the A-Class, B-Class and CLA-Class in a very short period of time. He continued to say that one benefit of managing complexity is that the degree of maturity is better because the chief engineer can choose a proven concept and move along much faster with the development process.

It has to be mentioned that even with this new strategy, Mercedes still spends a lot of time and resources developing new platforms, however thanks to the modular strategy the time necessary to build different models upon these new platforms has improved significantly.

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