Volkswagen's plan for the next ten years includes streamlining production, cutting development costs and creating four new platforms so it can boost sales to 10 million units a year and give Toyota a run for its money. Architecture development is key to that strategy.

The first – dubbed MQB – will underpin the majority of small cars and some of the "upper-medium" vehicles that the VW/Audi group produces, including everything from the V-Dub Fox to the Passat, the Audi TT and A3, and a handful of Seats and Skodas. The MQB platform will account for over six million vehicles a year when production hits full bore by 2018, and should reduce development times by a year and reduce costs anywhere between 25- and 40-percent.

Those same time and financial savings are also expected when VW begins production of its MHB platform that will underpin the rear-engine minicars based on the up! concepts we've seen at the last three auto shows. Another modular architecture is being developed for mid-engine sports cars for Audi, Lamborghini and possibly a lower-end Bugatti (oxymoron?), while the last platform – MLB – is already being used on the new A4 and A5.

The breakdown of each platform into its own "just right" size, from small to large, mini to luxury, will also allow the VW group to expand its lineup at a faster pace for niche vehicles and to accommodate the demand in emerging markets.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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