Modular platforms are cost effective and the European carmakers have demonstrated thus successfully a decade ago. Ford, one of the largest carmakers in the world, had also taken to the modular platform method to stem expenditure and brought down its total number of platforms from a whopping 30 to just 9 under the One Ford programme. Now, the American giant has decided to trim it down further to just five platforms.
The body-on-frame platform for the large pickup trucks like the F150 and the full-size SUVs will be the largest platform followed by the crossover platform for cars like the Ford Escape which can cater to the front-wheel/all-wheel drive cars. The Ford Mustang platform with front-engine rear-wheel drive setup will also spawn small RWD SUVs. The commercial van and people mover platform should ideally be the fourth while there will be a dedicated platform for electric vehicles to incorporate the battery pack.
Ford has already decided to do away with the sedans in favour of SUVs. These new platforms will be developed over time and as per estimates, it will save Ford over $25 billion (about Rs 1.7 lakh crores) over the next five years in terms of development costs and readying production and assembly lines for the new set of platforms. It will also help Ford reduce the lead-time for new product development by up to 20 per cent, thus making the organisation flexible to change with shifting market dynamics.