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24 June 2013

Renault-Nissan unveils 'Common Module Family'

Before you call it another shared platform; it is not. It is shared "modules", according to the Alliance

Amaan Ahmed
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The Renault-Nissan Alliance has been around for 14 years, and is still going strong. Platform sharing is key, as we've seen with most of Renault and Nissan's mass-market products. Now, the Alliance has taken the covers off its latest engineering architecture, and it's called the 'Common Module Family' (CMF). CMF is not a single platform meant to be shared between both brands, though.

Essentially, CMF consists of five different bits: the engine bay, cockpit, front underbody, rear underbody and electronic architecture. These "big modules" are compatible with multiple platforms, meaning that compact as well as luxury cars based on separate platforms – be it the teeny-weeny Micra or the lumbering Teana – will still be able to share key structural elements, whilst saving both companies quite a bit of dough in the process. It is, to put it simply, the automotive equivalent of Lego.

The Alliance claims this new sharing-is-caring module family will help achieve 30-40 per cent reduction in the entry cost per model and 20-30 per cent reduction in expenditure for components. To eventually result in 14 different models (11 Renaults, 3 Nissans) and 1.6 million units produced annually, CMF will find its way across 5 continents and 10 countries by 2020. The Nissan Rogue, to be launched in the US of A by the end of this year, will be the first car to employ CMF, with the next-gen Qashqai and X-Trail (that is where our attention is) following suit. Renault too will employ CMF across the range, but the question is, which of Nissan and Renault's Indian offerings will be Lego-fied first?

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