Volkswagen Is So Broke It Can't Afford To Modernize Its Upcoming Cars

Industry News

The next two generations of VW vehicles will see the same platforms.

They always say the higher the rise the harder the fall. Just ask Volkswagen about how well that fall is going because according to the multitude of red flags and canaries in the coal mine, the large German automaker is hurting for cash. It’s been cutting all non-essential programs and even attempting to undercut its suppliers, but so far it doesn’t seem like Volkswagen’s engineering capacity has been affected, at least until now. According to Automotive News, R&D money will be the next thing to go at VW.

Instead of working on new platforms, Volkswagen will be pocketing the cash (likely to pay for what will be another barrage of fines given the recent discovery of Audi transmissions housing cheat software) and instead modifying its existing MQB platform. "In the past months we have worked on the cost side of MQB and made significant progress," Diess told German daily Boersen-Zeitung. "The MQB has high technical substance, so we can use it for the next two vehicle generations without further investments," he added. To be fair, the modular platform is adaptable, allowing for use of similar parts across models. The platform is used mainly on the VW Group’s small and medium sized vehicles and can be modified for many applications.

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As such, it underpins cars like the Audi A3, Audi TT, Volkswagen Golf, and more. Already, VW is sharing its new MSB platform between Porsche, Bentley, and Audi to cut costs. Despite the savings, Volkswagen isn’t skimping on all fronts. With electric cars poised to take over the industry within a decade or two, the company is investing in a modular platform that will house electric or hybrid drivetrains and can be stretched or shrunk to accommodate cars and CUVs of all sizes. In the meantime, VW expects its use of the MQB platform to rise sharply, from 2 million cars in 2014 to 7 million by 2018. For the sake of some of our favorite Volkswagen subsidiaries, let’s hope this move allows the company to weather the storm.

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