VW plans mega platform design to become world's top automaker
A worker wraps a protective liner around a Volkswagen Tiguan at quality control portion of the production line at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg, Germany.
WOLFSBURG, Germany (Times Free Press) -- Every 58 seconds, two laser-guided robots place the front and rear windows in place on one of Volkswagen's newest versions of its top-selling Golf cars.
The new robots, made in both Germany and Japan, are among nearly 1,000 computerized assembly machines VW has added over the past year to the world's biggest car plant here. The automated assembly techniques, combined with a new modular assembly process, are part of Volkswagen's ongoing strategy to reduce its production costs and help the German carmaker surpass Toyota and General Motors as the biggest car company in the world within the next decade.
Volkswagen uses more than 5,500 robots in its massive production facilities here, which span nearly 2.5 square miles and produce three different models and parts of dozens more.
VW's new mega platform strategy, known as Modularer Querbaukasten or MQB Platform, is designed to cut development and manufacturing costs of differing car models. By sharing the same design and production capabilities over a number of products, VW officials expect the new approach could pare the development and production costs by up to 20 percent on new models, which could include some in Chattanooga.