The MQB platform has been designed to be so flexible that it can be used to underpin everything from a Polo-sized car to a Passat-sized one, offering the company massive cost savings. It also means that the VW Group can build any cars on the platform on the same production line, which offers significantly greater production flexibility.
Speaking at the VW Group profits announcement, where it was revealed that the company made £9.4bn in 2011, up more than 50 per cent year on year, Michael Macht, the board member in charge of group production, said: “The next two to three years are exciting for us, and during this time we intend to keep the technology to ourselves. We do not wish to share our excellence.
“But in the medium to long term we could sell the technology. We would have to look at the opportunities and evaluate whether they made sense.”
It is estimated that the VW Group plans to build more than six million cars on the platform across its VW, Audi, seat and Skoda brands by 2018. VW Group chief Martin Winterkorn, who was given a £14.2 million bonus on the back of the company’s success last year, said the investment in the MQB structure would begin to pay off from 2014. Winterkorn estimates that the VW Group has invested around £50 billion over four years in developing and implementing the MQB platform.
“The new Golf will be a quantum leap better than the car it replaces,” he said. “We have invested heavily in this technology, but we are convinced the benefits will be clear for the company. Creating the MQB platform and preparing the factories to produce it requires expenditure in 2012 and 2013, but after that the payback should start to come.”