Platform sharing has been around since some of the earliest days of automobiles. Different vehicles used a common architecture, spawning a plethora of variants. However, General Motors got lazy, admittedly, and platform sharing quickly turned into “badge engineering.”
By badge engineering, we mean one platform and vehicle spread through a multitude of brands. We won’t name examples, you know them *cough, Cavalier-Cimarron, cough*.
However, as Automotive News reports, badge engineering is dead. Long live platform sharing. As GM begins to get out of its own way, it’s utilizing its scale and engineering prowess better than ever to create true global platforms, and global vehicles.
GM named the first-generation Chevrolet Cruze its first true global car, but GM product chief, Mark Reuss, recalls it a bit differently.
“The first Cruze was global — kinda,” he said. The original Delta platform was engineered in Europe for Opel and Chevrolet compact vehicles, but by the time U.S. engineers were finished with the Cruze, it was a completely different car. A torsion beam was added for handling and a larger 1.8-liter four-cylinder found its way under the hood, which added unnecessary weight.
The 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, the second generation of the car, is a different story. It rides on D2XX, sharing exact bones with the Opel Astra K. The platform is being launched, and can launch, around the world with very moderate tweaks for consumer tastes.
The D2XX platform will underpin as many as 2.5 million of GM’s vehicles annually, up from around 1.5 million for the outgoing Delta platform. That’s because compact cars aren’t the only piece to the platform-sharing puzzle, crossovers are, too. The next GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox will also use D2XX, and a Cadillac may even find its way atop the platform as well.
And D2XX isn’t the only platform, either. C1XX will spawn midsize crossovers, E2XX will give life to new midsize sedans, plus more. GM has been playing catch up for years, but it’s finally beginning to close the gap.