The CMF isn’t a common platform, like Volkswagen's MQB. Instead it’s a set of common, compatible modules - engine bays, cockpits, front underbodies, rear underbodies and electrical architectures – that can be shared not just between cars of the same size, but across different market sectors, too.
For that reason, the first Nissans to use the CMF system will be the replacements for the Qashqai and X-Trail (and US-market Rogue) due later this year, while the first Renaults will be replacements for the Espace, Scenic and Laguna, all due in late 2014.
The Renault-Nissan alliance claims that the idea of the CMF system is to ‘increase the modules common to several platforms with a view to standardizing components and increasing the number of vehicles per platform.’
The alliance claims that, by 2020, 1.6-million vehicles per year will use CMF modules, which will help cut component purchasing costs by 20-30 per cent, and reduce engineering costs by 30-40 per cent. In theory, this should also cut the cost a buyer pays in a showroom, too.
Renault-Nissan also reckons that the CMF will save more than its global B-segment platform that underpins the Micra and Clio, thanks to the fact that cars built using CMF will be sold in more markets around the world, thus increasing economies of scale.
Cars using CMF will also be built using the grandly titled Alliance Integrated Manufacturing System (AIMS), which standardises production of a car from factory to factory and again helps cut costs.