Platform Sharing: Car Brands that Share Designs and Components

Published by on . Updated on 16 Jul 2020

Motorist My Mercedes Is The Same As A Nissan Parts And Platform Sharing In The Automotive Industry July 2020
(Photo Credit: ŠKODA, Volkswagen, Audi)

Parts and platform-sharing is a common practice in the automotive industry. See what this means for you, the consumer, and learn how you can take advantage of this practice.

Did you know that the Mercedes GLA and the Infiniti Q30 are literally the same car? Not only do they share the same platform, engine, gearbox, and switchgear like the signal stalks and the key, they even share the same crash structure!

This means that all the differences between the GLA and the Q30 are literally skin-deep—they only differ in their exterior body panel design, and the logo on the grille of the car.

In fact, the Nissan Qashqai and the Mercedes A200 even share the same jointly-developed 1.3l turbocharged engine as well!

Daimler (the parent company of Mercedes) and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance (of which Infiniti belongs to) aren’t the only companies that engage in parts and platform-sharing.

Here are some major brands that also participate in this practice, and see how you can use that to your advantage.

Volkswagen-Audi Group

Brands: Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche

The way that the Volkswagen-Audi Group (VAG) engages in platform-sharing can be summarised into three letters: MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten).

The MQB platform is used to build the bulk of VAG’s products, from its lower-end brands like SEAT and ŠKODA, all the way to middle-of-the-range Volkswagen, and even to the group’s premium Audi brand!

On the luxury end of the spectrum, VAG’s MLB (Modularer Längsbaukasten) platform is used to construct the VW Touareg, Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne, Bentley Bentayga, and even the Lamborghini Urus!

Yes, the next time your friend tries to flex their Lamborghini SUV, you can congratulate them for purchasing a VW Touareg.

What does this mean for me?

Have you ever noticed that the Audi A3 is similar in size to the VW Golf? They share the same gearbox and engine options too, because both cars are based off the same platform! This means that if you’re willing to forego the brand prestige, you could save yourself around S$30,000 just by choosing the VW Golf instead of the Audi A3.

If you’re on an even tighter budget, the Golf-based ŠKODA Octavia presents a more practical sedan-shaped option to the A3 and Golf, which are both hatchbacks.

Although the ŠKODA is a budget option that uses more hard plastics in its interior than its two sister models, you’re not going to lose out on quality as all the switchgear and electronics, including the car’s platform, engine, and gearbox, are identical.

If you are looking for a hot hatch like a VW Golf GTI, why not consider the ŠKODA Octavia vRS, which is around S$35,000 cheaper? They’re the same car, with the same engine. Don’t believe us? Check out what lies under the ŠKODA badge on the engine cover:

Hyundai Motor Group

Brands: Hyundai, Kia, Genesis

Motorist My Mercedes Is The Same As A Nissan Parts And Platform Sharing In The Automotive Industry Hyundai July 2020
(Photo Credit: Hyundai Singapore)

Have you ever realised that both the Hyundai Elantra/Avante and the Kia Cerato K3 share the same 1.6l Gamma engine in our Singapore market? That’s because they are sister cars, much like how the VW Golf, Audi A3, and ŠKODA Octavia are related.

Hyundai and Kia share drivetrains and platforms across most of its models—for the Hyundai Elantra/Avante, you have the Kia Cerato; and for the Hyundai Kona, you have the Kia Stonic, etc.

What does this mean for me?

Motorist My Mercedes Is The Same As A Nissan Parts And Platform Sharing In The Automotive Industry Kia July 2020
(Photo Credit: Kia Singapore)

If you are interested in a Hyundai model, chances are that you would be interested in its Kia equivalent, and vice-versa. This means that you as a consumer have an alternative choice should you be unsatisfied with the price, financing, or after-sales packages offered by each brand’s respective dealers in Singapore.

If you’re keen to purchase one of these popular Korean choices, make sure that you check out the sister model before signing on the dotted line!

Other Companies that Engage in Parts and Platform-Sharing

Motorist My Mercedes Is The Same As A Nissan Parts And Platform Sharing In The Automotive Industry Conclusion July 2020
(Photo Credit: iStock)

Here are some other automotive conglomerates and partnerships that also engage in parts and platform-sharing. When you want to purchase from these brands, be sure to do your due research to ensure you’re getting the most value from your hard-earned Singapore dollars!

Groupe PSA

Brands: Peugeot, Citroën, DS, Opel/Vauxhall

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance

Brands: Renault, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Infiniti, Dacia, Alpine, Datsun, Lada


Motorist My Mercedes Is The Same As A Nissan Parts And Platform Sharing In The Automotive Industry Toyota Supra Bmw Z4 July 2020
(Photo Credit: AutoBlog)

The list above is not exhaustive, and it is up to you, the consumer, to conduct some research before making a purchase. An hour of research could be the difference between you purchasing a trumped-up cheap car wearing an expensive badge, compared to a more premium product wearing the badge of a cheaper make.

Parts and platform-sharing are not only unique to large automotive groups either. Sometimes, manufacturers also work together to create specific car models together to save development cost.

Examples of these include the Toyota GT86 and the Subaru BRZ sports cars, which are literally identical except for the badges on the bonnet.

Another example is the new BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra, both of which share the same platform, engine, and gearbox, and are produced in BMW’s plant in Austria.

Confused about whether you are getting the best value for your purchase? Check out our mReview series to get an idea of whether your shortlisted ride is right for you! You can also consider purchasing your next car from our wide selection of used cars.

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