DETROIT -- Daimler will save at least 10 percent a year in engineering costs as a result of its move to a modular architecture system used in the development of new vehicles, said Daimler's head of research and development.
Thomas Weber told Automotive News Europe the savings are a result of an increased effort to share more components across all product lines -- an initiative that started five years ago with the development of the current C class and will continue in future vehicle development.
"There are a lot of advantages on the cost side with the way we are developing vehicles today," Weber said in an interview at the auto show here.
Weber said Daimler will see "double digit" savings in engine and transmission modules as well as electronic and safety components. In total, Daimler is sharing some 1 million components across its product lines with its modular architectures.
Previously, most Daimler vehicles were developed with stand-alone architectures specific to a model line.
"We are competitive on the cost side now, from the A class to the S class," Weber said. "The cost improvement is more than 10 percent per year driven by the modular architecture."
Last month, Weber said Daimler will stick to its plan to invest about 14 billion euros in research and development by 2010 despite the financial crisis.