Volkswagen shows no signs of wanting to put its Modularer Querbaukasten (MQB) architecture out to pasture anytime soon – in fact, it wants to keep the modular platform, which debuted on the Mk7 Golf and is currently used on everything from the Audi TT to the seven-seat VW Atlas, in use for another two generations, according to Automotive News.

The brand’s boss Herbert Diess told German daily Boersen-Zeitung that a development of the MQB platform would result in significant cost savings. “In the past months we have worked on the cost side of MQB and made significant progress,” he said.

Used as the basis of many of the Volkswagen Group’s small- and medium-sized front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive vehicles, MQB utilises several common components across a multitude of brands and models, enabling vehicles to be developed and produced quicker, and at lower costs.

“The MQB has high technical substance, so we can use it for the next two vehicle generations without further major investments,” Diess said. It is said that Volkswagen plans to increase the output of vehicles based on the MQB platform from 2 million units in 2014 to 7 million by 2018.


The Volkswagen Atlas is one of the largest vehicles to be built on the MQB architecture

The Volkswagen Group is currently dropping investments at the main brand and putting increased focus on the development of electric vehicles, as it struggles to handle the fallout of its ‘dieselgate’ emissions cheating scandal. Reuters quoted sources saying that Diess plans to cut annual costs at the brand by €3.7 billion (RM17.2 billion) through 2021 via a “future pact” with workers.

According to those sources, Diess’ plan would help raise the brand’s operating margin from an estimate 2% this year to 4% by 2020. Even then, that’s considerably lower than a previous 6% target, and is down on benchmarks in profitability from the likes of Renault, Peugeot, Ford and General Motors.

Diess told Boersen-Zeitung that a 4% margin was the minimum required for a carmaker to earn its capital cost, and 6% would be necessary for it to fund investments in future technologies. “We are rising to that challenge. We will achieve more in the future with fewer investments to respond to competition,” he added.