Volkswagen recently introduced its Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) to the U.S. market, with the introduction of the 2015 Golf and GTI. MQB is at the heart of VW Group's production strategy to overtake Toyota to become the world's biggest automaker by 2018. It is a component-set strategy based on flexible architectures, modular subsystems, and a uniform engine-mounting position. VW is relying on MQB to deliver big savings across its growing range of models with transverse-mounted engines, including the upcoming Tennessee-built SUV. MQB is designed to accomodate different vehicle track widths on the same assembly line. VW engineers claim MQB's standardized engine position, in combination with the new EA288 TDI and EA211 gasoline engines, will reduce the company's engine and transmission variants by approximately 90%. MQB also allows for fitment of all current alternative powertrains--hybrid, EV, and CNG. VW's recent move to add extra German production shifts for the Golf hatchback, which the company has attributed to strong demand, is also due to problems adjusting to its new MQB platform. The company's drive to produce a greater variety of vehicles, at higher margins, is proving tricky on some assembly lines, leading to delays, overtime, and the recent departure of production chief Michael Macht, who was responsible for overseeing MQB's introduction.
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