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Facts on Geely BMA: great extensibility and benefit various models

From:Internet Info Agency 2018-08-15 13:26:51


In the past few years, the concept of modular architecture has developed very fast in the automotive industry. After the launching of MQB (Modular Querbaukasten) and MLB (Modular Longitudinal Matrix) by Volkswagen, some mainstream brands began to develop their own modular architecture, such as TNGA of Toyota, UKL/CLA of BMW, SPA of Volvo, etc. 

However, in all the independent Chinese brands, only Geely has focused on the development of modular architecture. It officially launched BMA after the success of the CMA (Compact Modular Architecture).  Then, what’s the highlights of this brand new architecture serving A0-A+ class?  What benefits can it bring to the consumers? Today let’s have a look at it. 

What’s MODULAR ARCHITECTURE?  How does it work?

Before introducing our hero, let’s talk about what Modular Architecture is. Most people think that MA is a platform that could manufacture vehicles of different classes. Actually, it is only a small part of its functions. The benefits of MA are much more than that. Here are the differences between traditional architecture and modular architecture. After knowing that, you will find it quite interesting. 

What’s a traditional vehicle architecture?

Let’s talk about the traditional architecture first. As we all know, in the beginning, when vehicle manufacturers built a new car model, they had to redesign almost all the spare parts, such as chassis, electrical system matching and internal space optimization etc., except for engine, gearbox and those major parts. It’s a large program. It took 4-5 years (over 40 months) to develop a new car, and with various kinds of tests, it took even more time. And that’s why we always found that it took around 6 years to upgrade a vehicle model after its launching.

What's more, when manufacturing a new car, there would be a specialized production line. And this line could only manufacture one car model. For example, the production line of BMW 3 based on E46 architecture isn’t able to produce vehicles of E92. And it led to the huge amount of the expense on the vehicle model development and much more wasted production resource and it took more time for the development. Then all of these ended up with the higher price for consumers. 

What is Modular Architecture (MA)? 

Compared with the traditional architecture, MA is more flexible. The principle behind it is that the chassis has been predesigned and the length, width, wheelbase, wheel tread,  and the height of seats etc, could be adjusted in the given range. Electrical systems like CAN, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist and even automatic driving can be adopted under the same architecture. It becomes very helpful and saves lots of steps for the new vehicle development. You only need to do some detail optimization according to the positioning of car models and set the functions based on the price choice. It’s like playing LEGO. There is no doubt that it greatly reduces the time and expense of vehicle development. 

In addition, different vehicle models based on MA can be manufactured in the same production line. For example, a production line of BMA could be used to manufacture all the car models based on BMA, highly raising the productivity and reducing the production cost. Meanwhile, some of the low class vehicle models are able to support configurations of higher class model.

In the case of Volkswagen, both Magotan and Golf now on offer are built under MQB. Considering the higher class and positioning of Magotan, it is equipped with Adapative Cruise Control etc. While with a lower positioning, Golf isn’t equipped with ACC. But Golf could be upgraded by adding ACC because it is built under MQB. Upgrading supported by the modular architecture was hard to imagine in the past. 

Which architecture do Geely have?

Without any doubt that Modular Architecture is a total revolution to the automotive industry, and it’s fairly meaningful to the whole industry and is also the popular trend in the future. After knowing what MA really is, you may think the same as well. Therefore, let’s talk about Geely. I have to admit that the idea of Geely is very prospective. After the purchase of Volvo, Geely realized the advantages of SPA and then, it began to develop its own MA. By far, there are 4 kinds of modular architectures in Geely.

  1. CMA: for compact car, crossover, SUV, CROSS, Wagon and MPV etc. 
  2. BMA: for sub-compact car, crossover, SUV, CROSS, Wagon and MPV etc.
  3. SPA: for high-end vehicle platform, mainly serving medium & large vehicle, crossover, SUV, CROSS, Wagon and MPV etc.
  4. New Energy Vehicle exclusive MA: exclusive for NEV, still in the process of development.


2. Facts on Geely BMA, the advantages and highlight of BMA


The origin of BMA

Geely BMA is short for B-segment Modular Architecture. Actually, the development of BMA began in 2014. The technology of this platform has become mature under the efforts made by 1500 engineers from over 20 countries after 4 years of development. It has been tested for over 5,000,000km and already has met the regulatory requirement of fuel consumption in different countries and regions. 


Is BMA the edited version of CMA?

Lots of people may have some doubt about the relations between BMA and CMA. BMA is not the edited version of CMA. In fact, only the power system and electrical modular of these two architectures are universal. The rest of them is all developed by Geely itself. Many detailing designs of BMA are serving A0-A+ classes exclusively, which is different from CMA.

For instance, CMA‘s target is compact cars. The gasoline tank of this class is usually much bigger than that of A-class car. While the vehicle model based on BMA can retain the range without a gasoline tank like that big. It’s meaningless and will add extra weight. And this is not the only case.


Basic data about BMA

The following is some “real” information about BMA – its basic data. The length of BMA models could be adjusted between 4000mm-4800mm. And the width adjustment range is 1700mm-1850mm. The adjustment range of wheel tread is 1500mm-1600mm and the range of wheelbase is 2550mm-2700mm (the wheelbase adjustment range of CMA is 2650mm-2850mm). From the adjustment data, the performance of BMA is quite extraordinary among the same class. 

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that, except for that the length from the front wheels to pedal is fixed, all the other parts can be adjusted including the position of the seats.

What’s more, among all the models based on BMA, the rate of transferability of spare parts reaches 70%, the rate of the usage of high strength steel is above 70%, the rate of thermoforming steel is above 20%. It totally meets the 2020 EU 5-star Safety Standards.

What benefits does BMA bring Geely?

The birth of BMA makes Geely sub-compact and compact vehicles line-up more powerful. Beside its great competence, it turns lots of mainstream functions into those functions which will be applicable in the whole platform. For instance, all the BMA models will be equipped with built-in 4G internet modular and will support more functions like Bluetooth car key (the owner could authorize someone to share vehicle driving by APP), L2 automatic driving (will be upgraded to L3 automatic driving later). Thus, competence of all Geely A0-A+ models will be increased fairly and they will become a serious rival among the independent/joint-venture models of the same class. 

In addition, BMA is also able to support various kinds of powertrain, beside 1.0T, 1.5T 3-cylinder turbocharging engine (Miller Cycle Tech), and also could support PHEV, HEV and MHEV etc. We have seen 1.5T engine along with 48V Mild Hybrid System, matching by 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The performance of this set of power system is highly worth being looking forward to.

Which vehicles have adopted BMA at present?

According to Geely, the first car based on BMA is Geely BINRUI. The new car has been launched officially. Its dynamic coupe-style design gives a quite good impression. Additionally, the first A-class SUV-SX11 based on BMA has already been in the progress of the road test. It is said that the new vehicle will adopt 1.5T engine and its 0-100km/h acceleration only needs 7.9s. With a very attractive performance, the new vehicle will be officially launched soon as well.

Whether it will be once and forever after developing BMA? 

About BMA, some people may doubt whether it will be once and forever after developing this architecture. In fact, it’s not like that. Modular Architecture has a life cycle settled by the manufacturer. The life cycle is made according to the market development. For example, the life cycle of BMA is 10-12 years. And there is going to be a technology upgrading in the fifth year. The moment of replacement is totally decided by the market movement. And there are some typical examples about this, such as MLB of Volkswagen. It was upgraded to MLB EVO. The original MLB was abandoned already.

What benefits will BMA bring to the consumers?

After talking about so many advantages of BMA, what benefits will it bring to the consumer? The most obvious one is the price drop. The cost of the development and production has been decreased along with the price drop. Even the price isn’t going to fall, the manufacturer will upgrade the vehicle configuration within the same price range to maintain their competiveness in the market

In the end:

From the launching of BMA, we found the developing path of Geely in the future. There is a Chinese saying goes: science, technology and innovation are the first productivity for the enterprise. Obviously, Geely has already realized it. The launching of BMA enhances the competiveness of Geely in the market of sub-compact and compact vehicles in the future. Among the domestic independent brands, Geely has been way ahead of them.




Editor:Qianxin Li