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The research presented in this licentiate thesis has been carried out at the department of Product and Production Development at Chalmers University of Technology. The main setting for this research work has been at the Technical Development Center at Saab Automobile in Trollhättan. The path towards this thesis spans several years of work with vehicle development at Saab and many people have been involved and contributed to the presented ideas and understanding gained. The author acknowledges his debt to those who have helped along the way and influenced the formation of the understanding of and the approach to representation of modular and platform-based products presented in this thesis.

In particular, I wish to express my gratitude to my supervisor, Professor Hans Johannesson for his continued encouragement and invaluable suggestions during this work. In this I would also like to include my gratitude to Stig Nodin at Saab who have enabled this research work within Saab Automobile and who together with Tore Helmersson provided support for this research at Saab along the way.

Furthermore I am deeply indebted to my colleagues at Saab Automobile that have provided the environment for sharing their experiences about the problem issues involved as well as participated in stimulating team exercises developing solutions to the identified problems. I would specially like to thank my colleagues and co-authors Stellan Gedell, Bengt-Olof Bengtsson, and Björn Rosvall for their extremely valuable experiences, support, and insights. This is also extended to Fredrik Berglund at Chalmers with whom I explored the concept of design bandwidth. Furthermore I would like to recognize many valuable contributions from Anders Isaksson, Lars Hessman, Göran Theander, and Göran Jansson. Many others at Saab and at Unigraphics Solutions that have been involved also deserve recognition. It is, however, not possible to list them all here. Their support in this effort is, however, greatly appreciated.

Saab Automobile, the Program Board for Automotive Research (PFF) and the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) have financially supported this work. This support has been given through the Vehicle Research Program (FFP) and through the research education programs ENDREA and ProViking.

Finally I want to thank my family. The encouragement and support from my beloved wife Susanne and our always positive and joyful children Daniel and Jenny is a powerful source of inspiration and energy. A special thought is devoted to my parents for a never-ending support.

Göteborg in May 2006
Anders Claesson

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