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Thread: New Car

  1. #21
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    It seems that a lot here have some rather strange outdated ideas about how a car production line works. It is highly organised, highly computerised and very slick.

    The firms that supply the sub assemblies have to maintain extremely high standards and faults or damage are simply not tolerated. If the line is stopped because a supplier faied to deliver, they get fined for every minute. You can be sure that those parts just keep rolling in.

    When I was delivering facias (the dashboard with all parts including the steering wheel attached) from Redditch to Longbridge, there was a display on the wall which showed how many minutes they were ahead of the production line. The target was between 120 and 180.

    The same factory made Mini fascias on another line, and they had a stretch of the M40 to contend with. They liked to be 3 or 4 hours ahead. They also kept a spare tractor unit in case of breakdowns.

    All of these parts were correctly sequenced so that when a car arrived at the station, the correct fascia, in the right colour and trim level, was waiting in the queue to be fitted. This system applied to the hundreds of other sub assemblies as well. Only minor parts like screws, bolts etc were stored at the side of the line.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolebama View Post
    A lot depends on the colour you have chosen. Manufacturers paint in job lots, so if your colour is next in line, you would have a shorter wait. Similarly, if you have 'customized' your car, you could be on a longer waiting list. Best people to ask are the dealer.
    VW are likely to have the finished car in stock. The VW plant is on a vast site, and is one of the biggest car plants in the world.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santa View Post
    It seems that a lot here have some rather strange outdated ideas about how a car production line works. It is highly organised, highly computerised and very slick.

    The firms that supply the sub assemblies have to maintain extremely high standards and faults or damage are simply not tolerated. If the line is stopped because a supplier faied to deliver, they get fined for every minute. You can be sure that those parts just keep rolling in.

    When I was delivering facias (the dashboard with all parts including the steering wheel attached) from Redditch to Longbridge, there was a display on the wall which showed how many minutes they were ahead of the production line. The target was between 120 and 180.

    The same factory made Mini fascias on another line, and they had a stretch of the M40 to contend with. They liked to be 3 or 4 hours ahead. They also kept a spare tractor unit in case of breakdowns.

    All of these parts were correctly sequenced so that when a car arrived at the station, the correct fascia, in the right colour and trim level, was waiting in the queue to be fitted. This system applied to the hundreds of other sub assemblies as well. Only minor parts like screws, bolts etc were stored at the side of the line.
    I'm sure you're right, but maybe BL/Rover wasn't the best example of modern efficient car manufacturing!

  4. #24
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    When I visited the VW factory at Wolfsburg, it was an amazing place. They had a number of production lines, each one being used for a different model. Different engines were swinging in on an overhead rail system, along with various body panels. All in different colours, but the different colours went to different production lines because they were producing models in batches of colour. I have visited a few manufacturers over the years, and can't think of a single one where they had an 'odd' colour on the line.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beelzebub View Post
    I'm sure you're right, but maybe BL/Rover wasn't the best example of modern efficient car manufacturing!
    They had their problems but BMW introduced a lot of efficiencies and improved things no end - IMHO it was the conflict between labour and management, with entrenched and outdated ideas on both sides that caused their demise. BMW's Cowley factory was an entirely different kettle of fish.

  6. #26
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    What surprises me, that with all these modern manufacturing methods using robots, and cost cutting methods, and interchangeable parts, why does the price of a new car never come down?

    For example, when you compare the price of a new car, to the cost of a house today,....to the cost of them both 20 years ago, there is a vast difference?

  7. #27
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    I will accept being wrong Smudger, but nowadays it is the cost of research and limited runs that add to the cost. Look at Honda as a bad example. Every year they make changes to their models which mean retooling, and they are constantly researching new technology, and as an aside, who do you think really paid for that cute robot of theirs? Most European manufacturers spend £millions developing prestige flagship cars that do not sell in the same numbers as their 'run-abouts', which can, and often do, lose them money, and I think most of them are spending £millions developing prototype alternative-energy cars. Top Gear seem to often pick up on a whole variety of vehicles which have cost ridiculous amounts of money to build, but will never see the inside of a showroom, and new car sales pay for all of them.

  8. #28
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    That is why the Land Rover Defender is the Best Four by four by Far

  9. #29
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    Dennis, define 'best. If I wanted a draughty, uncomfortable, slow, fuel drinking overweight workhorse, or if I had the need to cross a muddy field with a 4-ton trailer, I would probably agree. Fortunately, I have never had the need to cross a muddy field with a 4-ton trailer since leaving the Army. (Although, to be fair, I never had the need then, I was just told I had to do it.) (I leave to the Land Rover afficianados to identify which model the Army was using from the mid-60s to early 70s.)

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolebama View Post
    Dennis, define 'best. If I wanted a draughty, uncomfortable, slow, fuel drinking overweight workhorse, or if I had the need to cross a muddy field with a 4-ton trailer, I would probably agree. Fortunately, I have never had the need to cross a muddy field with a 4-ton trailer since leaving the Army. (Although, to be fair, I never had the need then, I was just told I had to do it.) (I leave to the Land Rover afficianados to identify which model the Army was using from the mid-60s to early 70s.)
    A million British squaddies cannot be wrong.

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