You’d be surprised at how many times we get asked the question ‘Can’t you just change it so i can have air con and purple spots on my van’. Well maybe not the purple spots bit but we do get asked if we can have changes made to a vehicle during the build process. The honest answer is, that after a certain point, no you cant.
I have been to the Vauxhall Vivaro plant in Luton and was amazed at just how efficient and accurate the whole process is but also what a manufacturing and logistical challenge it is to continuously build vehicles, one after the other, day after day. For example, on the chair section of the production line, when the last chair is lifted from the crate and the fitter turns to install it in the van, one forklift truck arrives to take the empty crate away whilst another forklift turns up with a new crate, all finished by the time the fitter turns round to get the next chair.
Can you imagine the planning and logistics involved to make sure all those parts arrive just in time? Thats why it takes so long to build vehicles; parts have to be scheduled for delivery, put in to stock, all at the same time to coincide with whichever is next on the line. You see, its not all batches of vehicles that are the same – there maybe 3 short wheel base Vivaros with twin side load doors, followed by one long wheel base with a tailgate followed by seven vans in red!
So, the next time your wondering why we cant just ‘swap the doors round at the factory’, spare a thought for all the parts sitting in the crate just waiting to be fitted to ‘their’ van!!!