How long does it take to build a car

Discussion in 'Motoring' started by nheather, Nov 9, 2017.

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  1. nheather

    nheather
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    I have a BMW on order and I have just received three texts as follows

    8th Nov 11:02 - the bodyshell has reached the paintshop and will be undergoing an exacting 5 stage paint process

    8th Nov 13:01 - you car is now fully assembled

    9th Nov 11:02 - your car has now left the factory and is on its way to the UK

    This can't be right surely. It must take more than 1 hour and 59 minutes to go from an unpainted bodyshell to a finished car.

    I would have thought the painting process alone would take a few days.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  2. Gary D

    Gary D
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    I think that's about right for a 21st Century production line.
     
  3. un1eash

    un1eash
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    A car rolls of the production line almost every minute at Nissan in Sunderland
     
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  4. nheather

    nheather
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    So how come when you go to a main dealer paint shop they tell you it is going to take days because of the number of layers they have to put on each of which needs to be baked.

    It's hard for me to imagine that five coats of paint and a lacquer can be applied in a few minutes and be tough enough to start working on a few minutes later.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  5. Gary D

    Gary D
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    No idea. I don't work in a body shop. But I'd imagine that the factory has better ovens and more joined up processes as it passes through production.

    One thing I do know is that it doesn't take days to make car. Unless it's a hand built Morgan or similar.
     
  6. JimmyMac

    JimmyMac
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    BMW 650i and 640i Paint Process at BMW Plant


    might give some insight to it, bare in mind thats 5 years old so chances are its been improved since then
     
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  7. Aerojon

    Aerojon
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    the complete drivetrain is on a jig,then to two are married together on the production line where the fitters then bolt it together..
     
  8. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    I’ve been on a few tours of truck plants. It’s amazing when you see how it all works. Especially when it takes 12 weeks to get a damn chassis delivered but they make so many in one day!

    With modern quick drying paints and paint booths it takes no time at all to paint a vehicle.

    If you ever get the chance to have a tour of a modern vehicle plant, do it as it is fascinating.
     
  9. JimmyMac

    JimmyMac
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    Did a tour of the bentley factory some years back, takes a little longer there! Hand stitching seats, hand made veneer, amazing to see the engines being built
     
  10. Chevyonfuel

    Chevyonfuel
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    As noted above, it's a varying thing depending on manufacturer. The more mainstream manufacturer's have an assembly line that requires each action to be carried out with the timing of an order picker at Amazon - all quite busy. In terms of how long it takes to get a car delivered from date of order - for your average car, the wait is primarily because you as a customer are in a queue in terms of where your car is on the line, so it might not take long to put together in isolation. It's more that it's got to go through the sausage making machine among all the other orders.

    Some manufacturer's will have body shells in stock in the most common colours, knowing it'll be chosen by a customer at some point. That might explain why the paint process appears so quick; it might have been sat waiting to be plucked for assembly.

    I had the Gaydon factory tour from Aston Martin last month (part of the day prior to being shown the new Vantage). They average 27 minutes per station, but due to the complexity of things like the upholstery, they're done offline from the busier bits, to become a more modular assembly later on for the interior fitters. With cars like the current Vantage, it's something like 150 hours to hand stitch the door cards. The robots building Honda Civics can churn out several completed vehicles in the same time.

    If you get a chance to visit any of the factories for a tour (I'd heard Mini and Honda are quite good), they're wonderful places to see. The engineering involved in just the processes for producing vehicles is impressive itself :thumbsup:.

    p.s. it's all impressive compared to my taking almost 4 years to put an old banger of a Corvette together... ;)
     
  11. rousetafarian

    rousetafarian
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    Your new motor will arrive before your new Meerkat probably
     
  12. mjn

    mjn
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    They're built pretty fast. (I've done the tour of the BMW plant in Munich)
     
  13. nheather

    nheather
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    Probably, but that is a bad thing.

    I have a company car that goes back on 14th Dec - I can't return it earlier.

    So when I ordered this I expalined that I wanted the car on or after 14th Dec. Not a problem, the delivery time was stated as 16-18 weeks which would have put it as last week of December but most likely early January.

    I was then told it would be first of December which would mean that the dealer would have to hold it for a week.

    Now fear it might be third week of November and the dealer is going to pressure me to take delivery early.

    Cheers,

    Nigel
     
  14. rousetafarian

    rousetafarian
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    They shouldn’t pressurise you, and will probably just hold it.
     
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  15. nvingo

    nvingo
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    29 years ago (aargh - where's it all gone?) I had a Ford Orion built to my spec. I think it was 8 weeks lead time, from plant in Belgium.
    When I was in sixth form, ww went on a visit to Ford at Dagenham to see assembly of Sierras, Fiestas and the new 1.6L diesel engine.
    As said, the sourcing of parts (seats, trim etc) takes the time, bolting it all together only takes moments.
     
  16. kimberlin

    kimberlin
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    I've been to both the BMW factory at Rosslyn in South Africa, and the Nissan Plant in Oppama, Japan. Absolutely facinating visits. To see just how quickly the production line technicians work, is quite something. Slot in an entire engine/drivetrain in around a minute, fully bolted in and along comes the next one.

    I was surprised that when I visited the BMW plant in South Africa, that quite a lot of the vehicles on the production line that I saw that day, were in fact destined for the UK. I suppose it shouldn't really have come as much of a surprise, after all, South Africa is a right hand drive vehicle market, so building cars for the UK and other right hand drive markets makes sense.
     
  17. mikes48

    mikes48
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    Did the TVR factory tour in Blackpool a good number of years ago, really fascinating. Not really my kind of car, tbh, but hope to see them on the road again sometime.
     
  18. ukdan

    ukdan
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    Just checked at work and it's approx 18 hours from start to finish for a Civic or CRV.
     
  19. Jules Winfield

    Jules Winfield
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    It doesn't take more than a couple of days to build mass-produced cars. When I've asked before, I've been quoted three days (I think that was a Golf Mk6). Remember that it's all precisely planned and (usually) everything runs like clockwork, so whilst the shell is being painted and dried in an oven, the drive train and other bits can be worked on elsewhere and things like seats and interiors lined up so they go on cars in the correct order as they move down the line.

    I did go on a tour of the Land Rover Defender plant shortly before it stopped production. Now that's labour-intensive! We had a glimpse of one of the Range Rover lines too - that was eerily quiet and had very few people around. The Defender one had people with hammers and very few automated areas.

    Anyway, it's nice to see you're finally getting your car, Nigel.
     
  20. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
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    And don’t worry it will take longer to transport than to build it. First will go on a train, get all that lovely dust on fresh paint, then the boat, there maybe some damage at the docks and the the garage body shop will have to fix it which again will take longer. Then you wait until the PDI check. Heck before you know it you’ll be knocking on their door to ask them whether they can hurry up :)
     
  21. Dony

    Dony
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    @nheather Assuming you now have your car, how long did it take from date of order to delivery?
     
  22. aVdub

    aVdub
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    Friends ST keeps getting bounced back with delays with paint and latest one was issue's with the steering wheel.
    I'm guessing the true issue may be that the car is being built in 26 different countries and not all sites have a Fax machine :p
     
  23. rousetafarian

    rousetafarian
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  24. Chevyonfuel

    Chevyonfuel
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  25. rousetafarian

    rousetafarian
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    ..but the end product.....OMG!
     
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