[ad#post_ad]Terri Quigley is the plant manager of the Detroit-Hamtramck (DHAM) plant were the Chevrolet Volt is being built. I just had the chance to ask her a few questions about the current state of progress there.
So what’s happening over there at DHAM right now?
We’ve got a lot of excitement in the air. We are currently in the state of our product development life-cycle that we are building what we call salable Volts through our normal assembly process. So they travel through the paint shop and the general assembly on the same line as our current products. We are building them in buckets. Total production here thus far as has been about 140 units of Chevrolet Volts and those are various stages; pre production builds, we’ve got non-salable builds and we have built 40 of the saleable builds. Those kind of vehicles go to captured test fleets, so its internal customers and several marketing and powertrain engineering customers for those builds.
Are they indistinguishable from the cars that will be sold?
They’ll be very very similar. W’ell continue to make improvements and iterations in both the software and the technology as well as appearance improvements and improvements in the manufacturing process.
So you might make changes in the salable builds based on the captured test fleet results?
Exactly. Subtle improvements. No design theme changes or anything like that at this point in time.
So when you build these cars, do mostly of the control units arrive already programmed or do you program them there?
We do some and some. Some are already preprogrammed. The car’s got 32 to 33 different control modules in it so its a carefully orchestrated piece of technology that’s in a pretty little package. We do program the car here and then we test it for functionality in our dynamic vehicle testing, put it through all the paces it will see in its normal day to day use before we ship it to our internal customers. So we’ve done all the process checks, we call these manufacturing validation builds, you’ll hear some people say MVDs. This is all about validating that the car is ready to go, that I’ve got the operational setup and people trained and we’re ready to go to build these for the paying customers when that time comes later this year.
When will the first consumer Volt be built there?
Right towards the end of the year, the November/December timeframe is our target.
When did you build the first preproduction car there?
The very first one would have been March 31 when I drove the first one off the line.
So your building them very slowly at this point?
Right.That early build over the span of two months or so was only about 36 cars, and then we went to the salables. We take a little brake and incorporate all of our learnings, whether it be at the assembly plant, the supplier community, or the calibration community, and then we go again into this nonsalable bucket that we went through in the June, July timeframe and that was about 63, 64 cars, and then just recently we started the salable bucket over the last two or three weeks as we got through late August.
These might becalled non-retail salables then?
Yeah, in layman’s terms that really what we’re talking about.
What the difference between these and the ones you will actually ship to dealers for consumers?
There really is no difference other than we will continue to do some learning cycles. That’s what this captured test fleet portion of this last build will be. There are quite a number of cars that will go to pre-identified internal customers and we’ll be putting miles on the cars just to make sure we’ve got everythgin tidied up and ready to go for the consumers.
This entry was posted on Monday, September 13th, 2010 at 6:41 am and is filed under Production. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.