Show Compare List
Previous Vehicle Next Vehicle

Vauxhall reveals quality secret as 5-millionth car leaves Ellesmere Port

Posted on:

Vauxhall reveals quality secret as 5-millionth car leaves Ellesmere Port

Today, in its 50th year as one of the UK's most prolific car plants, Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory has released dramatic footage of a vehicle sign-off like no other, while celebrating the five-millionth car to be produced at the Cheshire plant. News of the landmark car will be an extra boost for the near-1,800 workforce at EP, who build a new car every two minutes, and is currently gearing up for production of an all-new Astra later in 2015.

As the lead manufacturing plant in Europe for the new model, Ellesmere Port is taking on an additional 300 staff next month as part of a £140 million investment by parent General Motors, which will secure the plant’s future into the middle of next decadeVauxhall started building its compact cars at the Cheshire plant in 1964, and has been responsible for all Viva models (a nameplate that’ll return to the brand next year), the Chevette and all six Astra models from 1982. In all, an average of 100,000 units has left the plant in each of the last 50 years.

But like its sister plant in Luton (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r5FyzPX3W8) Ellesmere Port can also reveal footage of its extreme car sign-off process, which has evolved from clandestine ‘testing’ in the factory during the Sixties and Seventies, to one of the most comprehensive quality validations in the motor industry.

In 1964, when the first Viva HA rolled off the line, Ellesmere’s workforce was as passionate and skilled as it is today, but one employee – known simply as ‘Ellesmere Pete’ – developed a finely-honed test process, which is now used as a rubber-stamp by the factory on all the vehicles it makes.

Pete works during the plant’s downtime, and uses EP’s vast Body Shop to put randomly selected Astras through a variety of tough tests. Suspension components are only signed off after Pete has jettisoned an Astra into mid-air and had it land safely, while steering geometry is analysed by completing a half-circuit of the body-shop on two wheels.

But while the process has always remained the same, from the earliest Viva HA’s right through to modern day, Pete admits to some favourite test-drives around the plant. ‘The Firenza Droopsnoot was a cracker. It had so much poke that the biggest challenge was not clipping some of the machinery as you drifted it between production lines. And when I got my hands on the first Astra GTE back in ’82, it was by far the fastest thing I’d put through the stillage-chicane in Body Shop. I could hit 60 on a good day.’

Ellesmere Port’s current Plant Director, Stefan Fesser, was sceptical about the testing when he arrived in 2013. ‘Of course, Ellesmere Pete is a legend in GM circles, but I wasn’t convinced until I saw the breadth of his high-speed testing in the plant, and the detailed reports he generates. And you know what? After fifty years, he still does a fantastic job of validating the great quality that comes with every car we produce. Long may he continue.’

To view Ellesmere Pete at work, from 1964 to 2014, please click on the following link: http://bit.ly/1w5DhU2

Today’s Astra range is as popular and diverse as ever. With power outputs ranging from 100PS through to 280PS for the VXR model, it almost always features in the UK’s top-five best sellers and is available as a 3-door GTC coupe, 5-door Hatch and Sports Tourer estate. Both the Hatch and Sports Tourer are built at Ellesmere Port, with 76 per cent of total volume going to export.

SEAT ANNOUNCES UK PRICING AND SPECIFICATION FOR NEW ATECA FR

SEAT ANNOUNCES UK PRICING AND SPECIFICATION FOR NEW ATE...

Posted on: 18th May 2017

Unveiled this week at the Automobile Barcelona show, SEAT UK is now whetting British customers' appetites with details of specifications and pricing for the sporty FR addition to its Ateca SUV range. SEAT's first SUV has already proved a huge hit, both with UK media and in the marketplace, its sales performance since launch last Septem...

ALL-NEW NIRO WINS BEST HYBRID IN 2017 DIESEL CAR AWARDS

ALL-NEW NIRO WINS BEST HYBRID IN 2017 DIESEL CAR AWARDS...

Posted on: 18th May 2017

Kia has received yet more recognition and won a tightly contested award in this years' Diesel Car and Eco Car Awards, with the all-new Kia Niro hybrid crossover winning best hybrid vehicle and the Kia cee'd and Sportage models coming well within the top 50 cars available in the UK, concluded by the panel of judges of Diesel Car and Eco Ca

PEUGEOT REVEALS NEW 308 WITH ENHANCED STYLING AND TECHNOLOGY

PEUGEOT REVEALS NEW 308 WITH ENHANCED STYLING AND TECHN...

Posted on: 10th May 2017

PEUGEOT has revealed the latest generation of the 308 - its boldest and most high-tech model yet. With a raft of changes, including sharpened styling and the very latest in highly efficient powertrains and touchscreen connectivity, the car is now an even more compelling option.

SEAT SET TO UNVEIL ATECA FR AND 600 CONCEPT CAR AT AUTOMOBILE BARCELONA 2017

SEAT SET TO UNVEIL ATECA FR AND 600 CONCEPT CAR AT AUTO...

Posted on: 10th May 2017

Barcelona-based SEAT is preparing to showcase two new cars at its home city international motor show, which runs from 11th to 21st May 2017. The automobile world, connectivity, digitalisation, technology and smart mobility will go hand in hand at Automobile Barcelona, combining two shows into one. Firstly, Connected Hub, an event dedicated to in...