The Vauxhall factory at Ellesmere in Cheshire covers over a million square metres and contains dozens of robots that build the seventh-generation Astra. The plant can build up to 680 cars in one day. This is the story of how each one of them goes from being a collection of parts to being a fully functional Vauxhall Astra.
The first stage is for the body shell to be welded together, painted and sent to trim assembly. Here, it takes just 75 seconds for the windows to be put in place with the help of hot glue and a laser that guides each one into place. The electrics and the interior trims are also added in this section.
A large crane lifts the Astra shell over to the next part of the line in the second stage and onto the underbody. This includes the engine, struts, brakes and exhaust. The body slides into place and hydraulic robots take around 40 minutes to connect everything together in a process called the marriage.
After the marriage, the third stage is when the robots building the Astra are replaced by manual workers who attach the bumpers and steering wheel and fill the engine system with the necessary fluids. Drivers deliver the parts to the right section of the assembly line just at the right time, to make sure the robots and workers never run out.
The final part of the process includes fitting the tyres and seats. Quality assurance inspectors then carry out final checks to make sure everything is assembled properly and works as it should. The brand new Astra is then ready to make its way to a happy customer, perhaps via a Vision Vauxhall dealership in Stafford or Wednesbury!