An interesting article has turned up in a newspaper that I assume is local to the Moraine, Ohio plant where the Saab 9-7x is produced.
I suspect that until you work in an automotive plant you’d only be guessing as to some of the quality control measures that are in place there.
How does a 48 year-old woman named April hooning about in your 9-7x sound? It wasn’t something I expected.
April Adkins gently accelerates a Saab 9-7X, then, without braking, places the gear shift into park — exactly as her father, years ago, taught her not to.
A clicking sound results, indicating that the SUV’s parking paw was engaged — exactly as it should.
Adkins, 48, turns to her passengers. “Hold on,” she says.
She’s not kidding.
Adkins, an 27-year worker at General Motors Corp.’s assembly plant off Stroop Road, whips the luxury SUV into reverse figure-8s, deftly maneuvering the vehicle across an empty parking lot next to the plant’s paint side.
The SUV — a 2008 pilot model — takes the turns with aplomb, responding smoothly to Adkins’ touch.
Adkins isn’t trying to break the vehicle — or even break it in. She’s part of GM-Moraine Assembly’s Global Customer Audit team, a five-member crew that pulls 15 randomly selected, just-assembled vehicles from the plant’s carrier yard for a thorough inspection.
Each crew member goes over the vehicles inside and out, investing about two hours on each one, searching for flaws in finish, fit or function.
Note there the news that they’re currently testing MY2008 9-7x’s out at the Moraine plant. If you were hoping for a sooner-rather-than-later intro for the 9-4x then it’s 2009 at the earliest, but that was pretty much known anyway.
It’s an interesting read, going through a few of the driving tests they do, ones that don’t involve reverse figure eights or mashing the transmission.
There’s also this brief list:
Each vehicle built at the GM-Moraine assembly plant goes through multiple layers of confirmation and checking. In the plant’s general assembly area, there are 600 applications of error-proofing, which check:
Torque control tooling
Trim verification (two stations)
Chassis verification (two stations)
Final verification (three stations)
Water test — all vehicles pass through a two-minute shower of water before being checked for water intrusion.
Squeak and rattle drive — all vehicles are driven over a bumpy track designed to allow drivers hear any problems.