• Aug 4, 2009
Volt body panels being stamped - Click above to watch the videos after the jump

The other day, we pointed you toward a video produced by General Motors that is part of a series on the building of the pre-production Chevy Volt prototypes. That video showed the model's IVER (Integration Vehicle Engineering Release) bodies being assembled, welded and painted in the body shop at the pre-production operations center in Warren MI. However, before you can weld and paint, you have to take sheets of steel and stamp them into the right shapes. It turns out that there were other videos that came ahead the body shop video show this aspect of the Volt's development.

In the stamping shown above, you can see how the engineers go from the mathematical models of the parts to machining the prototype dies. Unlike the production dies, these prototypes are not as tough and are only useful for producing a limited number of parts. Because the steel springs back somewhat after it comes out of the press, the dies don't have the same shape as the final part. As a result, there is often some trial and error in creating them. Once the final die shape is determined, it is scanned and the data is sent to the production tool and die shop. Check out the videos after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]







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  • 17 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      yawn. AB you've done this before, and with much more interesting tech:

      http://www.autoblog.com/2008/04/03/autoblog-visits-the-audi-r8-factory-in-neckarsulm-germany/

      When do we get to the part where lasers scan the volt to insure propper fit an finish, WHEN?
        • 5 Years Ago
        This isn't a production operation, it's pre-production. They don't set up the lasers until they tool the plant to build the car. Wait a year.

        BTW; when is VW going to make a car that does not self-destruct at 50,000 miles? I guess great fit and finish is worth something when you are sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck to haul your just out of warranty VW to the shop for the 8th time.
      Nelson
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Its just space filler. Same story was on ABG yesterday. ABG just pulls whatever pops up on the Volt Webpage and writes a story about it (and readers flock)."

      You mean readers like yourself?

      Cmon people gimme a break. Who cares if AB is fillin' space, it's an interesting watch. I don't care who you are or what your intelligence level is, if you don't find these videos interesting, your not a car guy. I enjoy many manufacturing videos, why don't others?


      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes, EVERY car on the planet is made this way. Those videos are designed as a form of "viral marketing" to bring up consumer demand.

      I still prefer a Tesla Model S. That's at least an all new car. (based on Mercedes chassis engineering) Where can you go wrong with this.

      The volt is an expensive econobox engineering, strapped in with a modern electric drive system. It shares components with the Chevy Cruze.. - how on earth would that be a sports sedan..
      • 5 Years Ago
      What happened to that Volt Concept that used to look a little like the Camaro? I saw that at the NY Auto Show, it looked pretty cool, but now the Volt is a Prius wannabe.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Every car goes through this process. These video contain nothing special or high[er]-tech compared to what any other modern economy car goes through.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Toyotas don't. They don't have any mule or prototype cars.. They just start building them 6-12 months after they show the show car and they are all perfect like little diamonds.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Again? They already showed this.
        Pablo
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think they added some techno music to spice things up...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Boring.....
      • 5 Years Ago
      Then is't also "over" for Toyota, Nissan, Ford, and Honda. The market is far too segmented today to ever have a seller like the Mustang again. Besides that, the Volt isn't intended to be that type of car at all. It's intended to be a technology showcase to demonstrate that an American company, in spite of it's ills, is able to create a vehicle that completely blows away the Prius in technology and eco-performance.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Stop making sense.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Strange that I'm not hearing any sense of the "do or die" nature of what the Volt represent in those videos.

      Once mighty GM has all its eggs in a single, tiny, basket with the Volt - you'd think there'd be more than a half dozen guys working on it. Should the Volt no be a massive, instant success, the "New GM" will cease to exist. In fact the Volt must come through with the same historic sales as the original Mustang, back in 1964, just to break even and keep GM afloat.

      I'd love to see the equivalent video of the new Telsa sedan factory for comparison.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Volt isn't intended to rescue GM. It's to make sure that 5 years from now, when EREV and EV -type cars are practical, GM is competitive.

        The Prius, for instance, is something like 3-5% of Toyota's total sales. Why would anyone think that the Volt would be significantly more successful (Personally, I think it's a better car, but it's higher priced).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, in that case, it's over for GM. They won't have a mustang moment. No automaker since has, or ever will. It's one of those perfect conflations of economy, massive pent up demand for something like the mustang, sheer numbers of people able to purchase, etc etc.

        It simply will not happen again, especially with a limited volume (comparatively) car, especially with an expensive one, especially in this economy.
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