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Assembly of the 2011 Chevy Volt – Click above to watch video after the jump

Through the miracle of time-lapse videography, General Motors has brought us inside its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to watch as it constructs the 2011 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid. In what seems like mere seconds, the Volt rolls off the line ready to hit the road.

Though actual assembly of Chevy's plug-in takes a bit longer than a couple of minutes, the time lapse imagery manages to capture the highlights of the process and piece it all together in an easy-to-watch clip. It's worth pointing out that the Volt travels down the same line as Cadillac models and undergoes an assembly process that's nearly identical – aside from its battery pack install – to that of a more conventional vehicle. Hop the jump to watch the Volt progress from a steel shell to a complete vehicle in less than two minutes.

[Source: General Motors]



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  • 18 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Interesting to see other GM vehicles on the line. For a minute I thought they were going to electrify those big Caddy DTS's. There would have been a lot of Surprised Flrodia Seniors come spring time.

      Congratulations GM on seeing this though. Congratulations Bob Lutz on seeing your baby delivered.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think you meant the Volt and the Cruze, not the Leaf. Anyhow- Since the 80's Hamtramack was always to be GM's Factory of the future- and this time, they were able to get some Pr out of building a future car at a factory that needed the work and attention.

        Also some nearby factories were retooled recently-

        Flint Engine South (1.4L four-cylinder to be used in the Volt and Cruze) As well as Flint Metal Center, Flint Tool and Die and Grand Blanc Weld Tool Center.

        Just guessing here- But I imagine Ohio got the Cruze for a bunch of political (tax incentives?) reasons as well as previously having the line that built the Cobalt.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Building completely different models on the same assembly line is very clever. However, I'm surprised GM doesn't build the Leaf on their Cruze line. Since the Volt and Cruze share the same platform, they probably share some parts.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Couple of Buicks on that line too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      was that a DTS on that interior line?
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Leaf video is better! LOL

      Can't wait for the next South Park episode when Leafers meet the Pious owners for a smug off and a Volt rolls up. Confusion and chaos ensues. Maybe Mysterion can sort it out.

      Leafer Madness.

      C'mon, Leafers. Get back to tracking cargo ships from Japan. Oy vey
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, this is nowhere near as cool as the nissan leaf's manufacturing process.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saPWgjsRcAQ
        • 4 Years Ago
        lne937s:
        As mentioned in the video, the batteries (made by AESC) and the motor controller (made by Calsonic) are not produced in-house, Nissan just got video from those vendor sites and incorporated it. GM could have done this and probably should have.

        All in all, I think given the amount of discussion we've had about the Nissan video, ABG should probably write an article featuring it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why not...

        AESC IS Nissan and NEC joint venture.

        They are collaborators... not vendor and buyer like GM and it's part suppliers.

        Nissan's production is much more "in house" than GM production of EV parts. Which is one of the reasons for the huge price gap between the Volt and the Leaf.
        • 4 Years Ago
        OMG! soooo much better. So much more informative.

        The Chevy video showed the Volt getting manufactured like every other GM vehicle is done. Nothing new, nothing special. If you look closely, you can see the battery go into the tunnel of the Volt. But the rest was just business as usual. Impressive, only if you've never seen a automobile assembly line.

        The Nissan video actually showed the Battery being built, assembled and installed... all by robots. As well as how the motor windings and the inverter are automated too. That video you linked really showed new processes in action. Also, put Nissan's production plans in perspective.
        *why hasn't ABG done a story on that video? Did I miss it maybe?

        Great link.... thank you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Okay "why not the LS2LS7",
        the Chevy video had better music. ;P happy now?
        • 4 Years Ago

        "But that doesn't mean GM's manufacturing is less interesting, they just didn't show the parts you wanted to see."

        That is precisely what I said, the "video" for the Leaf manufacturing was much more informative. Both cars have essentially the same EV parts. Nissan chose to show them being built. While GM did not (or could not since they out source most of it).

        The manufacturing process for the Volt is interesting I am sure.... but they didn't show any of that in the video. In fact, it was no more interesting than any other GM gasoline vehicle assembly line.

        While Nissan, showed something different.
        • 4 Years Ago
        So you're saying that Nissan showed more interesting parts?

        GM only showed final assembly, and Nissan showed production of subassemblies. Okay, that's cool, you like seeing subassemblies made. But that doesn't mean GM's manufacturing is less interesting, they just didn't show the parts you wanted to see.

        Joe:
        I see PCBs made often, so that part is boring to me. There are plenty of PCBs in ICE cars too, just so you know. You could see the ECU for an ICE being built and it would barely be distinguishable from seeing that motor controller (inverter) being made. Seeing the motor wound is kind of interesting, but seeing an alternator being wound wouldn't look any different actually.
        • 4 Years Ago
        In what way?
        BipDBo
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wouldn't say that the one has a cooler manufacturing process than the other, but from the perspective of an engineer, Nissan definitely has a cooler video. The Volt video, however, shows what GM wants America to see; the car driving off of the assembly line and many busy American workers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        1) Batteries for volt comes from LG -
        2) Electric motors comes from REMY

        so how they will show those ? GM only has is a automotive assembly line and they are showing it.

        I don't think there is anything in-house other than software development and testing (not sure that is also done by somebody else ).
        • 4 Years Ago
        As Nissan makes major components in-house (batteries, electric motors) and GM relies on suppliers, there is more production process to show on the LEAF.

        Also, Nissan's line seems dramatically more automated (white shirts are engineers, red shirts are assembly workers). Nissan has a history of some of the most efficient production lines, but this looks like it is taking it to the next level. As Nissan has invested to make their production more automated, scale production should be easier to reach and should reduce cost more.
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