In the United Kingdom, work vans are big business. They're such a big deal that an entire sub-culture surrounds their drivers, known as white van men. White van men tend to look at their vans the same way that die-hard American pickup owners look at their trucks – as tough, do-everything workhorses. So Vauxhall's cheek with this ad will certainly be appreciated.

It focuses on the General Motors subsidiary's cargo van, the new Vivaro, and how it can handle just about anything that's thrown at it. Rather than demonstrate this by showing off its hauling prowess, though, Vauxhall instead handed the keys over to precision driver Paul Swift, who it has dubbed "Stig-aro" as an ode to his work with Top Gear Live. Swift puts the Vivaro through its paces at the van's Luton factory. According to Vauxhall, Swift's work is now "seen as commonplace among the 1200-strong workforce at the historic Luton factory."

"As Britain's largest LCV manufacturer, we want to ensure that every customer receives the very best van that we can produce, and that means putting it through the most demanding maneuvers we can think of," said Plant Director Mike Wright.

Take a look below to see Stig-aro and the new Vivaro in action, and then scroll down for the official press release from Vauxhall.
Show full PR text
VAUXHALL REVEALS RADICAL FACTORY-TEST FILM FOR NEW VIVARO VAN

Luton company's video shows 'alternative' approach to sign-off of new Vivaro
Extreme test ensures that vans are optimised for maximum agility and durability
Plant staff now accustomed to J-turns and approved 'Two-Wheel Certification'
Luton – Vauxhall is thought to be the very first manufacturer to employ 'extreme' test procedures in its Kimpton Road plant at Luton, as revealed in a previously unseen video.

The tests, which are designed to validate the agility, durability and safety of every new Vivaro van, have just been introduced and are now seen as commonplace among the 1200-strong workforce at the historic Luton factory.

J-turns, handbrake turns and driving on two wheels across designated parts of the factory floor are just some of the tests that have been employed at the plant, and illustrate Vauxhall's commitment to making the New Vivaro the toughest and most driveable van on the market.

Plant Director, Mike Wright, welcomed the new procedure: 'As Britain's largest LCV manufacturer, we want to ensure that every customer receives the very best van that we can produce, and that means putting it through the most demanding manoeuvres we can think of.

'Our official test driver – known as "Stig-aro" to the men and women on the production line – has now got his procedure off to such a fine art that it barely raises an eyebrow in the factory. They just let him get on with it. But please don't try this at home!'

The New Vivaro starts production this summer, with 40 per cent of its components coming from UK suppliers, many of whom are new to the company. Vauxhall is the largest manufacturer of LCVs in the UK, and has produced almost one million vans since the current model was launched in 2001. New Vivaro goes on sale later this year, priced from £17,995.


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  • 17 Comments
      rbnhd1144
      • 6 Months Ago
      Most Americans know very little about European Vans, Size/perception or mileage. The Vivaro / Primastar should have been sold here many years ago, thats Nissan's and GMs biggest mistake, these are better Vans than anything they offer for sale in the states, Ford has also missed the boat by not offering us the Transit Custom, these are the Mid size vans we need.
      rbnhd1144
      • 6 Months Ago
      Id love to have that Vivaro Cargo van sitting in my garage, three seats up front, a sealed off bulkhead and great mileage is just a start.
        Bernard
        • 6 Months Ago
        @rbnhd1144
        The words "Free Candy" spray painted on the side...
      James
      • 6 Months Ago
      Can't help wondering why GM didn't pop a bow-tie on the Vivaro many years ago, rather than rebadge a Nissan product.
        Alex Ingram
        • 6 Months Ago
        @James
        No, it's actually a Renault product originally. Sit inside an original Vivaro or one of it's variants, and it is all Renault switchgear.
          Narom
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Alex Ingram
          Actually its an Opel/Nissan/Renault product. Designed by one, built by another.
          aatbloke1967
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Alex Ingram
          Narom, incorrect. These are Renault products which are also built by Vauxhall/Opel and Nissan by way of a joint venture agreement. It's been that way for twenty years.
        aatbloke1967
        • 6 Months Ago
        @James
        James, the Vivaro is a rebadged Renault Trafic, part of a joint venture which began with Vauxhall and Renault in the early 1990's. It's built in the UK in Vauxhall and Opel guises, by Renault in France, and in Spain as the Nissan Primastar.
      Narom
      • 6 Months Ago
      I drive two Vauxhall vans, the Combo and the Vivaro. Rubbish cack things, turning circle of boats, Ford make far superior vans.
      FRD
      • 6 Months Ago
      That reminded me of one of those Transporter movies.
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