Have you ever wondered about how we build the cars you drive? Let us show you, using the example of our Burnaston factory in the UK where we make most of the Corolla models we sell in Europe.
1.The Press Shop: Our Corolla story begins with huge, 45-tone rolls of steel. These are smoothed, cut into sheets, shaped and moulded in the press shop to form body panels that will be welded together to make up the car’s unpainted body shell. The presses exert enormous pressure and are the biggest machines in the factory, each as big as a house.
2.The body shell is ready to be painted: Each shift at the factory will use around 300 tonnes of steel to build up to 750 cars a day – that’s one every 66 seconds. Once pressed, the panels are loaded in sequence on racks ready for the welding teams. Welding robots and stilled people assemble the bodyshell and create more complex parts, such as the doors. Here, as at every stage in the manufacturing process, thorough checks and inspections are made by both machines and humans.
3. The Paint Shop: Next stop is the spotless paint shop where each vehicle will be cleaned and given anti-corrosion coatings before the application of waterproof sealant and noise and vibration-damping material. Only then are the primer and top coats of paint applied, with heat treatment in an oven to achieve the required finish.
4. Assembly: Moving to the assembly shop, the painted bodyshell is fitted with all the parts needed to turn it into a fully functioning car, from wheels, engine and gearbox, to seats, steering wheel and safety equipment. The factory also has its own plastics shops, where it makes items such as bumpers and instrument panels.
5. Quality Assurance: The last stage in the production journey is the quality assurance department, where a skilled team make more than 2,000 rigorous checks on every vehicle. Every part of the cabin and exterior is scrutinised, the engine is started and stopped six times, acceleration and braking are tested and the car passes through a torrent of water to ensure it is leak-free.
6. The Show Room: It all ends after 825 processes with a further paint quality check, after which the car can begin its onward journey to the retailer's showroom and its first owner.