The New Vauxhall Vivaro--British Built and Ready to Shake Up the Market
April 11, 2014: Fresh look with more space, modern technologies and stylish design Efficient turbo diesel engines with best-in-class fuel consumption and CO2 values Award-winning sculptural Vauxhall design language introduced to van class Laptop holder and IntelliLink infotainment make well-connected mobile office Versatile all-rounder in two lengths and two heights with even more load volume
The new British-built Vauxhall Vivaro is coming – more practical, more efficient and more appealing than ever before.
The second generation combines the functionality of a light commercial vehicle and the benefits of an office on wheels with the comfort and design appeal of a passenger car. Its predecessor is already a popular and enduring player in the European light commercial vehicle market, with almost 600,000 units built since its market launch in 2001.
With around 50,000 vehicles sold per year, the Vivaro currently accounts for around ten percent of sales in its segment (Van D), making it the top performer in Vauxhall/Opel’s LCV portfolio.
Now the new, second generation Vivaro, coming to market this summer, is set to continue building on this success.
It has everything it takes to succeed: its diverse variants are now longer, enabling increased load capacity, and its cabin features state-of-the-art IntelliLink infotainment technology with user-friendly navigation, as well as equipment details which quickly and easily transform it into a mobile office. The new Vivaro is also extremely economical: under its bonnet are all-new turbo diesel engines which offer reduced fuel consumption as low as 49.5mpg, with CO2 emissions down to 149g/km (preliminary data) – best-in-class values that also impact favourably on owners’ wallets as well as the environment.
“The Vivaro is in a fiercely competitive market, and today’s customers require more from a light commercial vehicle than ever before,” said Steve Bryant, Brand Manager, Vauxhall Commercial Vehicles. “The British-built Vivaro looks set to further strengthen our position in the light commercial vehicle market.”
Two diesels, four output levels: Newest turbo technology for the Vivaro
Advanced propulsion technology makes the new Vivaro an economical and powerful all-purpose van. Two all-new turbo diesels, offering a choice of four output levels, ensure fast acceleration even when the Vivaro is fully loaded. The engine portfolio comprises a 1.6 CDTi with 90PS and 115PS, as well as the sophisticated 1.6 BiTurbo CDTi with sequential turbocharging and a twin-cooler system giving 120PS and 140PS. Featuring twin turbochargers, this engine combines excellent performance with high fuel economy. The new turbo diesel units’ fuel consumption decreases in the combined cycle by over one litre, with the BiTurbo’s dipping to as low as 49.5mpg with 149g/km CO2 emissions (preliminary data). This gives Vauxhall’s new all-purpose van best-in-class economy. And for those who want even more, a special ‘eco’ driving mode can be activated to deliver still greater fuel savings.
The new Vivaro also provides plenty of power. From just 1,500rpm, the 120PS BiTurbo generates impressive maximum torque of 320Nm, while the 140PS variant delivers 340Nm.
With sophisticated chassis control systems and numerous safety functions, the new Vivaro puts its power and performance solidly on the road. In addition to ABS, including Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), the driver is supported by Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Hill Start Assistant (HSA), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Traction Control (TC) and Roll Over Mitigation.
Modern assistance systems make driving the new Vivaro even safer and more relaxed. It is available with a combined cruise control and speed limiter, as well as a Park Pilot which helps the driver reverse into a parking space. The driver also has access to an optimum rear overview with the addition of a rear-view camera, while another practical and safety-related feature is the large convex mirror in the passenger sun visor. It can be tilted to a position which enables the driver to see into the ‘blind spot’ area, while also offering better all-round visibility.
Modern mobile workspace: New Vivaro with lots of space and practical details
Flexible, multi-purpose and well-equipped – the new Vauxhall Vivaro can be configured to meet just about every LCV need. It continues its predecessor’s successful concept of diverse variants and is available as a panel van, Combi, double cab or platform cab, in various configurations including two body lengths (L1: 4,998 / L2: 5,398mm) and two roof heights. The new Vivaro is even better equipped to carry loads than its predecessor, as both body lengths are 216mm longer than before. This adds 100mm to the cargo bay in both vehicle lengths for 2.5m (L1) and 2.9m (L2). Total load volume for the panel van is also increased, ranging from 5.2m3 to 8.6m3. Easy access to the cargo bay is provided by the rear doors. Hatches in the front passenger seat and cabin bulkhead also provide an extended load-through option. Alternatively, in the Combi variant with a sliding side door, eight passengers can comfortably travel in three rows of seats.
The cockpit in the new Vivaro is designed to provide a modern, mobile workspace. Customers can choose comfort seats with lumbar support that are adjustable for both length and height. All key functions in the cockpit are now positioned in line of sight and within optimal reach, ensuring exemplary ergonomics. These include practical details such as the centre front seat, which can be quickly and easily transformed into a small desk to hold a laptop. Work or other everyday items can be stowed in spaces above the infotainment system on the centre console, or in a drawer under the front passenger seat with 42 litres of storage volume.
The Vivaro now offers optimum onboard connectivity via Vauxhall’s IntelliLink infotainment system, which includes a seven-inch colour touchscreen, Bluetooth telephone connectivity, audio streaming and advanced navigation functions with maps that can be simply updated by USB download. Equipment features such as automatic climate control and a Keyless Open & Start system increase cabin comfort and ease of use.
Simply unmistakable: New Vivaro is robust and stylish
Practical and comfortable inside, robust and elegant outside: the all-new Vivaro brings Vauxhall’s award-winning design philosophy ‘sculptural artistry meets technical precision’ to the light commercial vehicle segment for the first time. So for enhanced design appeal alone, it promises to attract new customer groups. The exterior is even more elegant and contemporary, with a large, prominent grille, distinctive headlamps and a flowing ‘blade’ side motif from Vauxhall’s multi-award-winning design language. The Daytime Running Lights come in a signature ‘wing’ graphic and are available with crisp LED technology, giving the Vivaro an unmistakable look. With its clean and practical rear design, the Vivaro clearly communicates the robustness that customers demand from a van during everyday use.
Vivaro customers can choose between three equipment/trim variants as well as 11 body colours. Right from market launch, further specific colours will be available for special-use vehicles, ensuring the new Vivaro comes in an outfit that’s perfect for every business and commercial need.
STATE-OF-THE-ART: NEW ENGINES AND CHASSIS SYSTEMS
All-new turbo diesels deliver class-leading economy and low emissions ecoFlex variants with Stop/Start and braking energy recovery Rear suspension tuned for optimum comfort and security Electronic Stability Program (ESP) fitted as standard
On the road, the new Vivaro introduces passenger car sophistication to the LCV segment with a range of state-of-the-art systems and technologies. These include an all-new family of frugal 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engines giving a power output from 90PS to 140PS, including BiTurbo applications and Start/Stop functionality with braking energy recovery and electric smart management for ecoFlex variants.
The chassis’ ride and handling have been tuned for optimum comfort, road-holding and security and the braking system includes Electronic Stability Program (ESP) fitted as standard. Finally, a reduced drag co-efficient further contributes to low fuel consumption and emissions.
Downsized turbo diesels with class-leading efficiency and BiTurbo technology
The Vivaro’s new 1.6 CDTI engine is coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox and comes in four power configurations: two variants, the 90PS and 115PS units, are equipped with a single variable geometry turbocharger while the 120PS and 140PS engines use sequential BiTurbo technology. The result is a best-in-class combined cycle consumption and CO2 emissions – just 49.5mpg and 149g/km (preliminary data) with the ecoFLEX technology.
With a cast iron block and aluminium cylinder head, the engine architecture includes four valves per cylinder, operated by maintenance-free chain-driven overhead camshafts, and a high-pressure common-rail fuel injection system running at 1,800 bar (1,600 bar for single turbo) with multiple injection pulses for optimum efficiency. The engine has been benchmarked against competitors for low noise levels, vibration and harshness. A maintenance-free Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) comes as standard.
Specific fuel-saving features include a variable displacement oil pump and a switchable water pump for fast engine warm-up. The variable swirl combustion system also contributes in increased efficiency, giving strong power with reduced emissions and combustion noise.
The 90 and 115PS engines use a variable geometry turbocharger for an enhanced throttle response at low engine speeds. It contributes to strong, flexible pulling power: maximum torque of 260 Nm from 1,500 rpm and 300Nm from 1,750rpm, respectively. In standard panel van and Combi body variants, both engines return low combined cycle fuel consumption of 44.1mpg with 167g/km CO2 emissions (preliminary figures).
The 1.6 BiTurbo CDTi engines provide more power as well as greater frugality. They feature twin turbochargers, one small and one large. At low engine revs, the smaller low-inertia turbo engages to ensure a fast throttle response. The larger turbo kicks in at higher rpm to provide greater high-end horsepower. At just 1,500 rpm, the 120 hp BiTurbo generates an impressive maximum torque of 320Nm, while the 140PS variant delivers 340Nm at the same revs. These engines are the top-end of the Vivaro powertrain line-up for efficiency as well as power and return a combined cycle fuel consumption as low as 49.5mpg with 149g/km CO2 emissions (120PS BiTurbo CDTi, preliminary figures).
The three ecoFLEX 90PS, 120PS and 140PS engines are equipped with Start/Stop systems that help increase efficiency and reduce fuel consumption. Additionally, energy recovery through the use of regenerative braking technology further lowers operating costs and results in an altogether lower carbon footprint.
Sophisticated chassis, ESP as standard
The new Vivaro’s suspension systems provides superior robustness and durability without compromising on ride comfort and control. McPherson struts with isolated lower A-arms and coil springs incorporating side load compensation are fitted up front, while the semi-independent rear suspension uses a four-link or H-arm layout.
Braking and chassis control systems are equally sophisticated and the Vivaro offers a range of safety features designed to make the vehicle easy to drive and safe to handle across a wide range of road conditions.
The ABS system incorporates Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), which senses the load on each axle and optimises the braking response between the front and rear wheels accordingly. Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) automatically increases braking pressure in an emergency stop situation and Hill Start Assistant (HSA) avoids inadvertent roll-back when the vehicle is moving off on a slope.
The latest edition Electronic Stability Program (ESP) comes as standard and includes Traction Control (TC) for improved grip in slippery road conditions, Roll Over Mitigation, an important safety feature for commercial vehicles with a relatively high centre of gravity, Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) and Adaptive Load Control, which manages ESP intervention depending on whether the vehicle is fully loaded, half loaded or empty. When a tow bar is fitted, a Trailer Stability Program is also available, which decreases engine torque and brakes the vehicle when trailer movements or oscillations indicate a potential loss of control.
Improved aerodynamics and Eco Mode driving guide
With its best-in-class fuel economy and cost of ownership, the new Vivaro is an eco-friendly commercial vehicle. However, fuel consumption and emissions can be reduced still further by choosing a new Eco Mode driving guide, which delivers fuel and emissions savings of up to 10 per cent.
The system is activated by a button on the gearshift console. Engine torque and power is reduced, the response of the throttle pedal is modulated and the operation of the air conditioning/heating system is modified to save fuel. An indicator light in the instrument panel informs the driver when it is best to shift gear up or down. A driving style indicator also illuminates in real time: ‘green’ denotes economical driving, ‘yellow’ inflexible driving, and ‘orange’ an overly dynamic driving style. To evaluate overall driving efficiency, a rating index from zero to 100 is shown after each journey as additional motivation.
In vehicles fitted with a navigation system, the driver is shown an assessment in the colour display when the engine is switched off. This gives average fuel consumption and the total amount used, the distance covered and the driving range gained or lost after each journey.
Good aerodynamics also play a vital role in helping to reduce fuel consumption, and comprehensive computer modelling was used during the design of the new Vivaro to ensure it cleaves the air as efficiently as possible. This work focused on minimising the vehicle’s frontal area in order to reduce aerodynamic drag. The result is a significantly lower drag coefficient of 0.352, which is reduced still further, to 0.340, on ecoFLEX variants that feature a rear axle fairing and a front lip spoiler. Altogether, these features make the Vivaro a versatile mobile business card that continues to reduce its environmental footprint.
TOP DESIGN, ERGONOMICS AND INFOTAINMENT FOR LCV CLASS
Award-winning Vauxhall sculptural design language introduced in van class Fresh design highlights quality, functionality and business appeal Driver’s cab with host of practical solutions for mobile office functionality Top connectivity with Vauxhall’s IntelliLink infotainment technology State-of-the-art driver assistance systems for greater safety and comfort
The new Vauxhall Vivaro combines the functionality of a light commercial vehicle with the comfort and design of a passenger car.
Coming to market this summer, the second generation of Vauxhall’s bestseller brings the award-winning ‘sculptural artistry meets technical precision’ design philosophy to the light commercial vehicle segment for the first time.
Complementing its new, eye-catching looks are state-of-the-art technologies and many practical, innovative features in the cabin, making the Vivaro an extremely attractive competitor in this key vehicle class. With approximately 50,000 vehicles sold annually, it accounts for over 10 percent of its segment on the European market.
“The second generation Vauxhall Vivaro distinguishes itself with its superb practicality and quality. After 13 successful years on the market, we wanted to make the all-new Vivaro’s packaging even more attractive while raising the standard of its core capabilities,” said Mark Adams, Vauxhall/Opel’s Vice President, Design, describing the design team’s task. “The new Vivaro showcases sculptural artistry and technical precision with sweeping sculptural design elements, bold proportions and premium accents. This gives it a sharpened and more refined character, making it the ideal mobile business card.”
Simply unmistakable: New Vauxhall Vivaro is robust yet elegant
The new Vauxhall Vivaro’s exterior is now even more elegant and modern. With a large, prominent grille, distinctive headlamps and the flowing blade side feature from Vauxhall’s multi-award-winning design language, it includes the characteristic forms of the brand’s passenger car models.
The headlamps are executed in high-gloss black mouldings with embedded chrome accents that enhance their jewel-like effect. The daytime running lights come with signature Vauxhall wing graphic design and are available with modern, crisp LED technology, giving the Vivaro an unmistakable look. In all its elegance, with its wide face and clean, practical rear, the Vivaro clearly communicates the robustness that customers demand from the van during its everyday use. Its side design brings sculptural artistry to the van segment, with the signature Vauxhall blade feature flowing from under the side mirrors back to the rear wheel-arches in the same style as the Insignia family and Astra GTC models.
Depending on how the new Vivaro is to be used – as a robust workhorse, a sophisticated company vehicle or a comfortable large-capacity passenger carrier – customers can choose between two body trim specifications. The core variant is particularly robust and rugged: many body components, such as the front bumper, grille, side mirror housings and the vertical rear mouldings are in a durable, black textured plastic material. And for the Sportive, all body elements gleam in the same colour and the grille shines in chrome.
The new Vivaro colour palette comprises eleven standard colours – two more than its predecessor – with five solid and six two-coat metallic finishes. In the solid colour range, Icon Grey and the fresh Spring Green are new to the Vivaro range; rich Copper Brown, light Jasper Brown and the two silver tones Cassiopeia Silver and Platinum Silver expand the two-coat metallic offer. Right from market launch, further specific colours will, of course, be available for special-use vehicles, ensuring that the new Vivaro comes in the perfect outfit for every business and commercial need.
Simply practical: Vivaro cabin perfectly tailored to driver
While the exterior, in all its elegance, clearly communicates the new Vivaro’s robustness, its interior is designed to provide a modern, mobile workspace. The driver can choose comfort seats with lumbar support that are adjustable in length and height. All important functions in the cockpit are now positioned in line of sight and within optimal reach, ensuring ideal ergonomics. Their location played a central role in the design and layout of the driver and front passenger cabin area. The steering wheel, with remote controls, is positioned at a more upright angle for improved driver comfort and the steering column is adjustable for both rake and reach. The new instrument panel now has an oval, digital speed read-out in the centre, flanked by the rev counter and fuel gauge in classic round forms.
The new Vivaro is not only a comfortable load carrier. It is also a mobile office, which is particularly important for a vehicle in this class. The driver can install a notebook to his/her right and take care of desk work between journeys or set up the next customer appointment via email. Because thanks to a sophisticated folding mechanism, the centre front seat can be quickly and easily transformed into a ‘desk’ with space for a laptop, turning the Vivaro’s cab into a mobile, connected office. This reduces any need to stop off at the office when out and about, saving time, money and enabling much more efficient workday planning.
Further practical details for the driver and front passenger include three cup-holders and useful stowage spaces above the infotainment system on the centre console. These can hold notepads and pens, as well as folders and laptop cables. Other work or everyday items that don’t need to be directly at hand can be easily stowed within reach in a drawer under the front passenger seat. This offers up to 42 litres of storage volume and keeps contents safely out of sight. Alternatively, a load-through hatch under the passenger seat can be specified to facilitate the transport of long items.
Simply helpful: New IntelliLink infotainment and modern driver assistance systems
Optimum on-board connectivity is becoming increasingly important, especially for commercial vehicles as they are often required to function as mobile office and business hubs. To meet such needs, the new Vivaro offers a selection of different infotainment systems that can be optionally operated via steering wheel remote controls. These include the NAVI 50 system, with a 7-inch, intuitively-operated colour touchscreen giving the driver access to all important functions, such as radio, telephone and, of course, the navigation system including maps for 30 European countries. It has a CD player, AM/FM radio, a double-tuner, AUX/USB ports and is MP3/WMA compatible. Bluetooth telephone connectivity and audio streaming are also provided, and maps can simply be updated by USB download.
The top-of-the-line NAVI 80 system introduces Vauxhall’s state-of-the-art IntelliLink technology to the commercial vehicle segment. With the NAVI 80 IntelliLink, destinations can also be entered with voice command. The colour touchscreen can be personalised according to the driver’s preferences. Photos and videos can be viewed via a USB connection. IntelliLink thus brings the well-connected world of smartphones right inside the cab of the new Vivaro. Integrated DAB also offers a superior listening experience. This digital radio reception system greatly increases the number of stations received, while raising reception and sound quality to near CD levels.
Sophisticated features and modern assistance systems make driving the new Vivaro even safer and more relaxed. Cruise control with a speed limiter is now available, which is especially helpful during city driving as the vehicle cannot exceed the maximum speed entered, making speeding tickets a thing of the past. Park Pilot helps the driver reverse into a parking space. Four sensors in the rear bumper scan the area to the rear of the vehicle and an audible warning is heard in the cabin if anything enters that space. The warning “beep” increases in frequency as the vehicle moves closer to an object and turns into a constant tone when there is a risk of collision. In the new Vivaro, the driver now also benefits from an enhanced overview with the Rear-view Camera option, which displays the area behind the vehicle in the centre of the rear-view mirror or on the infotainment system’s colour screen. A static and dynamic overlay is projected on the display to indicate the optimum trajectory path for the vehicle.
Another practical and safety-related feature is the large convex mirror in the passenger sun visor, which can be tilted to a position that enables the driver to see into the ‘blind spot’ area, while also offering better all-round visibility. Should one or more tyres lose a disproportionate amount of pressure, the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) alerts the driver with a warning light in the instrument display.
Automatic climate control is offered for greater cabin comfort: it maintains the desired interior temperature regardless of what the mercury outside says. And Vivaro drivers can enjoy another feature even before they enter their vehicle. In addition to the familiar remote-control function, Vauxhall now offers the convenience of a Keyless Open & Start system that recognises the driver via the User Identification Device (UID) he/she is carrying.
VERSATILE VIVARO DESIGNED TO MEET DIVERSE RANGE OF NEEDS
Panel Van, Combi, Double Cab and Platform Cab body styles ex-factory More cargo and cabin space with maximum load volume increased to 8.6 m3 Cab design optimised for driver comfort and mobile office use New load-though option allows 4.15 meter-long stowage inside vehicle
Flexible, versatile and well-equipped, the new Vivaro can be configured to meet just about every need of the CV owner and operator. While continuing its predecessor’s successful concept of diverse variants - Panel Van, Combi, Double Cab and Platform Cab – it now offers even more cabin and load space.
The Panel Van, Combi and Crew Van all come in a choice of two body lengths (4,998 mm or 5,398 mm), while the Panel Van will also be available in two roof heights. All variants retain the 3,098 mm/3,498 mm wheelbase of the previous model. However, the rear load space is now 100 mm longer and the front cabin has been extended by 116 mm. For the Panel Van, the increased cargo capacity ranges between 5.2 and 8.6 m3, depending on body format.
Greater cabin space has been put to good use and special attention has been paid to providing plentiful on-board storage for the driver and occupants, an important requirement for this busy trade workhorse.
More comfort, increased cabin storage and smarter load carrying
The cabin of the new Vivaro has been optimised to allow any driver to find a comfortable driving position. The six-way driver seat is complemented by the adjustable steering wheel – that moves up and down, forward and back – and the re-designed dividing partition allows additional space for the adjustment of the backrest. Both trim levels are equipped with both lumbar support and armrest as standard. The result is that everyone can find the right position for their body type, reducing fatigue and improving driver satisfaction.
Organisation saves time, effort and money, which is why storage space within the cabin of the new Vauxhall Vivaro has been optimised, meaning less time wasted and fewer distractions looking for documents, folders, glasses or any other essential items while on the move.
The Vivaro’s newly designed cabin offers more than 75 litres of convenient stowage space, with 24 litres available in and around the dashboard area alone. This includes a 12 litre glove compartment – large enough to accommodate an A4-sized clipboard and 1.5-litre bottle – and many other easily accessible spaces for common items, such as phones, notebooks, wallets, coins, keys, drinks, gloves and snacks.
For larger items requiring less frequent access, a substantial 42 litres of space is provided under the hinged cushion of the front bench seat, while the 4.5-litre front door bins and cubbyholes – including in the second row in the Platform Cab – offer additional stowage space for all occupants.
On-the-move business and communications needs are facilitated by the dashboard’s ergonomic design. A range of portable devices, such as smartphones and tablets, linked by Bluetooth connectivity to the infotainment system, can be conveniently mounted on the dashboard and fascia using available cradles.
The innovative office front bench seat, available as an option, provides a fold-down seatback for convenient ‘desk’ space, additional storage and a segment first – a removable clipboard that can also be safely secured in the upright position for easy viewing.
Careful thought was also put into the design of the new Vivaro’s voluminous load area. Retaining the benefits of a highly practical cubic design, with a wide floor and vertical sidewall, the new optional FlexCargo bulkhead now allows long items, such as tubes or planks of wood, to be carried safely inside the van without having to keep the rear doors open. Hatches in the base of the cabin bulkhead and below the front bench seat allow items as long as 4.15 meters to be loaded through into the passenger front footwell.
The operation of the rear doors has also been improved. The left door (carrying the registration) can now be locked separately, allowing the transport of overhanging cargo. In addition, side and rear door handles are now mounted horizontally for more ergonomic operation.
For load security, eight or 10 floor-mounted lashing eyes are standard, depending on vehicle length. These can be augmented by the addition of 10 sidewall lashing eyes at half height to fix loads in a vertical position. A range of factory-built load protection and load security options are available to reduce risk of injury to crew and damage to cargo and vehicle.
Extensively equipped model range
The new Vivaro range comes with a high level of standard equipment, providing the market with a great value-for-money vehicle.
The panel van comes in two equipment levels: Vivaro and Sportive. The Sportive variant includes colour-coded bumpers and exterior mouldings, LED Daytime Running Lamps, front fog lamps and an up-level chrome-accented grille to the Edition trim, providing customers with an excellent first impression of your business. Inside, the dark carbon dashboard matches the leather-trimmed steering wheel and chrome-effect accents applied to instruments, the gear shifter, cabin door release and speaker that blend together to give a more prestigious cabin environment.
Seats are trimmed in the embossed Tricess fabric and the office bench seat and Flexcargo Bulkhead are standard for increased functionality. Standard air conditioning, a double DIN tuner/CD, cruise control, and Park Pilot complete the package.
The Combi variant provides seating for eight passengers in three rows with sufficient load space for luggage, accessed by a tailgate.
The popular Double Cab provides cabin accommodation for the driver and up to five passengers with a strong bulkhead to ensure secure separation between the passenger and load compartments. Available in two versions, the base option offers comfortable seating in the second row for up to three passengers with the up-level version adding full height side trims with integrated storage, ISOFIX mounting points, centre armrests and under-seat storage.
TWELVES YEARS AND RUNNING: VAUXHALL IS THE UK’S NUMBER ONE
All-new Vauxhall Vivaro produced in UK’s most productive van plant Success story started 12 years ago and goes on and on
Vauxhall/Opel’s Luton plant is the UK’s most productive van plant, an honour the factory has held since Vivaro production began 12 years ago.
The facility is currently ramping up to build the new Vivaro with production starting in August. Significant investment has been made in the project including €95 million in specific plant changes and €112 million in vendor tooling. Vendor tooling is specialist equipment and machinery installed by suppliers in their own manufacturing facilities that is funded as part of the total investment package and remains the property of the joint venture.
Over 40 per cent of content for the new Vivaro is sourced locally. The plant and associated agencies directly employ over 1,200 people in the Luton area, and it is a significant contributor to the local and wider UK economies. The facility is also a major exporter with 52 per cent of production destined for European markets.
The plant features a state-of-the-art paint shop facility that is capable of processing high volume, mainstream colours as well as low running customised colours to fit the individual needs of fleet customers. Paint finish is delivered to industry benchmark quality levels of application.
The Luton facility builds numerous large fleet orders for blue chip companies including Sky, Royal Mail, British Gas, the AA, Deutsche Bank, the German automobile club ADAC, DHL and the US Army. The Vivaro is also popular with emergency services including fire, police and ambulance services across Europe.
The history of Vivaro
Production of the Vivaro began in Luton in 2001 under a joint venture agreement with Renault which involved the plant building all standard roof variants of the Vivaro and the Trafic. This included panel vans, double cabs, dropsides and chassis cabs. The Vivaro’s second sister vehicle the Nissan Primastar went in to production at Luton soon after. In 2003 a passenger bus variant also went in to production.
Previous to the Vivaro, the Luton factory built the Frontera SUV, the Bedford Rascal city van and the Bedford Midi van under another joint venture, this time between GM – through the now defunct Bedford commercial vehicle marque – and Isuzu.
A Vivaro mid-cycle enhancement went in to production in 2006. Demand for the Vivaro continued to grow with the plant building a record 95,030 vans and achieving the production milestone of 500,000 in 2007.
In 2009 a conversion centre was added to the plant. This facility enabled van conversions, which were previously carried out by third parties and often in mainland Europe, to be brought on-site saving time and reducing costs.
Further production milestones followed in 2010 with 750,000 built and last year the 900,000 landmark followed.
This year Luton was the first facility in Europe to achieve a top manufacturing benchmark. The Built in Quality (BIQ) Level 4 honour has been awarded to the plant in recognition of its world class quality control standards. Out of 396 General Motors facilities worldwide, Luton is one of only three vehicle manufacturing sites to be awarded this honour.
Auditors visited the plant last year to check the plant’s progress against a check list of 95 different items affecting the quality of the vans built at Luton. Quality control is so sophisticated at Luton that activity has shifted from detection to prevention, a hallmark of manufacturing excellence.