The series production stage is preceded by pre-series vehicles whose purpose is to check the preparedness of the plant and its suppliers. Individual parts and components are checked by the Quality Department, whole vehicles are used primarily by Technological Development for pre-series tests.
The plant’s Launch Management Department intensifies its involvement in the project eighteen months prior to the series production launch. “At that point we start regular meetings to monitor the project progress and status. We joint the project earlier, though – we analyse the launch costs on the Production side and establish the number of pre-series vehicles to be required,” says Jiří Závorka of Production Launch Management.
“The production line staff are trained in the new model from the point when the first test vehicle arrives at the series production site, i.e. from the point when we get the first parts from suppliers. That is about eight months before the series production launch,” says Jiří Závorka, continuing his explanation.
Tested throughout the pre-series production period, vehicles are put to strength, impact and long-term road tests to check the functionality and durability of all systems, including the electronics. “All these efforts are based on a detailed plan that, to a large extent, is influenced by the respective homologation processes and regulations, to ensure, for example, that the vehicles do a sufficient number of kilometres to demonstrate adequate durability of individual components. We create a launch chart (curve) for the series production start – the curve starts with fairly low numbers of vehicles and then, over a certain period of time, it reaches the maximum production-line capacity,” adds Jiří Závorka.