Y Series Marque Of Quality

Published: 09 October 2002
HSV.

Pictured: HSV.

The quest for a premium quality driving feel and appearance to match its prestige imported competitors necessitated a fresh approach for HSV’s Y Series.

It had much to do with the HSV organisation’s growth in recent years, says HSV General Manager, Chris Payne.

"In 1997 we built 1800 cars and this year we’re on target to build about 3700, so we’ve literally doubled our production in five years and it’s been done by simply adding to and refining our existing processes."

"Three years ago, when Y Series development began, we set new benchmarks for ourselves in terms of quality and refinement. We knew that to meet these targets the Y Series program would need to be designed and brought to market in a more structured and disciplined way than we’ve ever done before."

The framework was a special VDP (Vehicle Development Program) consisting of two main components. The SMT (System Management Team) involved every HSV department (including finance, production, purchasing, marketing and engineering) in weekly meetings to review each step of the program, while the VMT (Vehicle Management Team) performed a similar function with upper management.

The result was a far higher degree of communication, both within the company and with external suppliers, which ensured that quality and timing targets were met throughout the development phase.

HSV’s in-house Computer Aided Design (CAD) facility once again proved invaluable in reducing lead times. And, to enhance business management practices at HSV, a world-renowned business software package, called BAAN (also used by Boeing and Daimler Chrysler), was installed.

Production staff were invited to give their direct input into the ’design for manufacture’ of parts to ensure a top quality fit. Production training also got a head start when pilot cars were built earlier than ever before.

Indeed, the drive for quality extends throughout the HSV experience. A clever new interior protection package now safeguards each vehicle as it’s transported from factory to retailer.

A primary aim for Y Series was to substantially lift the internal and external appearance of every model by introducing a range of new high quality materials. Major body components are now full injection moulded polypropylene, as used by all major OE manufacturers. The viability of this process is governed by volume and with HSV literally doubling production in the past five years the equation now makes sense.

In contrast to the polyurethane Reaction Injection Moulding (RIM) process used for VX, the tooling investment for polypropylene is about five times higher. However, one look at the sharp detail and dramatic lift in quality of these world-class production parts proves it was money well spent.

New premium look, full injection moulded HSV hood medallion and badges add a further touch of distinction.

Inside, seats are now finished with a sophisticated, ’metallic mesh-look’ centre insert material on ClubSport, ClubSport R8, Maloo and Maloo R8. Available in a choice of Aztec Red, Baltic Blue, or Stone Grey, the effect is enhanced by high definition colour keyed stitching.

When it comes to quality materials there’s none better than the highly distinctive ’Chainmail’ leather that covers the GTS sedan’s Contoured Performance seats. This premium quality material is imported specially from Bridge-of-Weir Leather Company, in Scotland.

A host of unique HSV enhancements further add to Y Series’ quality ambiance, including the ’ultra-cool’ white instrument cluster with HSV graphics, the HSV logo and vehicle unique build number incorporated into the multi function display and the HSV central sports binnacle with oil pressure and voltmeter gauges.

The Y Series’ air of quality is also clearly evident in the more refined driving experience which is the result of major drivetrain and chassis recalibration work.

From the very beginning of its development program the structure has been in place to ensure that Y Series is without doubt HSV’s most thoroughly engineered quality package. One that’s more than capable of ruffling the feathers of its European rivals.

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