Body in White (03:35)
James May, Ant Anstead, and Kate Humble report from the Oxford Mini Factory that produces 1,000 customized cars daily. Robots assemble the car's shell.
Morgan Production (03:03)
Britain is a world leader in vehicle research, design, and technology. May visits the company that hand crafts cars and tries to bend ash pieces for a wheel frame.
Morgan Design (01:37)
Morgan combines 21st century technology with vintage production techniques to hand craft vehicles.
McLaren Race Car Production (02:05)
The Formula One team revolutionized racing with a carbon-fiber chassis. Cars are handcrafted with state of the art technology. May argues that the British auto industry is undergoing a renaissance.
Manual Skills (03:12)
May makes several attempts to attach tailgates to Minis on a non-automated part of the assembly line. Bradford's team fixes his mistakes.
Oxford Mini Factory History (04:45)
William Morris founded Europe's oldest working car plant in 1913. Retired employees discuss advances in manufacturing technology. The company created a community with social clubs and has employed families over generations. Anstead meets members of the plant race team.
Transporting Finished Cars (01:38)
The Oxford Mini Factory produces 1,000 cars per day; 600 are loaded onto trains and 400 onto truck transporters. Each car takes nine minutes to load; drivers must deliver perfect products to customers.
Green Car Trends (02:35)
In the 1990s, Norway developed electric city cars; 25% of Europe's electric cars are sold in the Norwegian market. Humble accompanies Anita in her Nissan Leaf; owners receive tax breaks and can access free charging stations.
Encouraging Green Car Consumption (03:22)
Christina from Norway's Electric Vehicle Association discusses government incentives like tax breaks, free public parking, and ferry use. Whole neighborhoods convert to electric. Torvald shows Humble the Tesla's long range and appeal to racing enthusiasts.
Loading Car Carrier Trailers (03:44)
May joins employees checking Mini shells for flaws before they are painted. Driver Vic helps Anstead to back a finished model onto a transporter for distribution.
Paint Shop (03:37)
Wayne Wickens looks for surface imperfections on steel Mini bodies before painting. The bodies travel through 15 chemical baths, an electrically charged coat to protect against corrosion, and an ostrich feather wash to remove dust particles. Robots paint the top coat.
Human Work vs. Automation (03:55)
Paint Shop employees monitor for paint contaminants under microscopes. Wickens explains why female ostrich feathers are used in the cleaning process. His team uses their senses to check for flaws and apply final sealers—qualities and skills that robots lack.
Integrated Multi-Modular Front End (02:55)
Greg shows May bumpers on the Oxford Mini Factory production line; parts are delivered in sequence. May tries to attach a bumper to a car. View robots painting his car.
Design Quality Testing (02:54)
Engineer David Moriarty explains that Mini prototypes are painted in camouflage to protect against competitors stealing their design. Experts test the car for water leaks.
Lean Production Philosophy (02:14)
At the Darby Toyota factory, employees start their shift with exercises to stimulate productivity. The Japanese company uses kaizen, a concept of continual improvement to maximize efficiency. Robot carts deliver windshields to the production line.
Toyota encourages employees to develop improved efficiency measures for their daily tasks and movements. May learns how to build steering wheels and suggests developing a screw dispenser to save time.
Rotary Sling (02:26)
The assembly line rotates Minis onto their sides so employees can work on the under body while standing upright. Third generation worker Amy installs a fuel tank.
Credits: Making Cars: Episode 2 (00:34)
Credits: Making Cars: Episode 2
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