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Behind the Scenes: Making the Chevrolet Sail

ChevSail 01

We’ve been ramping up our coverage of the automotive industry and finally have a bit of a foot in the door to bring you guys car reviews whenever we can, but it’s not everyday that we get to peer behind the curtain and see how a car is put together. A few weeks ago, that’s exactly what we got to do when our friends from Chevrolet Philippines (TCCI) sent us an invite to check out GM’s SAIC-GM Dong Yue Motors facility in Yantai, China to see how the Chevrolet Sail is made.

PATAC Crash Test Facility -- Photo Courtesy of SAIC-GM
PATAC Crash Test Facility — Photo Courtesy of SAIC-GM

After the flight to Shanghai and exchanging pleasantries with the Head of Manufacturing for GM China and SAIC-GM, Paul Buetow, and his team — we were first whisked away to the Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC). Within this enormous 5.67 sq. km. facility are manufacturing lines for other brands under the joint venture (Cadillac and Buick) but it is also where the team from SAIC-GM designed the Chevrolet Sail and where proving grounds for vehicles made here are put through a battery of tests. The proving grounds has 60km of test roads through 70 different driving conditions and crash testing, to make sure everything is up to snuff and in accordance to the standards of General Motors.

SAIC-GM Facility in Yantai -- Photo Courtesy of SAIC-GM
SAIC-GM Facility in Yantai — Photo Courtesy of SAIC-GM

The following day, we were then flown over to Yantai to see where the Chevrolet Sail is actually made. The state-of-the-art facility is is 91% automated with the remaining 9% of the work reserved for the tasks that require finesse that only the human hand is capable of thus far. It truly was a spectacle to see numerous robot arms perform welds at exactly the same spot with the same precision, each and every time.  The plant in Yantai has been bestowed the highest honor of General Motors, Built-In-Quality IV, which means it is at par with the very best manufacturing facilities General Motors has on a global scale and that the Chevrolet Sail is fully compliant with GM’s global standards for emerging markets.

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Chevrolet Sail 3 Fresh from the Assembly Line — Photo Courtesy of SAIC-GM

The Chevrolet Sail has been available in other parts of the globe, like: India, South America, and, of course, China — It is its third and newest iteration that makes its way to Philippine shores, where costumers can pick between 3 variants of the sub-compact sedan:

  • 1.3L DOHC VVT Chevrolet Sail LT; Manual Transmission: Php 688,888 (Cash Purchases)
  • 1.3L DOHC VVT Chevrolet Sail LT; Manual Transmission: Php 713,888
  • 1.5L DOHC VVT Chevrolet Sail LT; Automatic Transmission: Php 768,888
  • 1.5L DOHC VVT Chevrolet Sail LTZ; Automatic Transmission: Php 858,888
Photo Courtesy of SAIC-GM
Photo Courtesy of SAIC-GM

All Chevrolet Sail variants that make their way to the Philippines will come standard with Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS), and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD); Selected variants will be equipped with two air bags.

We’re waiting to see if we can take the Chevrolet Sail out for a spin around the Metro, so stay tuned ’till then.

Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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