Vauxhall British and Scottish Gas Vivaros nearing completion
Vauxhall British and Scottish Gas Vivaros nearing completion
Share this article
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

With 9,200 vans already converted to date in 2015, this has got to be proof that bringing this business in-house was the right idea.

THE idea of having your new van exactly the way you want it and ready for work has really caught on. You only have to look at the success of both Hitachi Trade Ready Solutions and the Renault Pro + network to see that.

On top of helping you choosing the right van for your needs, Hitachi and Renault will go as far as help you to choose the correct racking solution and have that fitted in time for delivery. The Hitachi solution even includes the power tools to go in that racking!

In reaction to these offerings, Vauxhall came up with its solution in the form of its own Vauxhall Conversion centre, which opened last year and Business Vans got a look inside this exclusive part of the Luton plant.

With 9,200 vans already converted to date in 2015, this has got to be proof that bringing this business in-house was the right idea.

So, what does the bulk of their work on Vivaro vans contain? The first van we come to on the floor of the Conversion centre is Vauxhall’s own lairy metallic red-wrapped Vivaro, which is here as an example of what the centre will be doing in the future.

On top of the special wrap, the inside of this van also has one of the racking systems that could be fitted if the customer desires, although they admit they’ve yet to decide on an approved supplier for the racking.

Heating systems for vans bound for Nordic countries

Pre-heater fitted to a Vivaro bound for a Nordic country
Pre-heater being fitted to an Opel-badged Vivaro bound for a Nordic country

Next up, a couple of left-hook Opel-badged Vivaros are in the air, being worked on underneath, with wires dangling from the chassis. Apparently, these are just two of 3,000 converted vans bound for Nordic countries that have been fitted with pre-heaters to deal with the extreme cold.

More impressive, is that we’re told there are no wires cut to fit the system, as the Conversion centre works on the same rigorous pre-delivery inspection system as the factory. In fact, any van receiving any conversion work at the centre will receive a second inspection before being released to the dealer.

Next Vivaro we come across is also an Opel and a Combi version, which is destined for German shores. It is receiving an interior trim kit from popular Opel and Vauxhall tuner Irmscher. We’re told, this is a bit of an exclusive as it’s currently only available in mainland Europe, but will be released in the UK next year. The Conversion Centre is currently doing 12 to 15 a week, with 120 going to Germany alone this year.

Extra seats and bulkhead for double cab

Vauxhall Vivaro Double Cab conversion laid out in all its glory.
Vauxhall Vivaro Double Cab conversion laid out in all its glory.

Moving along the line of Vivaro vans, the next we come to is a double cab receiving its extra seats and bulkhead as part of the conversion.

Vauxhall - Back seats fitted in the Double Cab conversion.
Back seats fitted in the Vivaro Double Cab conversion.

Supplied by Dutch specialist Snoeks Automotive, all the parts needed for this transformation come in cardboard boxes, and components are laid out behind the van ready to be fitted.

Apparently the conversion takes two hours and that big cardboard box is sent back to Snoeks for recycling. One of the most popular conversions undertaken by the Centre, they can get through up to 175 a week!

The white Vivaro panel van looks quite plain compared to the others we’ve looked at in the Conversion Centre, but it’s a key part of Vauxhall’s fleet business – as it’s destined for BT and is having the alarm specially fitted.

Converting 400+ fleet order for British Gas

Fitting out new British Gas vans takes up most of the conversion team's time at the moment.
Fitting out new British Gas vans takes up most of the conversion team’s time at the moment.

The furthest end of the Conversion Centre is a sea of blue Vivaro vans. Part of a massive 400+ fleet order for British Gas, these specially painted Vauxhall commercials receive a host of special parts specific to the utility company’s needs.

These include the special racking, a tracking system and even a special charger for laptops! Currently converting 40 a week, the Vivaro conversion to British Gas specification takes 14-and-a-half hours.

So, if you’re looking for vans that are versatile as your business, whether you’re an SME or big fleet, Vauxhall vans are well up to the job!

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here