Journal: Have You Ever Been To The Factory Where Your Car Was Made?

Have You Ever Been To The Factory Where Your Car Was Made?

Ted Gushue By Ted Gushue
January 22, 2016
16 comments

I’m one of the lucky ones.

In 2015, I was invited by Audi to journey across the Atlantic to Ingolstadt, home of quattro and so much more. It was a chicken and the egg scenario however, as I didn’t yet own an Audi. The trip had been arranged on behalf of U.S.–based media who would be shown an early look at the 2016 S3 Sedan, and a chance to belt it out on the Autobahn before anyone else in America.

And belt it, I did.

Comfortably, on snow tires, I hit 153 mph. A feat that, in hindsight, was incredibly foolish…but at the time, a semi-lethal cocktail of jet lag and German-engineered caffeine made me feel rather invincible.

It was this seminal experience: my first trip on various Autobahnen, my first trip to a factory that made automobiles at that scale, and it was without question an influence on my decision to purchase an A3. It’s been three months into ownership as my second car in Los Angeles, and I haven’t looked back.

Jump into the comments below and share your stories of pilgrimages to automotive mecca—lord knows a few of you must have awesome tales.

Image sources: blogspot.com330gt.comautomotiveviewsquattroworld.com
inautonews.com

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Bohemianracer
Bohemianracer

I own a 2011 BMW 325I Coupe with the “M” package and a 6 speed manual. In November 2014 my son and I visited the BMW plant in Regansburg, Germany where they produce some 3 series, I was told that if my car was not produced here that it could have been made at the Munich plant. I have searched my car and can’t seem to find out what plant did it come out from.
The visit, however was very interesting and enjoyable.

Bohemianracer
Bohemianracer

Sorry it’s 328I NOT 325I (typo error)

Andrew Salt
Andrew Salt

Unfortunately I have to answer “no” to title question. I have a TVR. It was made in the ‘kiss me quick’ UK seaside holiday town of Blackpool. The factory buildings are still there but the original company has long since gone. Several ex-employees started up their own small businesses looking after TVR cars – trim shop, paint shop, etc, and I believe they are doing well, so it is still possible to have a look around and get a feel for the place. The good news is that TVR has been reborn. A new supercar should hit the streets of… Read more »

Richard Harrold
Richard Harrold

The Blackpool factory has been bulldozed. I also don’t believe a word Les Edgar says. TVR is history, and will remain so.

Pkrall
Pkrall

I made a trip to the Land Rover factory to see their commemoration of the Defender line. The staff were true enthusiasts and did everything possible to welcome us. We got to see the difference between production of modern Jaguar/Land Rover products and the Defender. The Defender production line used modern methods where it made sense but retained much hand work. You could really see how it had evolved from the Series trucks. The new models were assembled by robots and then zipped around the factory overhead.

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

I was fortunate to visit the Swift Engineering facilities back in the early ’90s when they were still designing and fabricating racing cars. They had just designed and built the most advanced wind tunnel in North America and were still dialing it in. Fun stuff for sure.

Samir Shirazi
Samir Shirazi

I have been in many small factories with hand built cars all around: GT40 or Cobra replica factory in Australia

Greg Horwitz
Greg Horwitz

I am lucky enough to work as a Joining Engineer for Ford Motor Company. I spend my work days in the Truck Body Shop at both Dearborn Truck Plant and Kansas City Truck Plant where every single, all aluminum, F-150 is built. It is absolutely amazing how these vehicles are assemble without welding.

Dont be fooled, these all aluminum trucks are extremely strong and built to last. Everyone takes pride in the product we build. Every day is an adventure to produce more than 70 trucks per hour!

emmanuel pont
emmanuel pont

In 1996, I went to England and visited Malvern Link, more a “workshop” than a “factory” where Morgans were built. At this time I was a student, and had only dreams about this car, because of a big lack of money !!
I had to wait nearly 20 years and I bought my Mog’ just last year, a 1964 4/4 “Competition”.
It is at this time the only factory I visited, but as the dream came true, I wish I did not visit the Bugatti’s Molsheim plant !

Martin Philippo
Martin Philippo

It is very quiet in the factory.
I drive Saab.

Jason Cayde
Jason Cayde

Yeah, but at least the museum is still alive and well there. I wanna see if they saved any clones of my 9-5.

Karmann in Rheine is also defunct if I recall, so I won’t be seeing my VW Cabriolet’s home either. That leaves Ford Chicago for my Explorer, which could be fun. I guess.

Jim Rzegocki
Jim Rzegocki

In late 1999, I got really lucky in the stock market and found myself with $110K in cash as a result. What did I do? Why I bought 2 cars with it! Being happily married for 22 years at the time, I bought my wife a car first (an Audi A6 2.7T) and then bought myself a sports car. I got an Oxford Green 2000 BMW M Roadster which I purchased from BMW Seattle, but arranged to pick up at the factory where it was made in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It was a great trip. My then 21-year-old son and… Read more »

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

I’m making my car in my garage. Does that count?

Tom DesRochers
Tom DesRochers

I have not been there yet, but the VIN indicates Kansas City is the plant I need to visit.

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

I visited Maranello during the 1997 50th Anniversary celebrations. The factory was opened up for the participants in the event one evening after work had finished for the day, and we were largely free to wander around. Most fascinating site was at the back of the factory where all the crash test cars and presumably preproduction cars where piled up waiting to be scrapped. it is quite a site to see 550s, 355, 456 bodies all piled on top of one another. Unfortunately (if not surprisingly) no cameras were allowed in.