Autotrail factory visit today

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by jenny and mitch, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,833
    Likes Received:
    1,583
    Location:
    Bungay Suffolk
    Well, we had the planned visit and factory tour today.. 200 miles each way, but worth the trouble... It took about 2 hours and included every part of the production process.....
    We were very impressed with the whole thing.... the planning and attention to detail and the care taken at each stage.. The tour guide was an ex employee with 30 years on the 'shop floor' and a good knowledge of all the processes.... 12 of us on the tour, some Autotrail owners, some with vans on order like us and some newby's... The quality of materials and design are the key to the strength of the final van, with a great deal of care taken to ensure the integrity of the body with regard to ingress of water ( the biggest fear of most of us)
    Every entry and exit point on the van where anything passes between the inside and outside are 'grommeted' and then sealed with silicon from underneath on the final process prior to Pre release PDI, which is carried out in another building... Yes, I am sure that the more technically minded of us could,, if we sat down and picked at each element,, could find ways to improve some "bits and bobs", but overall, it is as good a product as any of the many vans
    to be found in the current market,, with the exception of the Niesman bischof types, at 5 times the price !!! I do hope that this is of some reassurance to those who have vans on order and maybe even poor old "Knockinonabit" who is having problems with his.. This is the first van I have witnessed being built, but I did spend 47 years in the motor trade, both on the spanners and as a boss and I was pleased with what I saw and look forward to seeing our new Tracker in February.. Hope I haven't "droned on" too long and that you find this useful... Mitch.. :thumb:
     
    • Like Like x 13
  2. joner8888

    joner8888 Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    2,190
    Likes Received:
    1,971
    Location:
    somerset
    I would like to have a tour around Autotrail.
    How do you get on a list?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. dogman

    dogman Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    444
    Location:
    chepstow
    Ditto.
     
  4. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,833
    Likes Received:
    1,583
    Location:
    Bungay Suffolk
    You just see your dealer and he will arrange it and tell you the date and time.....Mitch
     
  5. Thefirstbritsbrother

    Thefirstbritsbrother Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Durham
    When we visited, we phoned the Autotrail factory reception and were given a tour date and time to visit.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    4,512
    Likes Received:
    4,776
    Location:
    Guisborough
    Hi Jenny and Mitch

    Sound like you enjoyed your tour, only 200 miles each way. We have one of the Niesmann and Bischoff that you refer to and have just been to the factory open weekend in Germany which included a factory tour as well as large amount of alcohol, the tour was interesting and the alcohol was good too.

    The price differential you mention is quite substantial but we bought a 2006 used model a couple of years ago and paid about the same or less than a new Autotrail depending on model and spec, you pays your money and takes your choice.

    Hope you enjoy your Tracker when it arrives.

    Martin
     
    • Like Like x 4
  7. BOND

    BOND Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Swindon
    I've just booked online, go to Autotrail website it's at the bottom of the page.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. dogman

    dogman Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    444
    Location:
    chepstow
    In another thread there were plenty of AT owners singing the virtues of their MH's, alas in yet another thread there were those who were unhappy with theirs.
    Perhaps MHF or an experienced member (I am NOT experienced) could organize a meet in the area together with a factory visit, maybe Johns Cross motor homes could offer some assistance in contacting Auto Trail. Just a thought and of course I would be glad to help where I can bearing in mind my lack of experience.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Chris

    Chris Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Messages:
    16,443
    Likes Received:
    34,535
    Location:
    kent
    They don't allow children on the tour unfortunately so we had to cancel.

    I don't know why I booked in the first place though because I wouldn't have had a clue what I was looking at:Doh:
     
  10. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    2,483
    Likes Received:
    2,455
    Location:
    Stokesley, North Yorks
    To Jenny and Mitch

    I'm glad you enjoyed your tour.

    Yes, they seem very thorough but from personal experience I don't think so. When you get your new MH I hope I am proved wrong.

    As to sealing all the holes up and a PDI.................. not on my MH or the Apache of Rob and Chris. How many more are there that no one knows about ?

    Anyway, best of luck when it arrives and I hope you aren't disappointed. :thumb:
     
  11. BOND

    BOND Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Swindon
    Mitch
    Did you get chance to ask 100s of questions & could you speak to anybody else while being shown around? I've already scribbled a list ready for my visit made up from various posts on this forum.
    My dealer's getting the 1st wave of questions so I'm armed with anything they can't answer.
     
  12. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Messages:
    9,364
    Likes Received:
    25,121
    Location:
    Planet Zog
    Story of my life, Chris............
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. jenny and mitch

    jenny and mitch Funster

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,833
    Likes Received:
    1,583
    Location:
    Bungay Suffolk
    Yes Andy, we asked and asked, also some owners had suggestions of ways to improve various "bits", but his answer to those was,, "send them in to the office with some photos"..
    Which, in a way, I can understand, as he can't be expected to accept modifications 'mid-tour'.
    But in general it IS a very worthwhile visit, which DOES give potential owners a more optimistic outlook when anticipating the delivery of their new "Toy"... We also ALL told him of our general dissatisfaction with the attitude shown by a lot of dealers when faced with a list of "snags" and all the staff were genuinely surprised by that.. It takes them 3 days to make the smaller vans and 3.5 days for the bigger ones !!! SO, once PDI'd they sit and wait for the DEALER to request the shipment of the finished vans to their dealership.... The delays in getting the van to the customer may therefore be due to dealers delaying that delivery due to (a) Cashflow... (b) combining the movement of more than one van to keep down costs OR... Make up your own reasons !!! Hope this helps mate,, let me know how you get on..
    All the best.... Mitch... PS.. Don't hesitate to ask if you have any more questions..
    Mitch :thumb:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. robnchris

    robnchris Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    1,332
    Likes Received:
    1,578
    Location:
    Chester
    Intresting point about how Autotrail listen to their customers, I was talking to one of Autotrails directors at the motorhome show and mentioned about the step being infront of the rear wheels so that when you arrived at you destination the step was covered in what road crap you had driven through.
    Why don`t you have retracting into a box or at least fit a mud flap in front of the wheel

    Good point he remarked I`ll look into that he obviously didn`t as 10 years on the step and wiring are still unprotected from the elements.:Doh:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,930
    Likes Received:
    5,700
    Location:
    Lanzarote
    The only factory tour I ever had, was at Sam Smith's brewery

    :drink:

    :beer:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. dogman

    dogman Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    444
    Location:
    chepstow
    Surprised you remember it?:Wink:
     
  17. Yorick

    Yorick Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2013
    Messages:
    3,930
    Likes Received:
    5,700
    Location:
    Lanzarote
    I remember we only had an hour in the pub after. Didn't stop us getting silly on the free beer :Rofl1:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Dawn B

    Dawn B Funster

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Messages:
    5,152
    Likes Received:
    14,570
    Location:
    South Norfolk
    Just knew you were a girl :Rofl1:
     
Loading...

Share This Page