The rear axle on the new Vauxhall Astra has a patented suspension geometry based on a single tubular member which dispenses with the need for a separate anti-roll bar.
Under roll during lane change or cornering, the design causes the outer wheels under most load to toe inwards, thus increasing stability.
The axle system, developed by General Motors’ automotive components division Delphi, is built at the company’s new just-in-time and logistics operation alongside Vauxhall’s factory in Ellesmere Port, Merseyside.
Modular Automation supplied the assembly and test equipment being used by Delphi for axle development. The system combines automatic and manual operations that include torque tightening of brake corner nuts, hydraulic pressing of bushes and axle bump stops, and the setting and testing of brakes.
Delphi intends to expand UK manufacturing activity fourfold over five years to around £1bn.