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Interesting article on post production distribution of Saturn vehicles (but probably could be applied to the Enclave, too). The article looks old, (maybe 10 years old), but it does not seem like much has changed in that time. The recommendation was made to utilize satellite technology to track the vehicles (since with the rail delivery as many as 3 different companies could be involved) and accurately inform the customer when delivery can be expected. Not sure if satellite tracking is happening, but the customer sure is not being kept informed!

Some points made:
72 hours is the industry standard to get a vehicle dispatched after production.
Minor modifications (add sunroof, change stereo) can be made up til one week before production.
A vehicle enters production 3 days prior to assembly. No changes are allowed and a VIN number is assigned and a window sticker is created.
If your vehicle is being delivered by rail, a rough estimate of rail/car carrier time can be done by seeing how far you are from the Lansing, MI site.

I used mapquest and am approximately 650 miles, which translates to 2 days on a car carrier and 7 days on the rail. (Using this formula my Enclave should definitely be there today, with a phone call being received to pick up tomorrow! Haha we'll see...

http://cscmp.org/Downloads/Public/Resources/CaseStudy/saturn96.pdf
 

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Some things are similar, but others are different...such as the time up until changes can be made. There are so many things that go into scheduling, getting components ordered from suppliers, etc. that it's only really in the very beginning that things can still be changed--at least several weeks before production. And, in the same way, the timeline from order to production...though that may be correct, as far as order in system-->accepted & scheduled.

Still, interesting, either way.
 

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Have to add my little war story from 2004..

I work about 4 miles from the (now shutdown) Ford assembly plant in St. Louis for the Ford Explorer SUV.
Across the street is a huge parking lot used for an outdoor ampitheater used for big name rock concerts in the summer. Over the winter we noticed thousands of right off the production line Ford Explorers being parked there. They setup big generators with high powered lighting and security to watch them. There were like 5000 of them -- some with the hoods up.

A few weeks later they were still there -- I read in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that a $1.00 circuit board had a fatal design flaw which allowed the car to be started with the shifter in gear. The lot of Explorers were waiting for a simple circuit board to be released to the dealers..
 
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