Supply Chain

To understand the car manufacturing process, you have to understand the underlying supply chain that drives domestic vehicle assembly. Today’s cars are primarily “sourced out” to produce various sub-assemblies in over 4,000 disparate locations as far away as China. This means a car’s “production” plant is an active assembly point, where skilled workers and robotic systems bring together all of the necessary loose components to create a final product on a “just-in-time” basis.


The chassis of the car is the baseline component. All other parts are integrated on, or within the chassis. This is typically a welded frame that’s initially attached to a conveyor that moves along a production line. As the frame progresses, the car is literally “built from the frame up” to create a final product. Parts that are sequentially applied to the chassis include the engine, front and rear suspension, gas tank, rear-end and half-shafts, transmission, drive shaft, gear box, steering box, wheel drums and the brake system.