One of the best vehicle design studios in the world, Vauxhall Studio was headquartered in Luton for 54 years. But now, Vauxhall has vacated the headquarters after such a long time, so we decided to visit the studio for the final time.
Last year in May Vauxhall moved from the Griffith House, which was a purpose-built headquarters in Luton. It had occupied the headquarters for more than half-century. So, it was an emotional and memorable departure, as there are so many great memories and so many great moments. Being one of the best vehicle design studios in the world and operating in the same building for 53 years is for sure a big deal.
The studio started operating in 1964 as Vauxhall Engineering and Styling Centre and its mere purpose was to manufacture new cars for the company. From the very beginning, the studio set the bar quite high, the finest designers were involved who were given some exciting and difficult task keeping the global need in mind.
When we got the news that Vauxhall was relocating, we talked with the new owners to allow us to pay a final visit to the historic building. We wanted to visit the design studio along with some successful car designers who had worked there. So, after negotiations, we finally got the chance to visit the building with designers who at least have one great model to their name.
General Motors had five independent studios and the Vauxhall’s center was one of them. The studio had the ability to make a production car from an ordinary sheet of paper. It did that numerous times, manufacturing vehicles for the showroom and giving life to some great concepts.
Even though it was only for car creation, the center was huge. When it opened, soon a brochure was released that said there are 2000 men with a single purpose. There were 499 engineers working in the ground and first floor, on the floor above there were 351 draughtsmen. There was also a design discreet department and several separate studios.