Apprentices undergoing a three-year Dual Apprenticeship course at the Volkswagen Academy India have built a fire-fighting car for the Safety Department of Volkswagen Pune Plant as their final year project. This helped the students gain hands-on experience with various activities involved in building a car.


Volkswagen Academy India had started its three-year Dual Apprenticeship Programme at Pune Plant in 2011. This programme is a Mechatronics course that educates the students in various branches such as mechanical, electrical, electronics and IT. The first batch of this programme is now in its final year. As a part of their syllabus, the apprentices had to undertake a practical project. To keep the focus on manufacturing, it was decided by the apprentices to build a car on a low budget. Pallavi Sabale, an apprentice said, “During the building of this fire-fighting car, we got hands on experience with activities like drilling, tapping, soldering, welding, riveting, painting and denting. We are extremely happy that we got an opportunity like this to prove our skills.”

To bring in something different and exciting, the task for the apprentices was to build a special model – a fire-fighting car which can be put to daily use within the manufacturing facility by the Fire and Safety Department. To keep the costs low, scrapped parts and components from various production departments of the Pune Plant were utilised in this project. The students got in-depth guidance from the Pilot Hall team members. The fire-fighting car will be used for daily inspection around the plant as well as for the movement of material by the Fire and Safety Department. 

Vijayan KT, Responsible for Dual Apprenticeship Programme at Volkswagen Academy India, said “Through the Apprenticeship Programme, we intended to create a skilled force which could work in various areas of manufacturing immediately after finishing their course. The car-building project has successfully proven the intention behind our programme and has brought out high potential of the youth.”

The group of 14 apprentices working on this project included four girls. Parts and components from a Volkswagen Vento and a Cross Polo were used for the project car. To fulfil the requirements of a fire-fighting car, various modifications were done to the design of the car’s body. While the basic design was that of a Vento, several fabrications were done from B-pillar till the tailgate to create a ‘pick-up’ design. For adequate power and torque, a 1.6-litre TDI engine was used in this car. The tailgate was fabricated with its hinges at the bottom to facilitate easy loading and unloading of items from the rear storage space. In all, approximately 160 parts of the car were specially designed for this project. 


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