Automotive News reported that 10 GM studios across the globe have submitted designs for the next generation Corvette. GM’s VP of Global Design Ed Welburn says of the designs submitted, some “were absolutely phenomenal”. Welburn suggests the global initiative is part of an effort by GM to create a C7 that appeals to both buyers in Europe, where Corvette sales has gotten little traction, and to a younger US buyers, who tend to favor imports.
GM / Factory News
Thousands of people each year come to the Chevrolet Corvette Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky & the nearby Corvette National Museum to get an inside look at the great American sports car.
Corvette owners can actually watch their vehicle in the process of being built and document its progress as it moves along the line. In many cases, the new owner can actually be the very first person to start it up!
Corvettes = Pride. From the company to the assembly workers to the owners taking delivery. This is where quality starts.
Chevrolet’s YouTube Channel
Photo Credit: photo-by-me on Flickr
The Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring is huge in the world of sport car racing and GM has used the event in recent years to leverage the media and enthusiasts gathered in Central Florida to showcase new products. Just last year we witnessed the public debuts of both the 2009 ALMS GT1 Championship and Competition Sport Editions.
Corvette sales hit a new low last month with just 624 Corvettes delivered during February 2010. That’s a decline of -39% from February 2009′s 1,027 sales figure and -26.9% off of January 2010′s 854 deliveries. A shortened selling period of 24 days combined with several winter storms that blanketed much of the country is to blame for the decline.
The first sales report of the new year hit yesterday and the good news is that Corvette sales are up 1.4% over last year. January 2010 deliveries totaled 854 – 12 Corvettes more than the 842 sold in January 2009. Historically, Corvette sales tend to a breather in January anyway so we are okay with this number. The other significant number for the month is the availability of the Corvette ZR1. National inventories of the supercharged ZR1 have grown by 27% to 191 units.
GM is cautiously looking to return Corvette and Cadillac brands back to European Showrooms following last year’s bankruptcy of its previous importer, Dutch-based Kroymans, who went belly up during the Summer of 2009. GM had its own financial issues at the time of the Kroyman bankruptcy but a GM spokesperson speaking with Das Autohaus says the automaker is currently in contract negotiations with up to 30 dealers in Germany.
Corvette sales figures for December 2009 were released today by GM. Overall, Corvette sales seem to be holding steady with 1,033 deliveries in the last month of 2009. This marks an increase from the 952 Corvettes sold in November, but is -22% off the 1,324 Corvettes sold in December 2009. For the calendar year (Jan-Dec 09) 13,934 Corvettes were delivered which is -48.3% off the 26.917 Corvettes delivered in all of 2008.
Photo Credit: CorvetteImages.com
General Motors has issued a recall of 22,090 Corvettes made between 2005-2007. At issue is the adhesive between the roof panel and the frame which may cause the panel to detach from the vehicle. Dubbed the FRC (Flying Roof Club) by Corvette owners, this is the second recall regarding the early C6 removable roofs.
Another 75 workers at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will be laid off as GM continues to slow production of its iconic sports car amid the current economic slowdown. To deal with slower demand, plant officials are also cutting back hourly production from 11 to 8 Corvettes. Last year, the plant employed 1,100 works and produced Corvettes at a clip of 18.5 cars per hour. It’s been a tough year for the Corvette plant. In addition to the slowdowns and layoffs, temporary shutdowns have closed plant for a total of 26 weeks.
Bowling Green Daily News
This Wixom walk-through video was released in late November on Chevrolet’s YouTube channel. Master Engine Builder Don Henley takes us through the various stages and quality checks as a 638-hp LS9 is assembled. For us, the real magic comes when we see the interaction these builders have with Corvette owners.