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GM / Factory News

May 2009 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on June 3, 2009

The news about Corvette sales just keeps getting better. For the fifth straight month, Corvette sales were stronger than the month prior. Chevrolet dealers sold 1,643 Corvettes in May, a 14% increase over April’s 1,407 deliveries. The May 2009 sales figure was also the highest since 2,318 Corvettes were sold in September of 2008.

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GM Bankruptcy: Corvette Plant Safe (for now)

by Keith Cornett on June 1, 2009

Corvette's on the assembly line in Bowling Green

As expected, General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this morning in New York. The 100 year old company lists $82 billion in assets and $172 billion in debts. On the positive side, the Corvette plant in Bowling Green was not on the list of the 14 plants that General Motors will close as part of the bankruptcy reorganization.

Tim Lee, Vice President of Manufacturing for GM North America says the company has “100% confidence” in the Corvette and is pleased with the Bowling Green Assembly Plant where the Corvette is made. Speaking in a conference call with media, Lee said the company plans to build the car based on customer demand while noting that demand isn’t great “right now”.

Lee called the Corvette “very, very profitable” and said the Bowling Green plan should continue to annually produce between 35,000 and 50,000 cars.

That figure does seems like a distant memory: 35,310 Corvettes were produced in 2008 but the 2009 production total is expected to be about half that. There is currently no indication that another model will replace the Cadillac XLR which was also built at the plant but was discontinued earlier this year.

The Bowling Green Assembly Plant was also expected to become the home of the Saturn Sky and the Pontiac Solstice in 2012, but those models are expected to be sold or discontinued as part of the reorganization that will focus on the four key brands: Chevy, Cadillac, Buick and GMC.

The Corvette plant is currently closed for a planned two week hiatus.


Source:
Bowling Green Daily News

Related:
More Corvette Comments from GM CEO Henderson
[VIDEO] GM CEO Fritz Henderson Discusses Corvette’s Future
[VIDEO] 2010 Corvette ZR1′s Performance Traction Management System

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2010 Corvette Production Constraints

by Keith Cornett on May 21, 2009

2010 Corvette Production Constraints

The first list of order constraints on the 2010 Corvette are out and we are pleased to see that there are no major options constrained for the new Grand Sport models other than the expected delay of the Z15 Heritage package. It’s normal for the factory to limit some of the new options as production ramps up and for the most part that is what we are seeing. The allocation groups for 2010 have changed slightly as well so that all Corvettes except the ZR1 are in one group and the ZR1 is by itself in another.

Vette Group (Coupe, Convertible, GS Coupe, GS Convertible, Z06)

  • 70U Torch Red Exterior – limited to 54 available
  • US8 Audio System – Single CD with 12 months XM – 22 available
  • Z15 Grand Sport Heritage Package – 0 Available

ZR1 Group

  • 70U Torch Red Exterior – 12 available
  • 10U Artic White Exterior – 3 available
  • 89U Crystal Red Exterior – 3 available

In regards to the Grand Sport Heritage Package, the Z15 option includes two-tone leather seats, Grand Sport logo seat headrest embroidery and dealer-installed fender stripe hash marks. GM told us at the NCM’s C5/C6 Birthday Bash that this package probably wouldn’t be available until sometime in the Fall of 2009. We do understand that the Hash Marks will be available through dealers as part of the Corvette Genuine Accessories catalog.

Although 2010 Corvette pricing hasn’t been made public yet (expect another 2 weeks or so), dealers can and are taking 2010 Corvette orders. If you are interested in ordering a 2010 Corvette including the new Grand Sport, get in line now by calling Kerbeck Corvette’s Dave Salvatore today at 877-537-2325 or visit Kerbeck Corvette online. Make sure you tell them CorvetteBlogger sent you!


Assembly Plant Schedule

Finally, here is the latest schedule of operations for the Bowling Green Assembly Plant through the end of August. The schedule is subject to change based on GM’s ongoing restructuring:

June: Closed the weeks of June 1, June 8 and June 29. Open the weeks of June 15, June 22.
July:  Closed the weeks of July 6, July 13. Open the weeks of July 20, July 27.
August: Closed the weeks of August 3, August 10. Open the weeks of August 17, August 23.

The model year change over is expected around the end of July, however, new production could be postponed should GM go into bankruptcy proceedings this summer. We’ll know more about that process in the coming weeks as well.


Contraint Report Sponsored by:
Kerbeck Corvette

Related:
Download the 2010 Corvette Order Guide
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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More Corvette Comments from GM CEO Henderson

by Keith Cornett on May 11, 2009

GM CEO Fritz Henderson Discusses Corvette's Future

Last week General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson sat down with Autoweek and essentially said the Corvette isn’t going away because it pays the rent. Henderson repeated those comments in an online live chat this morning on GM’s FastLane blog. In addition to repeating his support for the Corvette, Fritz gives us a peak inside the Henderson garage.

From the FastLane Chat with Fritz Henderson on MOnday, May 11th:


Dr. Ron McGarry:
I know that shuttering popular brands is difficult, but as a former Pontiac owner and now with a Corvette, I am concerned about the whole Corvette/Bowling Green operation. Destroy this and it will be bad for GM on a whole. Any hints on plans for Corvette?

Fritz Henderson:
Corvette remains a force within our product lineup. It is a superb high performance car, the equal or better car relative to cars that sell for 3x the price. The corvette pays the rent in terms of profitability and cash flow and is one of our strongest (if not our strongest) nameplates in the entire GM lineup. We intend to keep this car fresh and in a segment leading position. I also own one and love it.


Brian Watters:
What do you drive presently and what is your favorite gm vehicles?

Fritz Henderson:
The Henderson family fleet. My wife drives a cool 9-3 Saab convertible. My baby is my corvette, I am also driving a camaro, and my daughter drives a Malibu.


Click here to read the transcript from the 30 min chat.


Source:
GM FastLane Blog

Related:
[VIDEO] GM CEO Fritz Henderson Discusses Corvette’s Future
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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GM CEO Fritz Henderson Discusses Corvette's Future

Autoweek.com sat down with new GM CEO Fritz Henderson and the Corvette’s future came up in the discussion. Fritz made it clear that the focus for Corvette is on the current C6 platform and making changes and upgrades to insure “it maintains its leadership position”.

When asked about the hold placed on the C7 development, Henderson commented that it would take a significant investment to have the car make another leap forward, but since the current architecture is so good, the plan for now is to make sure the current Corvette continues to improve every year.

I don’t know about you, but Henderson’s comments left me feeling very uninspired. Not just on the future development of the C7, but his discussion of the current C6 was very bland, almost clinical. Anyone else have that opinion?


Source:
Autoweek.com

Related:
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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April 2009 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on May 4, 2009

We received good news regarding new Corvette sales via GM’s monthly sales report. GM posted 1,407 deliveries of new Corvettes last month, the highest amount since September 2008 and the fourth straight month of growth. Sales of Corvettes climbed 18.9% over March 2009′s figure of 1,183. During the month, the total inventory of Corvettes available fell 9.4% to a total of 6,416 units available nationwide.

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Download the 2010 Corvette Order Guide

by Keith Cornett on May 4, 2009

2010 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible

As Corvette Product Manager Harlan Charles promised at the NCM’s C5/C6 Bash, the 2010 Corvette Order Guides were delivered to Chevrolet dealers today. We’ll be reviewing it shortly and will post anything interesting that we find. In the meantime, you can download your copy after the jump.

A special thanks goes out to Dave Salvatore at Kerbeck Corvette for making this available to us so quickly. If you’re looking to purchase the new Grand Sport or any other 2010 Corvette, Dave is your go-to guy. Call him at 1-877-537-2325 and make sure you tell him CorvetteBlogger sent you!

Related:
[VIDEO] 2010 Corvette ZR1′s Performance Traction Management System
[VIDEO] Juechter: Corvette Grand Sport is the New Z51
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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 Corvette Production Schedule with Plant Mgr Paul Graham

While at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash, we heard from the manager of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant Paul Graham about GM’s plan to close factories over the summer. Paul informs us that the only change for the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will be an additional week added to the normal two week shutdown in July. We also hear from Corvette’s Chief Engineer about the production targets for the Corvette ZR1 and how its production has been affected with these closures.

Paul also commented on how the factory was able to work with Corvette engineering and marketing to be able to provide all these different options for Corvette buyers. Paul reiterates that capacity is available to build all the models: Coupe, Convertible, Grand Sports, Z06 and ZR1 as well as the special editions like the GT1 Championship and the Competition Sport.

Tadge takes a amount to address the rumors around the closure of the high performance vehicle unit and says they had nothing to do with building the Corvette ZR1 and Z06. Those cars were built by Corvette’s engineering team and that team is still in place.

Related:
[VIDEO] 2010 Corvette ZR1′s Performance Traction Management System
[VIDEO] Juechter: Corvette Grand Sport is the New Z51
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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2010 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible Walkaround

I was able to get some quality “alone” time with this new 2010 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible. This car is VIN #5 and was built the week of the April 20th. The Corvette features a Cyber Gray exterior with the new chrome Grand Sport wheels. This GS doesn’t have the Z15 RPO Heritage Package which includes the fender hash mark graphics and embroiderd “Grand Sport” on the seats. Instead it has the new 0B1 Crossed Flags headrest embroidery. Also inside you’ll see the Dark Titanium/Ebony two-tone interior.

Related:
[VIDEO] Corvette Production Schedule with Plant Mgr Paul Graham
[VIDEO] 2010 Corvette ZR1′s Performance Traction Management System
[VIDEO] Juechter: Corvette Grand Sport is the New Z51
[VIDEO] The 2010 Corvette’s Launch Control System Explained
What’s New for the 2010 Corvette
[VIDEO] Introduction and Reveal of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Exclusive Photo Gallery: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Preview: The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport

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2009 Corvette Model Year Sales Data - Preliminary Results

During the GM Engineering Seminar at the National Corvette Museum’s C5/C6 Bash, preliminary production data for 2009 was released. Most interesting is the total 2009 model year production through April 21, 2009 which stands at 15,237. This is the lowest amount of Corvettes produced in a single model year since the 9,752 Corvettes built during the first year of the C5 Corvette in 1997 and 20,000 less than the 35,000 Corvette built in 2008. Also included in the report is the penetration for exterior colors as well as some of the more popular options.

Corvettes Produced Amount Percent    
         
Coupes 7,717 51%    
Convertibles 3,120 21%    
Z06 Hardtop 3,160 21%    
ZR1 Hardtop 1,240 6%    
  _______ _______    
Total 15,237 100%    
         
Exterior Colors Coupe Convertible Z06 ZR1
Black 20% 16% 26% 26%
Crystal Red 17% 19%    
Cyber Gray 16% 12% 23% 36%
Victory Red 13% 14% 10% 10%
Blade Silver 11% 8% 10% 5%
Jetstream Blue 8% 6% 9% 16%
Arctic White 6% 8%    
Velocity Yellow 5% 17% 7% 5%
Atomic Orange 5% 3% 5% 2%
         
Options Coupe Convertible Z06 ZR1
         
1LT 38% 8%    
2LT 15% 22%    
3LT 42% 62%    
4LT 5% 9%    
1LZ     13%  
2LZ     52%  
3LZ     35%  
1ZR       3%
3ZR       97%
         
CC3 – Transparent Roof 17%      
C2L – Dual Roof Pkg 13%      
         
MX0 – 6-Speed Auto Paddle 67% 82%    
F55 – Selective Ride Control 10% 34%    
Z51 – Performance Package 37% 28%    
U3U – Stereo/XM/Nav 27% 47% 77%  
NPP – Dual Mode Exhaust 47% 57%    
QG6 – Sparkle Silver 30% 15%    
QG7 – Polished 17% 13%%    
QX1 – Competition Gray 7% 3%    
Q9V – Chrome 46% 57%    
Q10 – Z06     10%  
Q8A – Chrome     56%  
Q76     15%  
Q6A – ZR1 Sterling Silver       20%
Q6B – ZR1 Chrome       80%

As many of you know, 2009 will be the last year for Victory Red and Atomic Orange. Victory Red is being replaced by Torch Red, however Atomic Orange will not be replaced when production ceases on the 2009 Corvette. With the highest penetration of just 5% on the Corvette Coupe and just 2% of Corvette ZR1s wearing Atomic Orange, its easy to see why that color is being phased out.

During the Day 2 walk around at the Museum, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter said the Corvette ZR1 is on pace for about 1,400 units this year. Despite the assembly plant shutting several times this year, Tadge said GM continued to have suppliers manufacture and bank those critical parts needed for ZR1 production, so that when the assembly resumes after the plant has been idled, those critical parts are available.


Source:
National Corvette Museum

Related:
Final 2008 Corvette Production Numbers
Final 2007 Corvette Production Numbers

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