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GM / Factory News

2009 Corvette Production By The Numbers (So Far)

by Keith Cornett on November 18, 2008

2009 Corvette Z06 in Cyber Gray

I continue to hope that 2009 will go down in history as the year that production started on the Corvette ZR1 instead of the year that the last Corvette was made. There are buyers out there and even in a bad economy Corvettes will continue to be sold. With that said, we do have some preliminary production numbers of Corvettes for the first five months or so of the 2009 model year.

Our numbers come by way of “Zippy” who is an ambassador with the National Corvette Museum and is a well known source of info on several forum sites. He says that to date there have been 9,230 Corvettes produced for the 2009 model year. They breakdown as:

  • 4,959 Corvette Coupes
  • 1,696 Corvette Convertibles
  • 2,213 Corvette Z06s
  •    362 Corvette ZR1s

Some additional facts regarding 2009 Corvette production:

  • 362 ZR1s have been produced with a total of 509 in the ordering system.
  • 9.7% of Convertibles were built with the new 1LT Package.
  • NPP Performance Exhaust has been ordered on 51% of all Coupes and 59% of all Convertibles.

The top three colors ordered for the Corvette ZR1 were:

  • 40% Cyber Gray
  • 20% Black
  • 17% Jetstream Blue

Cyber Gray is the most popular 2009 color to date with 20% of all Corvettes ordered in the new color. Second is Black at 20% and third is Victory Red at 14%.


Source:
Z06Vette.com

Related:
Final 2008 Corvette Production Numbers
Official 2009 Corvette Pricing Announced

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Corvette's Tom Wallace

This is an open post to General Motors, and I’m going to be blunt about what I have to say.

Tom Wallace, Performance Vehicle Line Executive and head of the Corvette team retires suddenly after a 38 year career at GM and you can’t issue one official press release thanking him for his service?

Gene Stefanyshyn is unofficially confirmed by sources to become the new head of the Corvette program and you can’t put out a statement welcoming him to the fold?

You have a whole communications department and can’t issue one statement concerning huge changes in your “Halo” car’s leadership? That’s pretty pathetic…

Wallace joined GM as a cooperative student with Buick in 1970. He finished his career as head of the Corvette program – a job description that we think should officially contain the phrase “greatest job in the world”. We don’t know the circumstances of why he left, and perhaps its none of our business, but you owe it to Tom, the customers who purchased Corvettes during his tenure and the enthusiast community in general to show a little class by thanking him for giving his entire working life to you.

It’s also come out through unofficial sources that Wallace’s replacement is Gene Stefanyshyn, the global vehicle line executive for rear wheel drive vehicles. How about an official press release welcoming Gene to the great community that is Corvette?

This is only the 5th leadership change in 56 years of Corvette history – it’s kind of a big deal to be mentioned in the same breath as Zora Arkus-Duntov, Dave McLellan and David Hill. An official statement would also be nice to clarify exactly where Corvette stands. Is Gene moving to Performance Vehicles or is Corvette moving to Rear Wheel Drive?

News is bad out there. We get it. Sales of Corvettes were down 52% last month. We hear the C7 program is now on an indefinite hold with nothing new expected until 2014. Rumors, innuendo and speculation is endless. With the financial crisis that threatens GM and talks of bailouts and bankruptcy, Corvette owners are concerned about the future direction of the car we love so much and a company that we respect.

It’s been exactly three weeks since the Wallace announcement. During that time, GM issued a press release regarding changes in management in the Service and Parts Operations (SPO) following the retirement of Doug Herberger who was with the company for 35 years. You owe the same to Tom Wallace and Gene Stefanyshyn.

Update: GM issued an offical statement today: Crystal Windham Named General Motors First African American Female Director of Design. Congratulations, Crystal. I would not have heard about your promotion without the wonderful staff at GM’s communications department doing their job!


Back me up on this my friends. Leave a comment with your thoughts about GM’s handling of the management changes. You may also offer thanks to Tom for his service or welcome Gene to club.


Related:
Corvette Responsibilities Shift to GM’s Gene Stefanyshyn
Corvette Chief Tom Wallace Set To Retire

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Corvette Assembly Plant to Layoff 110 Workers

by Keith Cornett on November 10, 2008

The Bowling Green Assembly Plant

General Motors has announced the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky will undergo another shutdown in January and will layoff 110 workers as the company slashes production of the iconic sports car amid lower sales. Production is expected to be cut as well from 15 Corvettes an hour to 11.

The assembly plant is slated to be shutdown during the first week of December and it was just announced the plant will now be idled the week of January 5th and the week of January 12th.

In addition to idling the plants, cuts in production have brought the number of Corvettes completed per hour down from 18.5 to 15. New production targets in January will lower that figure to 11 Corvettes completed each hour.

The production cuts will also force GM to layoff 110 workers in January. 70 workers were laid off after the first production cut and another 30 will be temporarily laid off as GM shuts down production of the Cadillac XLR for the month of December. The plant employs 800 workers.

“Most of our employees knew that more changes would be made to our production schedule, based upon more recent sales figures,” said Andrea Hales, communication director for the Bowling Green plant. “I just don’t know if they expected it to be as big of an impact as what we announced this morning. At this time, nothing is certain and we really just take it in stride and watch our sales figures, our sales results and the overall market.”

Corvette sales took a dive last month, dropping 53 percent compared with sales from October 2007.

“Corvette sales, they were doing fairly well until the last few months,” said Tom Wilkinson, spokesperson for General Motors. “A lot of luxury segments have been pretty heavily impacted. The people who have the money are not spending it,” he said. “And the people who don’t have the money are having trouble getting credit. Production cuts are difficult, but we need to keep the company viable,” he said. “And we think the Corvette will definitely take off again.”


Source:
Bowling Green Daily News
Photo Credit: Robin Proctor

Related:
Corvette Assembly Plant to be Idled in December GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply
October 2008 Corvette Sales

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October 2008 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on November 4, 2008

We knew sales would be down for the month of October, but I wasn’t expecting the news to be this bad. Corvette sales declined an astounding 52.9% in the month of October with only 1,170 units delivered. Now we know why the Corvette assembly plant will be idled for the second time come December.There’s not much point trying to analyze sales numbers that are this bad. We all know what’s happened to the financial outlook for the country over the past month and unfortunately, the future for the Corvette Program in the short term isn’t much better. GM has scaled back production, closed the factory (twice) and postponed indefinitely the development on the next generation C7.

Take a deep breath and go watch this video again to change your attitude.

2008 Corvette Delivery Statistics
Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2008 2007 % Change Months 2008 2007 % Change
January 2,015 2,234 -9.8% Jan-Jan 2,015 2,234 -9.8%
February 2,071 2,784 -25.6% Jan-Feb 4,086 5,018 -18.6%
March 2,692 3,158 -14.8% Jan-Mar 6,788 8,176 -17.1%
April 3,190 3,227 -1.1% Jan-Apr 9,968 11,403 -12.6%
May 2,904 3,300 -12.0% Jan-May 12,872 14,703 -12.5%
June 2,082 3,055 -31.8% Jan-Jun 14,954 17,758 -15.8%
July 1,870 2,377 -21.3% Jan-Jul 16,824 20,135 -16.4%
August 4,242 2,877 47.4% Jan-Aug 21,066 23,012 -8.5%
September 2,318 2,837 -18.3% Jan-Sept 23,384 25,849 -9.5%
October 1,170 2,484 -52.9% Jan-Oct 24,554 28,333 -13.3%


2007 Corvette Delivery Statistics
Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2007 2006 % Change Months 2007 2006 % Change
January 2,234 2,579 -16.8% Jan-Jan 2,234 2,579 -16.8%
February 2,784 3,058 -9.0% Jan-Feb 5,018 5,637 -11.0%
March 3,158 3,655 -16.7% Jan-Mar 8,176 9,292 -12.0%
April 3,227 3,516 -0.6% Jan-Apr 11,403 12,808 -11.0%
May 3,300 3,317 -4.3% Jan-May 14,703 16,125 -8.8%
June 3,055 2,938 0.1% Jan-Jun 17,758 19,063 -6.8%
July 2,377 2,794 -11.4% Jan-Jul 20,135 21,857 -7.9%
August 2,877 2,990 -3.8% Jan-Aug 23,012 24,842 -7.4%
September 2,837 3,056 -3.5% Jan-Sept 25,849 27,903 -7.4%
October 2,484 2,761 -13.5% Jan-Oct 28,333 30,664 -7.6%
November 2,438 2,773 -12.1% Jan-Nov 30,771 33,437 -8.0%
December 2,914 3,081 -5.4% Jan-Dec 33,685 36,518 -7.8%


Corvette Stock Report:

A check of Jeff Hardy’s website shows a total of 8,043 Corvettes on the ground and can be broken down into the following years:

  • 2007 Corvettes – 130
  • 2008 Corvettes – 2,493
  • 2009 Corvettes – 5,420
Here’s the current breakdown in 2008 Corvette inventory in case you’re still looking to score a deal:
  • 1,050 Corvette Coupes
  • 799 Corvette Convertibles
  • 644 Corvette Z06


Source:
GM.com
JeffHardy.com

Related:
Corvette Assembly Plant to be Idled in December
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply
September 2008 Corvette Sales

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Corvette Assembly Plant to be Idled in December

by Keith Cornett on October 27, 2008

The Bowling Green Assembly Plant

General Motors is planning to shut down the Bowling Green Assembly Plant for another week in early December in another attempt to keep inventories in line with demand. AP is reporting the plant will be idled the week of December 1st and will reopen the following week.

The Bowling Green Assembly Plant builds both Chevrolet Corvettes and Cadillac XLRs. GM previously said that Cadillac XLR production would be shut down that week. The plant employs 900 workers.

The assembly plant was idled already once this fall with production halted during the week of October 6-12th. Corvette sales are down 9.5% through the first nine months this year.


Source:
NewsChannel 34

Related:
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply
September 2008 Corvette Sales

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Corvette Responsibilities Shift to GM’s Gene Stefanyshyn

by Keith Cornett on October 27, 2008

Gene Stefanyshyn

With the news of Tom Wallace’s retirement at the end of this month finally sinking in, attention is now shifting to who GM will name as a replacement. Several automotive sites, AutoWeek and InsideLine are confirming that Gene Stefanyshyn, GM’s global vehicle line executive for rear-wheel-drive vehicles, will add the Corvette chief engineer responsibility to his duties.

Gene Stefanyshyn (rhymes with definition) was behind GM’s global Epsilon initative that will eventually involve 1/6th of the cars GM build around the world – roughly 1.4 million units annually. More recently, his Rear-Wheel-Drive duties have led him to Australia where his team did much of the design and engineering work on the new Camaro, as well as the Holden Commodore.

The news of how Corvette and Stefanyshyn will work together is still cloudy and we hope GM issues an official statement soon. AutoWeek is claiming that the Corvette will be added to Stefanyshyn’s Rear-Wheel-Drive Vehicle Line while Inside Line is reporting that Wallace will be succeeded by Stefanyshyn as Corvette boss.

One thing we do need to clear up though. Tadge Juechter is officially Corvette’s Chief Engineer. About six months into Wallace’s tenure, he split the VLE and Chief Engineering positions.

Maybe in this time of downsizing it would make sense to combine the performance and rear-wheel-drive VLE’s. But having one person do the workload that 2 or 3 people use to do is never a great long-term solution. In July this year, Corvette Marketing Manager Gary Claudio moved to a position at Corvette Racing and his duties were added to the Corvette Product Manager, Harlan Charles.

We found this brief bio of Gene Stefanyshyn:

Gene Stefanyshyn started his career in a junkyard. He fondly recalls, “As a teenager, I spent days in an Oshawa, Ontario, salvage yard that belonged to a friend’s father. We’d bombed around in cars, tore things apart, and rebuilt engines for fun. That’s where I starting loving cars.”

Stefanyshyn says his high school dream was to become a tool and die maker. He took the math and science classes required for college admission and also the hands-on technical courses.

“When I was about to become an apprentice, an excellent machine shop teacher took me aside to tell my abilities exceeded those required to be a tool and die maker,” he says. “They encouraged me to try for more. That’s when it occurred to me that perhaps I could become an engineer.”

The 47-year old Canadian joined GM as a General Motors Institute engineering student in 1976. Upon graduation, he took up corporate finance studies, earnings an MBA in 1981. That led to a planning and competitive analysis assignment at GM of Canada while Rick Wagoner was the organization’s CFO. Subsequent assignments at Saab and Opel broadened Stefanyshyn’s horizons. Under Opel’s Peter Hanenberger, he helped lay a foundation for GM’s global architectures strategy. Before returning to North America in 1995, Stefanyshyn also created an engineering council for GM’s international operations, strategy for Asia Pacific business, and an engineering proposal for GM’s China joint venture partner.

Back in the U.S.A. Stefanyshyn’s assignment as GM’s mid-size VLE was to grab a range of under-performing models by the scruff. His global experience made him the perfect change agent for solving mid-size problems and integrating future models into GM’s global product portfolio.

We’ll have more on this as soon as GM makes an official statement.


Source:
AutoWeek
Inside Line
ECnext.com
Photo Credit: Drive.com.au

Related:
Corvette Chief Tom Wallace Set To Retire
GM Cutbacks Extend to Corvette Program

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Corvette Chief Tom Wallace Set To Retire

by Keith Cornett on October 26, 2008

Tom Wallace discusses the Corvette ZR1

The Corvette community was surprised to hear Thursday evening at the Petersen Automotive Museum’s Corvette Racing celebration that GM’s Performance Vehicle Line Executive Tom Wallace is retiring at the end of October. Tom served as Corvette’s Chief Engineer after Dave Hill stepped down at the end of 2005. His quick departure opens up speculation about the future of the Corvette program since we heard that the program has been put on an indefinite hold.

Tom’s three year tenure as the head of the Corvette program is the shortest ever for any of Corvette program leaders. The speculation on the street regarding his departure is either that he was unwilling to commit to pushing back the C7 Corvette launch schedule to 2014 or beyond, or with the launch of the Corvette ZR1, the only “new” model launched during his tenure, now seemed to be the best time to take a buyout and make an exit as GM faces one of the most difficult periods in its 100 year history.

As of Saturday, there has been no official word about Wallace’s retirement from General Motors.

Whatever the reasons, we liked Tom and felt that his racing DNA were ideal for leading Corvette into the next generation. We do know that Corvette will be in good hands with the likes of Tadge Juechter and others leading the next generation Corvette program. Our fear is less about GM cutting the Corvette program and more about GM’s financial viability as a company over the next year.


Sources:
Autoblog
CorvetteConti.com

Related:
Wallace Discusses Building a Better Corvette
Corvette’s Tom Wallace Q & A
[VIDEO] GM’s Tom Wallace Discusses the 2009 Corvette ZR1

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Next-Generation C7 Corvette on Hold – Indefinitely

by Keith Cornett on October 18, 2008

C7 Corvette Rendering

It was just two weeks ago that Motor Trend reported the next generation Corvette would be pushed back to 2014. With turbulent economic crises threatening the very existence of the Big 3 automakers, word comes from AutoWeek that GM has put plans for the C7 Corvette on indefinite hold with no official word or set timetable.

Luckily, none of the sources are suggesting that the Corvette will go away. Corvette Vehicle-Line Executive Tom Wallace told AutoWeek “No one is saying we’re not doing Corvettes. We’re still bullish on Corvettes.” When asked directly if there was any chance the Corvette would die, Wallace stated emphatically “No way.”

Talk is now about the how the C6 Corvette’s run can be extended. One version of the story is that the C6 could be upgraded significantly in 2012 as a ’13 model. Wallace says we’ll see changes sooner than that. “There are changes, some neat stuff, coming for 2010 that I can’t talk about yet.”

Read the entire article at AutoWeek.


Sources:
AutoWeek

Related:
C7 Corvette Rumors: No Mid-Engine and C7 Pushed Back to 2014

 

September 2008 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on October 2, 2008

Corvette sales continued to be pretty decent through September, no doubt bouyed by the Employee Discount Program on remaining 2008 Corvettes that ran through the end of the month. Last month, 2,318 Corvettes were delivered but sales were down 18.3% over September 2007. W continue to have some major concerns with the impact the credit crunch may have in the coming months.

Within the last month, GM began making moves to ease the impact of the current economic slowdown in regards to Corvette Sales. The first will be a cut in production later this month by closing the Bowling Green Assembly Plant for a week as well as the slowing production line – two moves that should ease dealer inventories. GM also announced a $1520 price increase across the board, while not in itself a significate price hike, it is a move that will help offset some of the cuts that GM has been making to ensure profibility.

2008 Corvette Delivery Statistics
Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2008 2007 % Change Months 2008 2007 % Change
January 2,015 2,234 -9.8% Jan-Jan 2,015 2,234 -9.8%
February 2,071 2,784 -25.6% Jan-Feb 4,086 5,018 -18.6%
March 2,692 3,158 -14.8% Jan-Mar 6,788 8,176 -17.1%
April 3,190 3,227 -1.1% Jan-Apr 9,968 11,403 -12.6%
May 2,904 3,300 -12.0% Jan-May 12,872 14,703 -12.5%
June 2,082 3,055 -31.8% Jan-Jun 14,954 17,758 -15.8%
July 1,870 2,377 -21.3% Jan-Jul 16,824 20,135 -16.4%
August 4,242 2,877 47.4% Jan-Aug 21,066 23,012 -8.5%
September 2,318 2,837 -18.3% Jan-Sept 23,384 25,849 -9.5%


2007 Corvette Delivery Statistics
Month Calendar Year-to-Date
Month 2007 2006 % Change Months 2007 2006 % Change
January 2,234 2,579 -16.8% Jan-Jan 2,234 2,579 -16.8%
February 2,784 3,058 -9.0% Jan-Feb 5,018 5,637 -11.0%
March 3,158 3,655 -16.7% Jan-Mar 8,176 9,292 -12.0%
April 3,227 3,516 -0.6% Jan-Apr 11,403 12,808 -11.0%
May 3,300 3,317 -4.3% Jan-May 14,703 16,125 -8.8%
June 3,055 2,938 0.1% Jan-Jun 17,758 19,063 -6.8%
July 2,377 2,794 -11.4% Jan-Jul 20,135 21,857 -7.9%
August 2,877 2,990 -3.8% Jan-Aug 23,012 24,842 -7.4%
September 2,837 3,056 -3.5% Jan-Sept 25,849 27,903 -7.4%
October 2,484 2,761 -13.5% Jan-Oct 28,333 30,664 -7.6%
November 2,438 2,773 -12.1% Jan-Nov 30,771 33,437 -8.0%
December 2,914 3,081 -5.4% Jan-Dec 33,685 36,518 -7.8%


Corvette Stock Report:

A check of Jeff Hardy’s website shows a total of 7,821 Corvettes on the ground as of yesterday and can be broken down into:

  • 2007 Corvettes – 210
  • 2008 Corvettes – 2,828
  • 2009 Corvettes – 4,783
Here’s the current breakdown in 2008 Corvette inventory in case you’re still looking to score a deal:
  • 1,265 Corvette Coupes
  • 849 Corvette Convertibles
  • 714 Corvette Z06


Source:
GM.com
JeffHardy.com

Related:
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply
August 2008 Corvette Sales

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GM Raises Prices on All 2009 Corvettes

by Keith Cornett on September 30, 2008

GM announced yesterday an across the board price increase on all Corvettes produced on and after September 29, 2009. Coupes, Convertibles, Z06s and the ZR1 will have their MSRP raised by $1,520. This price will effect any Corvette that is not already in dealers stock.

Kerbeck Corvette’s Sales Manager Dave Salvatore told us you are price protected if you have a Customer order date prior to September 29th. He also sent us the new Corvette base prices (not including the $850 destination charge or the ZR1’s gas guzzler tax):

  • Coupe – $48,565
  • Convertible – $53,220
  • Z06 – $73,925
  • ZR1 – $103,970

The good news is that Kerbeck Corvette has over 85 2009 Corvettes in stock at the old price! Call Dave and his team today at 1-877-537-2325 to get the best price available and make sure you tell him CorvetteBlogger sent you!


Sponsored by:
Kerbeck Corvette

Related:
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply

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