In keeping with our “glass is half full” optimism regarding monthly Corvette sales, we are happy to report that the March 2009 sales report released by GM yesterday shows the third straight month of growth for 2009 in new Corvette deliveries. In March 2009, 1,183 Corvettes were sold which was a 15% increase over February’s 1,027 deliveries and was 41% higher than the 842 Corvettes sold in January 2009.
GM / Factory News
UPDATE: Autoblog spoke with Andrea Hales, GM Bowling Green Assembly Communications manager, who informed them that while there will be six weeks of down time from now until the end of June, the plant actually has about 600 workers and they will continue to build 11 Corvettes per hour, not eight.
Earlier this week it was announced that GM would idle the Bowling Green Assembly Plant for 6 weeks over the next three months. What we are hearing now is that when the plant is open, hourly production of the sports car will fall from 11 to 8 cars an hour.
UAW Local 2164 Secretary Cindy Shelton confirmed the slowing of the assembly line to 8 cars an hour, a far cry from the 18 cars an hour produced a year ago. “We are hardly running”, she said as the workforce has been trimmed to 400 workers, down from nearly 1,000 workers two years ago. “We are all worried and we are all waiting.” Shelton said in response to news about Rick Wagoner’s departure and President Obama’s comments about General Motors earlier this week. “Retirees are worried about their pension if GM goes bankrupt and the rest of us are just worried if we will be here next week.”
The slow down in production and plant idling comes as Corvette sales continue to run about half of what they were a year ago. In February 2009, Corvette sales were down 50% over 2008 sales. Just 1,027 Corvettes were sold in February compared with 2,071 the year prior.
Later this week we are expecting similar numbers when GM announces March 2009 sales.
GM employees were notified on Monday about plans for additional shutdowns at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Ky. Starting Monday, March 30th, the Corvette plant will close for two weeks, then reopen for a few weeks before closing again. Hourly workers will be temporarily laid off during those down times.
The plant is scheduled to be closed during the first two weeks of April, first two weeks in May and then two weeks in June which will probably coincide with the changeover to the 2010 model. The closings affect not only the lives of the great people that work at the plant, but customer tours and museum deliveries are also impacted.
BG Assembly Plant Communications Director Andrea Hales said news of the shutdown did not surprise workers. “I think our employees expected more downtime because they follow the sale of our products very closely,â€ she said. â€œSo I think our employees were expecting some sort of scheduling announcement.”
“We are still hopeful that the market is still there for Corvette,â€ Hales said. â€œWeâ€™re just waiting to see, when the economy does take a turn, weâ€™re hoping we see Corvette come back as strong as it was before the downturn last year.”
The plant has laid off around 130 employees and another 110 more could be laid off before the end of the year.
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring brought down several key members of Team Corvette to Florida who were on hand for the unveiling of the 2009 GT1 Championship Edition Corvettes. CorvetteBlogger spoke with Corvette Product Marketing Manager Harlan Charles about the people who build America’s sports car, the new GT1 Championship and Competition Sport Corvettes and the Transformers’ Corvette Stingray Concept and its potential influence on the C7 Corvette.
We appreciate Harlan taking the time to talk with us and we’re looking forward to attending the 2010 Corvette model rollout at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green at the end of April.
[VIDEO] My Hot Lap Around Sebring in a 2009 Competition Sport Corvette
[PICS] First Look: The 2009 Competition Sport Corvette
[VIDEO] The 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition Debuts at Sebring
[PICS] Up Close with the 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition
GM released its sales figures today that show 1,027 Corvettes were delivered in February 2009. While the sales number is down 50% over February 2008′s 2,071 Corvettes delivered, the good news is that this is a 22% increase over the paltry 842 Corvettes delivered in January 2009.
GM Performance Parts teased us during 2008′s SEMA show about the coming availability of an LS9 crate engine and yesterday we received word that the heart of the ZR1 is now available through GM dealers. MRSP for the 6.2L Supercharged ZR1 V8 is listed at $28,000 with the GM dealer price set at $21,000.
The 6.2L LS9 is rated at 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque. A limited 24 month/50,000 mile limited warranty is included.
The package comes fully dressed including the ignition system, supercharger assembly, exhaust manifolds and the dry-sump oil pan. The external oil and cooling tanks as well as an ECU/wire harness are not included. Also not included is the Corvette ZR1 â€œBlue Devilâ€ engine cover. GM Performance Parts does plan to release a LS9 controller kit and a front accessory drive kit later in 2009.
From the GM Performance Parts Catalog:
The most powerful regular-production engine ever from GM! The New LS9 6.2L supercharged – the standard engine in the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – is a technology marvel that holds the distinction of being the most powerful regular-production engine ever offered in a GM car. It helps propel the 3,324 pound ZR1 from 0-60 in 3.4 seconds and through the quarter-mile in an astonishing 11.3 seconds at 131 mph – all the way to a top speed of 205 mph! Those stats make the ZR1 not only the most powerful car ever from GM, but the quickest and fastest, too! GM Performance Parts is thrilled to offer the LS9 6.2L in a fully dresses crate engine package. And while it shares the 6.2L displacement of other LS engines, this one is unique, with stronger block casting, stronger cylinder head castings and steel cylinder liners that are honed with a deck plate installed to maximize performance and cylinder seating. High-rpm-validated lightweight reciprocating parts, including titanium intake vales and connecting rods, are used along with high-flow cylinder heads that flow the charge forced on them by sixth-generation supercharger. A revised, higher-helix design delivers greater power at the low end and sustains it longer through the rpm band for broad, on-demand power whether off-idle or at speed. A dual-brick charge cooler is integrated on a unique manifold system that mounts the “blower” in the engine’s valley, with charge cooler on top.
Click here to view the GM Performance Parts 6.2L LS9 Crate Engine Catalog Page.
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Corvette | Vette | 2009 | ZR1 | LS9 | Crate | Engine | V8 | Horsepower | Torque
Transformer’s Revenge of the Fallen rolls into theaters this summer and one of the main Autobot characters is Sideswipe, who’s alt-car mode is the Corvette Centennial Design Concept. After months of only seeing the Corvette concept in spy shots, the car finally made its official public debut at the Chicago Auto show.
Initially known as the Centennial Design Concept, we are seeing references to the unveiled car as the “Corvette Stingray Concept” so until we see something different, that’s how we’ll refer to it as well.
After seeing the photos I still think that this concept is a great starting point for work on the C7. I’m sure the front and rears would be reworked but overall the concept is a home run. Just imagine this Corvette Stingray in Black or Red. Smokin!
Transformers Corvette Concept Revealed as Sideswipe
Transformers Mystery Car Revealed as Corvette Centennial Design Concept
Transformer’s Corvette Concept Revealed
[VIDEO] Sixties Corvette To Make Warp Speed in Next Star Trek Movie?
Continuing our coverage of today’s reveal of the Corvette Stingray Concept at the Chicago Auto Show, we bring you this video of GM’s Design Chief Ed Welburn doing a walk-around of silver Autobot at the GM design center. Pictured in the background is one of the inspirations for the Corvette concept, the 1959 Stingray Racer. Video after the jump.
AUTOBOTSÂ® WITH BOW TIES: CHEVROLET-BASED CHARACTERS STARRING IN ‘TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN’ AT THE CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
Giant movie robot also on display with vehicles used in the upcoming blockbuster summer film
Camaro BumbleBeeCHICAGO â€“ Visitors to the Chevrolet display at this year’s Chicago Auto Show (Friday through Feb. 22) will be treated to an out-of-this-world vehicle display â€“ the automotive stars from the upcoming DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures release, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
Five Chevrolet-based characters â€“ including four all-new characters â€“ are featured in the new film set to open in the United States on June 26. All of them are at the Chevrolet display. The four new movie characters include:
- SIDESWIPE â€“ a stylized Corvette vision concept vehicle
- SKIDS and MUDFLAP â€“ twin AUTOBOTSÂ® based on Chevy’s Beat (a concept that will go into production as the Chevy Spark in 2011) and Trax concepts
- JOLT â€“ an AUTOBOT-based on Chevy’s upcoming Volt extended-range electric vehicle
BUMBLEBEEâ„¢, the heroic AUTOBOT based on Chevrolet’s Camaro concept from the first “Transformers” movie, returns with a high-performance attitude. Joining the vehicles on stage will be BUMBLEBEE in his AUTOBOT form, standing almost 17 feet (5.2 meters) tall and 13 feet (4 meters) wide.
“Chevrolet is thrilled to again be part of one of the most anticipated movies in years,” said Ed Peper, GM North America vice president, Chevrolet. “‘Transformers’ gives us a great opportunity to connect with young people on their terms, with a dynamic, environmentally friendly image. The new characters represent the change going on in Chevy showrooms. From the exciting Camaro, the 21st century sports car, to the game-changing Volt, there’s more than meets the eye at Chevrolet today.”
Directed by Michael Bay, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” sees the AUTOBOTS confront a new threat from DECEPTICONSÂ® bent on avenging their earlier defeat on Earth. The new AUTOBOT characters in their current Chevy-based form square off against new, tougher foes determined to rule the universe.
“‘Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen’ goes way beyond the first film in terms of robot action and excitement,” said LeeAnne Stables, executive vice president of worldwide marketing partnerships at Paramount Pictures, the distributor of the film. “The new AUTOBOTS add to the storytelling, and these Chevy vehicles went with our filmmakers to locations all around the world. GM has again provided incredible support to the production team working on the movie.”
Along with the Camaro that’s reprising its role in the new film, the other Chevy models to be seen on the big screen are new to movie-goers.
SIDESWIPE takes the form of a sleek, vision concept dreamed up by the Corvette designers at GM. The design is influenced by the original Stingray race car, introduced in 1959, but also draws on Corvette heritage cues from other generations. It brings them together in a futuristic shape that seems to be equal parts racecar and space ship.
“SIDESWIPE represents an exercise in exploration for the Corvette,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of GM Global Design. “By giving my creative team the freedom to design no-holds-barred vision concepts, it helps them push boundaries and look at projects from different perspectives.”
The Beat and Trax-based characters, SKIDS and MUDFLAP, remain faithful to their concept designs introduced at the 2007 New York Auto Show â€“ although each wears new paint and other exterior accessories. And while they may be small cars, when they turn into fighting AUTOBOTSÂ®, they pack a big punch.
The other new AUTOBOT, JOLT, appears in the production form of Chevy’s 2011 Volt extended-range electric vehicle. With the capability of up to 40 miles (64 km) of pure electric propulsion, plus hundreds of more miles with the assistance from its Voltec powertrain system, the real-life Volt will change driving in America.
Of course, the AUTOBOT team isn’t complete without BUMBLEBEE, the yellow Camaro based on the new, 2010 production model. Sporting new wheels and SS-model performance cues, BUMBLEBEE is more stylish and powerful than ever â€“ and enthusiasts will be able to drive their own new Camaro when it goes on sale this spring. For more exclusive AUTOBOT movie information relating to Chevrolet, please visit www.autobotsrollout.com.
Chevrolet is one of America’s best-known and best-selling automotive brands. With the largest dealer network in the United States, Chevy is the leader in full-size trucks and the leader in sales of vehicles priced $35,000 and above. Chevrolet delivers more-than-expected value in every vehicle category, offering cars and trucks priced from $12,120 to $103,300. Chevy delivers expressive design, spirited performance and great value with standard features usually found only on more expensive vehicles. More information on Chevrolet can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures present, in association with Hasbro, a di Bonaventura Pictures production, a Tom DeSanto/Don Murphy Production, a Michael Bay film, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Kevin Dunn, Julie White, John Benjamin Hickey, Ramon Rodriguez, Isabel Lucas, Glenn Morshower and John Turturro. The film is directed by Michael Bay and written by Ehren Kruger, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. It is based on Hasbro’s TRANSFORMERSâ„¢ action figures and is produced by Don Murphy, Tom DeSanto, Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Ian Bryce. Executive producers are Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Brian Goldner and Mark Vahradian. This film has not yet been rated.
TRANSFORMERS is a brand of Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS). Hasbro is a worldwide leader in children’s and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, CRANIUM and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at http://www.hasbro.com.
[PICS] Transformer’s Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago
Transformers Corvette Concept Revealed as Sideswipe
Transformers Mystery Car Revealed as Corvette Centennial Design Concept
Transformer’s Corvette Concept Revealed
GM released the first sales figures for the new year and for the first time since we started keeping track in 2006, Corvette deliveries dropped below 1,000 units to close at 842 for the month of January. Unfortunately for both GM and the assembly workers in Bowling Green, 842 Corvette sales does little to alleviate the supply of Corvettes on the ground and the slow sales could force the company to keep the factory’s doors closed longer than planned.
Tom Hill, Quality Engineering Manager at the Corvette Assembly Plant announced to NCRS members attending the Winter Regional meet in Kissimmee, Florida last weekend that a new limited edition package called the GT-1 Edition would be produced this Spring. Like the Competition Sport Package, the GT-1 Edition centers around the Corvette Racing theme with team mascot “Jake” prominently displayed.
The package will reportedly be available on Coupe, Convertible and Z06 models. They will include your choice of either 45U Velocity Yellow with Black Stripes or 41U Black with Yellow Stripes. Both colors feature the now familiar “Jake” mascot as well as other graphics inspired by the Corvette Racing C6.Rs like the distinctive yellow windshield banner.
Another unique feature will include graphics that will have the driver’s names on the roof just like the C6.R. The championships that the Corvette Racing C6.R team has won will be displayed on a lower door script graphic. Other features include black headlamps on the Velocity Yellow models and Genuine Corvette Accessories (GCA) body colored door handles and carbon fiber patterned engine covers.
All GT-1 Championship models include the ZR1′s full width spoiler in body color and Q9V Forged Chrome Wheels. The Coupe and Convertible models will come equipped with the Z51 Performance Package and NPP Performance Exhaust.
Each of the GT-1 Edition interiors will receive exclusive GT-1 embroidery on the seats and console lid. Ebony 4LT (Coupe and Convertible) and 3LZ (Z06) interiors and shifter will be accentuated with yellow stitching. Included will be a Special Console Trim Plate with specific VIN sequencing and a Certificate of Authenticity.
Pricing and availability are expected sometime in February.
With 2009 being the end of Corvette Racing’s reign of the GT-1 class in the ALMS and Le Mans, collectors and Corvette Racing fans alike will have the opportunity to show their support when driving this unique tribute to the C6.R team to a Corvette corral later this year and beyond.
2009 Corvette Competition Sport Package Pricing Revealed
Introducing the Limited Edition 2009 Competition Sport Corvette
Japan’s Special Edition Corvette: The Corvette S-Limited
The Competition: A Unique Special Edition 2008 Corvette for Europe