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Corvette Assembly Plant Facing Further Downtime

by Keith Cornett on March 26, 2009

The Bowling Green Assembly Plant

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,” she said. “So I think our employees were expecting some sort of scheduling announcement.”

“We are still hopeful that the market is still there for Corvette,” Hales said. “We’re just waiting to see, when the economy does take a turn, we’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.


Source:
Bowling Green Daily News Photo Credit: stockberger.net

Related:
Corvette Assembly Plant to Layoff 110 Workers
Corvette Assembly Plant to be Idled in December
GM: Corvette Production Being Cut to Reduce Supply

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CorvetteBlogger Talks with Corvette’s Harlan Charles

by Keith Cornett on March 24, 2009

CorvetteBlogger Talks with Corvette's Harlan Charles

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.


Related:
[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

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2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition

The Corvette Action Center scored these photos showing the 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition at the decal installation supplier located just down the street from the Corvette Assembly Plant. The decal supplier will be busy this spring as GM is producing 600 of these special editions that celebrate Corvette Racing’s 10 year anniversary and the final year of the GT1 program.

2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition
2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition    

Pricing for the GT1 Championship Edition starts at $65,310 for the 4LT Coupe, $71,815 for the 4LT Convertible and $86,385 for the 3LZ Corvette Z06. Click here for more information:

Officially Official: The 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Editions

The 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Edition will make its public debut this Friday at the Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring. Check back with CorvetteBlogger as we’ll be in Sebring covering the race and Corvette related festivities.

Season-Opening Sebring Race Marks Corvette Racing’s 10th Anniversary GT1 Championship Edition Corvettes Commemorate Corvette Racing’s Decade of Success SEBRING, Fla. – The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the season-opening race of the 2009 American Le Mans Series to be held on March 21, will mark the start of Corvette Racing’s 10th anniversary in international road racing. The team made its competition debut in February 1999 at Daytona, and competed in its first Sebring 12-hour race the following month, finishing fourth in the GTS class. Since that modest beginning, Corvette Racing has become one of the world’s premier production sports car teams, winning eight consecutive ALMS GT1 manufacturers and team championships, seven straight drivers’ titles, and five class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Chevrolet is commemorating Corvette Racing’s decade of success with the introduction of the GT1 Championship Edition Corvette. These limited edition vehicles (designated Regular Production Option GT1) will be available in coupe, convertible, and Z06 models in yellow or black livery. With graphics packages inspired by the championship-winning Corvette C6.R, the GT1 Championship Edition Corvettes will make their public debut at Sebring International Raceway. Production is scheduled for spring. “There have always been strong ties between production and racing Corvettes,” said GM Racing manager Mark Kent. “Technology developed by Corvette Racing is applied to improve the efficiency, performance, handling, aerodynamics and safety of production vehicles. Now with the introduction of the GT1 Championship Edition Corvettes, the link between the race and street versions is apparent at a glance. Corvette enthusiasts will be able to purchase cars that celebrate the remarkable history of Corvette Racing. The GT1 Championship Edition program is another example of how racing helps Chevy sell cars and trucks and provides a solid return on investment.” The ALMS season-opener also will mark the final appearance of the Corvette C6.Rs in the GT1 class in the Sebring 12-hour endurance classic. The twin Corvette C6.R race cars (chassis Nos. 5 and 6) are beginning their third season, and are scheduled to be retired in preparation for new global GT class rules that will take effect in 2010. These two cars have accounted for 23 of the team’s 74 wins. Corvette Racing has scored six class victories in Sebring, and Johnny O’Connell, driver of the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R, notched his record-setting seventh Sebring win in last year’s event. O’Connell and Jan Magnussen, the reigning GT1 champions, will be joined by Antonio Garcia at Sebring, while three-time GT1 champions Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta will be teamed with Marcel Fassler in the No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R. The addition of Garcia and Fassler for long-distance races will bring the total number of Corvette Racing drivers to 19 since the team’s inception. Corvette Racing will be powered by cellulosic E85R ethanol fuel at Sebring for the first time. The team adopted the renewable fuel made from wood waste after last year’s Sebring race, and used E85R throughout the remainder of the 2008 ALMS season. Cellulosic ethanol was one of the key ingredients in the team’s overall victory in the inaugural ALMS Green Challenge in the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans held at Road Atlanta in October 2008. The winning No. 3 Corvette C6.R achieved the best overall score based on performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact under criteria developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and SAE International. Corvette Racing’s use of an alternative fuel on the race track reflects GM’s commitment to producing fuel-efficient vehicles for customers – there are 3.5 million E85-capable GM FlexFuel vehicles on the road today. The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 21. The race will be televised live on SPEED from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 11 p.m. ET.


Source:
Corvette Action Center

Related:
Officially Official: The 2009 Corvette GT1 Championship Editions
Details Emerging on the 2009 GT-1 Championship Edition Corvette
2009 Corvette Competition Sport Package Pricing Revealed
Introducing the Limited Edition 2009 Competition Sport Corvette

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February 2009 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on March 3, 2009

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.

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Corvette ZR1 LS9 Crate Motor Priced at $21,000

by Keith Cornett on February 19, 2009

The 638-hp LS9 6.2L V8

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 “Blue Devil” 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.


Source:
GM Performance Parts via YourAutoStuff.com

Related:
Warp Speed in a Box: Corvette ZR1 638-hp LS9 Crate Engine
[VIDEO] 2009 Corvette ZR1 LS9 Engine Build
Corvette ZR1′s Supercharged LS9 Nominated for Engine of the Year Award
The 6.2L LS9 V8: Heart of the 2009 Corvette ZR1 Technorati Tags:
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Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago

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.

Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago
Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago
Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago
Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago Transformer's Corvette Stingray Concept Revealed in Chicago

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!


Source:
Jalopnik

Related:
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?

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Corvette Stingray Concept

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.

PRESS RELEASE:

AUTOBOTS® 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 – 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 – the automotive stars from the upcoming DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures release, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”

Five Chevrolet-based characters – including four all-new characters – 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 – a stylized Corvette vision concept vehicle
  • SKIDS and MUDFLAP – twin AUTOBOTS® based on Chevy’s Beat (a concept that will go into production as the Chevy Spark in 2011) and Trax concepts
  • JOLT – 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 DECEPTICONS® 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 – although each wears new paint and other exterior accessories. And while they may be small cars, when they turn into fighting AUTOBOTS®, 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 – 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.


Source:
Autoblog

Related:
[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

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Torch Red Making a Return on the 2010 Corvette?

by Keith Cornett on February 5, 2009

Victory Red C6 (L) and a Torch Red C5 (R)

Chatter has been building over the last week about the possible return of Torch Red as a color option on the 2010 Corvette. Corvette Conti says Motown sources are telling him that Torch Red will be available as well as one other new color. Could that new color could be related to the expected return of the Grand Sport?

Conti thinks that one such color that could be used on the 2010 Grand Sport is Imperial Blue which was featured on the AllState 400 Corvette Z06 Pace Car in 2008.

What hasn’t really been discussed yet is which color(s) may be dropped to support the addition of two new colors. We are assuming that Victory Red would be retired with the return of Torch Red as opposed to dropping the darker shaded Crystal Red. However, with the Cadillac XLR being retired, it could open up additional capacity to Corvette to add another color without first discontinuing an existing color.

What ever the case, these kinds of tidbits are usually out on the table and confirmed by GM just prior to the C5/C6 Bash at the National Corvette Museum in April. We’ll be attending the show this year and you can count on us to bring you all the sites and sounds of the new 2010 Corvette as well as an update on the NCM’s expansion project.

Sources:
Corvette Conti and Corvette Forum

Related:
Rumor: 2010 Corvette to Include a Grand Sport Widebody?
Official Photos of the Allstate 400 Corvette Z06 Pace Car

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January 2009 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on February 3, 2009

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.

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CorvetteBlogger.com is Now on Twitter!

by Keith Cornett on February 3, 2009

CorvetteBlogger.com is Now on Twitter!

Just a quick note to let you know that CorvetteBlogger.com is now on Twitter. Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that allows us to send 140-character messages to our “followers”. We’ve been using it long enough to realize the potential of not only sending “tweets” but being on the receiving end of influential people including those within GM. To see our updates and to become a follower, click here: