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Picket Lines Form at Corvette Assembly Plant as UAW Strikes

by Keith Cornett on September 24, 2007

Corvette assembly line workers picket on Corvette DriveThe United Auto Workers have made good on their threat to carry out a nationwide strike as contract talks with General Motors have stalled. According to the Bowling Green Daily News, about 30 workers formed picket lines at 10:00 am this morning at GM’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant, home of the Corvette and the Cadillac XLR. More workers joined their ranks on Corvette Drive as they left the plant. While the automaker has sufficient stocks to withstand a short strike, the effect on Corvette would probably be more pronounced due to its limited production compared to other GM vehicles. According to Corvette Blog’s National Corvette Stock Report, over 3,100 2008 Corvettes were available on the ground as well as 4,451 2007 Corvettes. The factory churns out 150 Corvettes or so daily so the walkout will probably inconvenience those with current orders as well as those owners opting for the R8C Museum Delivery Option. A message was posted on the Bowling Green Assembly Plant’s website that says “GM Tours are suspended until further notice.” Stay with CorvetteBlogger.com as we will continue to monitor the UAW’s strike and its effects on Corvette production.
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Bowling Green Daily News Related:
UAW Prepares to Strike: Corvette Assembly Plant Targeted Technorati Tags:
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UAW Prepares to Strike: Corvette Assembly Plant Targeted

by Keith Cornett on September 17, 2007

Corvettes on the Assembly LineAs contract talks between GM and the United Auto Workers continued well past the September 14th deadline, Local 2164 in Bowling Green was mobilizing its membership should the call come down to take to the picket line. In an article appearing Saturday on the Washington Post’s website, Sholnn Freeman writes of the contract negotiations and provides the following insight into the union’s plans as they target the Bowling Green Assembly Plant:

“They just said we need to be ready,” said Eldon Renaud, president of Local 2164 in Bowling Green, Ky., where GM’s Chevrolet Corvette is made. Local officials have delegated strike captains and let people know when they might have to walk the picket line, Renaud said. On Thursday afternoon, workers from the local were making stakes for picket signs, and at 4 a.m. yesterday, a union official returned to Kentucky from a trip to Indianapolis, where he picked up the signs. Renaud said UAW members in Bowling Green would walk the line in four-hour intervals starting at midnight if they get a go-ahead phone call from national union leaders in Detroit. Union members would have to participate in order to qualify for $200 per week in strike benefits. The picket is set to take place at the property line of the Bowling Green plant.
The UAW named GM their Strike Target last Thursday and talks have been underway since then. Once the contract expired at 11:59 p.m on September 14, an extension was agreed to on an hour-by-hour basis. Both sides remained in negotiations throughout the weekend with talks resuming Monday.
Source:
Washington Post
Photo Credit: By Mark Humphrey — Associated Press Photo Related:
AutoBlog Tours The Corvette Assembly Plant
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August 2007 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on September 7, 2007

This week’s release of August Corvette Sales by GM shows the demand for Corvette is very strong. Corvette sales in August totalled 2,877 units and for the calendar year (January-August) 23,012 Corvettes have been delivered.

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%

Source:
GM.com Related:
July 2007 Corvette Sales Technorati Tags:
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New King of the Hill: Corvette Blue Devil/SS is now ZR1

by Keith Cornett on September 6, 2007

Motor Trend is the latest to suggest the new supercharged 650 hp Corvette will have a name that looks to the past: ZR1, the King of the Hill, will be resurrected for the Blue Devil/SS Corvette currently being developed in anticipation of next year’s introduction. I like the name and it works for me, but don’t believe for a second that this is a done deal yet. Remember those previous monikers: Z07, Stingray, SS and now ZR1. There’s a couple good names in that list and while my vote would most decidedly go to Stingray, I wouldn’t be surprised if its none of them. Motor Trend also reports that the Blue Devil/SS/ZR1 will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2008.
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Motor Trend Related:
The Blue Devil’s New Name – The Z07 Corvette
Blue Devil Corvette to be Named SS
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New Corvette SS Spy Photos Show Design Refinement

by Keith Cornett on August 29, 2007

Just a week ago I was lamenting about the lack of Blue Devil/SS Corvette news and made the observation that this was probably due to Chevrolet making changes based on their previous road testing. Low and behold Popular Mechanics caught up with the Velocity Yellow Corvette Blue Devil/SS and points out some of the changes they have seen on this latest incarnation that are different from previous mules.

Check out the hood bulge and carbon fiber roof Rear spoiler creates downforce at high speeds
 
With that hood, there's plenty of space for supercharger New wheel design with Michelin tires
These biggest change appears to be a bulge in hood that is much more pronounced than on previous versions. It’s always hard to tell with the black covering GM uses to hide, but on this yellow SS mule, the bulge is definitely larger than before. It also looks like GM is testing a carbon fiber roof. While harder to spot on previous spy photos, these new photos again show a black roof, not painted or tinted as a production Corvette would have. Going to a carbon fiber roof would be yet another way that Corvette engineers are shaving pounds off the SS. Other Changes include: A rear spoiler on the back is now extended across the back of rear. This is for added downforce at high speeds. Michelin tires are on the Corvette for the first time as GM has reportedly reopened the bidding between Michelin and Goodyear for the Blue Devil/SS contract. Mudflaps extend to the fenders to cover the width of these Michelin tires. The Wheel takes the traditional 5 spoke “star” in a split design and adds two more between each of the five points. Popular Mechanics surmises that these are actually a weight saving move that allows for lighter materials and more reinforcement.
Source:
PopularMechanics.com
Related:
See our new section dedicated to Corvette Blue Devil/SS News Technorati Tags:
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Autoextremist: GM May Greenlight Mid-Engine C7 Corvette

by Keith Cornett on August 22, 2007

A Mid-Engine Ferrari F40Peter De Lorenzo’s Rants column at AutoExtremist is required reading on Wednesdays and this week he may have just hit a home run to the Corvette fan base. Conversations with high level executives lead Sweet Pete to claim that “the Mid-Engined Corvette is not only back on the front burner – it looks to be a certainty”:

It was already supposed to be a done deal that the seventh generation of the Corvette would arrive in its current, front-engined, rear-wheel-drive configuration – albeit slightly smaller, lighter and with two engine choices. There was serious talk of an extremely limited production mid-engined “super” Corvette (fewer than 500 units), which would be built as an adjunct program to the traditional car, but that had not been decided. That’s the way we reported it many weeks ago, and that was the assumption by many in the business as to how it was going to go down – until now. But after my conversations late last week with executives at the top of the company (who shall remain nameless for obvious reasons), I can tell you that the “idea” of a mid-engined “C7″ Corvette has not only progressed far beyond the initial planning stages, the engineering on the car is well underway.
Pete goes on to examine the 3 factors that he says changed the internal debate for building a Mid-Engined C7 Corvette. With Pete’s track record and contacts in the industry, he is probably the one person to believe on this subject as Corvette seems to be a cause celeb of his. So if he say’s its coming, after approval from GM brass in September, its coming. We are so ready for GM to make the leap to a mid-engined Corvette for host of reasons. Corvette needs to be the platform and the showcase for these new technologies. But if it has the Corvette name on it, then it needs to be done right: Better than the competition and still be affordable to the masses. Click here to read Autoextremist.com.
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Autoextremist.com Related:
Autoextremist: GM Debating over Mid-Engined Corvette Technorati Tags:
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1980 Dark Brown CorvetteCorvette Conti, our highly proficient conveyor of Corvette insider knowledge has hinted once again about the return of “Corvette Brown”. Corvette Brown and its variations Dark Brown, Dark Bronze and Medium Bronze Metallic have been one of those not-so-celebrated exterior shades that graced Corvettes from the mid-seventies through the early C4 generation. Conti is hearing the new tri-color paint called Mocha Bronze Metallic or “Mica Tint” may be coming sooner rather than later. It’s been over 20 years since a Corvette has been lit up like dark chocolate and since they don’t write songs about “Little Mocha Corvettes”, I say give it another 20. This news, combined with the rumor Conti posted last week about GM allowing customers to choose a caliper color begs the question: What would you paint your calipers if you had a shiny new Mocha Bronze Metallic Corvette?
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CorvetteConti.com Related:
Corvette Buyers To Get Option for Choosing Caliper Color? Technorati Tags:
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July 2007 Corvette Sales

by Keith Cornett on August 2, 2007

We got the July 2007 Corvette sales numbers from GM today which continue to show a month-to-month and year-to-year decline in sales based on last year’s numbers, but with the model change over and a two week hiatus at the factory last month we expect these numbers to rebound. In July 2007, total Corvette sales were 2,377 vs 2,794 in 2006. For the calendar year, sales are at 20,135 vs 21,857 at this time in 2006. With the new 2008 Corvette, we are staying focused on the excitement of the LS3 engine and the newly refreshed interior. According to various sources, constraints are coming to an end for the 3LT and 4LT packages and the new 2008 Corvette exterior colors – Jetstream Blue Metallic and Crystal Red – are slowly making their way to dealer showrooms.

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%

Source:
GM.com Related:
June 2007 Corvette Sales Technorati Tags:
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2008 Z06 Wheel and Brake CaliperChevrolet has really done an awesome job over the last few years expanding the number of options that allow the customer the ability to customize their ride straight from the factory. A great example of this customer-centric approach is the number of wheel styles that Corvette buyers can choose from. In 2007 no less than nine wheel styles were available, although not every wheel was available for any Corvette. Regardless, the factory has come along was from the days of the C4 sawblades. Rick Conti received some insider news that says the option for color-coded calipers is seriously being considered. The do-it-yourselfers have been painting their own calipers for years, and admirers have the almost universal reaction of “That’s so cool, where can I get mine done”? Nothing can make a set of chrome or polished wheels look even more serious than a nice set of painted calipers with “CORVETTE” engraved on them. Of course the key phrase is “being-considered” with no decision on introduction or costs yet. But stay tuned as this option sounds like a no-brainer to us!
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CorvetteConti.com Related:
2008 Corvette Wheel and Exhaust Photos Technorati Tags:
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Corvette, Orioles Give Ripken Sendoff to Hall of Fame

by Keith Cornett on July 25, 2007

Cal Ripken Jr, the ironman of professional baseball was the center of attention Wednesday night at Baltimore’s Camden Yards. Entering the field in a convertible Corvette, he made his way down the right-field foul line tossing balls into the throngs of fans in the stands.

Cal Ripken Tours Camden Yards in a Corvette
Tonight’s event precedes Ripkin’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. While being known for his all time record of 2,632 consecutive games played, Ripkin is also a member of 3,000 hit club and a 19-time All Star. So other than the picture of Cal in a Corvette, why do I bring this up on a Corvette blog? I’m not even a casual fan of baseball, but I think it’s important to remember that in our current climate of sports scandals, NBA’s betting ref or the NFL’s Vick and dog fighting allegations, there are sports heroes that kids and grownups alike can look to, and Ripken is certainly a person that deserves a victory lap in a Convertible Corvette.
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MLB.com Related:
Video: Real Life Superhero Drives A 1975 Corvette Technorati Tags:
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