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Chevrolet Corvette Must Die

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General Motors Death Watch 232

Chevrolet Corvette Must Die

A mainstream carmaker has no business building niche products. Literally. For one thing, they're hardly ever profitable. For another, even when they are, their profits are relatively insignificant. And most importantly, "halo cars" are four-wheeled glass and steel versions of Dumbo's magic feather. They lead manufacturers to mistake cause with effect: if we build this, we must be good. In fact, any automaker that focuses its creative, financial and corporate resources on a halo car risks forgetting how to do what it did to get those resources in the first place—and an eventual plummet towards the circus floor. The Chevrolet Corvette may be only one of GM's magic feathers, but it's the most famous and, therefore, visible. GM should kill it, STAT. Next week, GM's heads head back to the bailout buffet. They'll try to convince your elected representatives to provide another heaping helping of taxpayer bucks (a.k.a. federal loans). Both the company and its camp followers [sic] will, once again, concentrate on the numbers: union wages and benefits, bondholder debt-for-equity swaps, VEBA payments, the old SAAR, the projected SAAR, the car SAAR, who's SAARy now, etc. And why not? As a Harvard MBA, General Motors lifer and former CFO, GM CEO Rick Wagoner never met a balance sheet he couldn't dress-up for a party—even if it's a freaker's ball.

Which brings us back to the 'Vette: the freaker's ball pace car. The Chevrolet Corvette is a singular machine, a modern throwback that offers more bang for the buck than Marietta's Bullet Stop. An enthusiast who buys one is beyond reproach, in the same sense that a homeowner who restores a Victorian pile deserves nothing by kudos. And? The Corvette is a brand anomaly; it's as much a Chevy as a Cayenne is a Porsche, only less so. Again, the Corvette is awesome machine in and of itself. But out and outside of itself, it makes no sense.

Do Chevrolet products need a personality? Of course not. The Malibu is the proper template. It's a car. Good mileage, reasonable price, adequate comfort, reliable (fingers crossed), not ugly. Value. While pistonheads worship at the temple of Bowling Green, Chevy buyers are busy bowling. They're working class people who can't afford a sports car, never mind one that costs $50K+. The new 'Bu and old Impala are their best case scenario.

The only possible defense for this great landing at the wrong airport: symbolic value. "America's sports car" and all that. Which is why Wagoner should announce its termination.

"Ladies and gentlemen, as you know, General Motor's future hangs by a thread. The decisions we make today mean life or death for this great American enterprise. We take our responsibility seriously. GM can not—will not—shy away from the unpleasant parts of this monumental task.

"We have therefore decided to re-examine our entire brand and product portfolio, to decide which brands and vehicles can help us survive, and which vehicles and brands we must abandon to ensure our survival.

"It is with great regret that I must announce that General Motors will no longer build the Chevrolet Corvette.

"We here at General Motors are proud of the fine men and women who have designed and built this vehicle for generations of appreciative enthusiasts. But General Motors must leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of profitability. We must address our problems and shortcomings with unflinching honesty, and do whatever it takes to correct them.

"As part of this process, we are refocusing the Chevrolet brand. Chevy will now offer a limited range of entry-level automobiles. Each one of the brand's three models will provide class-leading quality, comfort, fuel economy and value.

"The Corvette is a world class sports car. But it does not fit our mission-critical effort to restore Chevrolet, and thus GM, to profitability. We take our obligation to repay the generosity of the American taxpayer seriously. If we must sacrifice the Chevrolet Corvette to satisfy our obligations, we will do it.

"At some point in the near future, as soon as we can, the Corvette will rejoin GM's fleet as a Cadillac. It will be a different car, with the same goal: to give enthusiasts the world's best and most thrilling sports car, bar none. An all-American product.

"For those of you disappointed by this news, I'd like to point out that we are redoubling our efforts to deliver the plug-in Chevrolet Volt, a hybrid vehicle that will reinvent the way Americans drive. It's a new kind of product that will help us refocus Chevy on what made the brand America's most popular car brand.

"I thank you for your time and understanding. Rest assured that as painful as this is, the Corvette's sacrifice will be GM's gain."

[source: The Truth About Cars]

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Seriously the name should be The Troll About Cars.

97.7 WTTAC - Troll Country USA.

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Wait a minute, is this truth or is this something they are suspecting?

If GM stopped building the vette, they might as well scrap the chevy brand altogether. No one will take them seriously anymore.

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It's strange that the public, press, and government like to beat up on the U.S. automakers and point out what they perceive as unnecessary and wasteful endeavors by them, but yet they have no problem with giving our tax dollars (with what seems to be very limited accountability) to the financial institutions that are largely responsible for the entire global economic/financial collaspe in the first place. To hear some of these robber barron scumbags claim last week that they will still command million dollar salaries in light of what is dissolving and decaying around them makes me seriously ill and disgusted. To me, the continuation of the Corvette is more vital to the morale of the U.S. than watching the greedy, egotistical CEOs of our financial institutions claiming that they still deserve million dollar plus salaries.

Edited by cire
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dip asses like farago were the same ones that no less than about 6 years ago were saying every brand had to be full line or that every carmaker had to chase every low volume niche.

that is why we ended with crossfires, ssr's, scions, etc.

my turd from last night which i laid in the water / porcelain has more credibility than this asshole.

he is writing a piece on an easy target for shock value. in the journalism world, which is his *cough* trade (sound of me laughing like a hyena in the background) writing a puff piece like this is nothing more than 'mailing it in'. I wonder what his day job is. Does he actually get paid for that useless web site and for sucking so bad? A microexample of what is wrong with this country in a nutshell. Assholes who make life's work about simply taking potshots and pointing out wrong doings, but have no idea how to actually roll up the shirtsleeves, produce something, and get something done.

You get the feeling he could write about tampons and display the same lack of expertise and knowledge but still be a shock jock about it.

We need to eradicate dicks like this from our society and culture, by any means possible, just so that their defective genes do not become even more effed up offspring that my kid will have to beat up some day.

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I agree Cire. The Corvette must live, it's a part of America's culture, all the greedy CEO's aren't.

The sad part is that the politicians care more about the CEOs, and at the end of the day the CEOs will have made a crap load of money regardless whether or not they run the company into the ground and screw millions of people. The car is just a victim.

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LOL.

This guy better watch his back... "Thems fightin' words"

Seriously though, sources like TTAC are all about one thing: KILLING what's left of Detroit. Of course they're going to start a campaign to kill the Vette. They know the consequences that a dead Vette would carry.

This is the same source that bitched about (the highly successful) Escalade for the first YEAR it was out.

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The Corvette is a brand anomaly; it's as much a Chevy as a Cayenne is a Porsche, only less so

yeah you lost me there douche. how do you compare a world beating sports car to a crossover that porsche had to design so that the rich and trendy who wanted one could still have their cake and eat it too. the cayenne and panamara fit the anomaly category a little better. But after all this cat only wants a paycheck, he doesnt care what his words combine to represent.

Edited by cletus8269
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The sad part is that the politicians care more about the CEOs, and at the end of the day the CEOs will have made a crap load of money regardless whether or not they run the company into the ground and screw millions of people. The car is just a victim.

No, the sad part is the economic mess was mostly created by government policies, and once they failed, they threw CEO's and banks in general under the bus. That caused the conditions to get worse, because the public no longer trusts our banking system, and started pulling out money, stopped borrowing, and stopped spending.

Edited by CaddyXLR-V
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you may not like how dismissive he was towards the corvette 'legacy' or its chevrolet relation....but there is an underlying point that is a good one. the corvette at this moment is wasteful expenditure. it really depends on how much the car costs, in maintenence at the plant and payment to those workers, in marketing costs, and in man hours to build. all that taken into consideration though, the logical argument is it only produces 30k units sales in a good year, and that is simply not enough product or where GM needs to focus in on. the only full proof, reasonable dripped-in-logic argument GM would have against that, that is if they still have any sense of logic within themselves, is that it's all profit at this point and killing it would achieve nothing for the bottom line.

the fact that none of you could come with a cogent argument against this guy, all you did was call him biased and ignorant instead of addressing his point, well it shows you have no defense against his argument, just as GM would if they were pressed. this is a low volume halo car, when GM is being funded by taxpayer dollars, there is no room for games like this one. [again, all that said, it could be that GM really doesn't spend any money overall since the vette could generate enough income to cover its own marketing/mfg costs, I don't know].

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I would rather see niche carmakers like Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari and the likes go than see Corvette go.

It makes no sense to kill Corvette, it is probably GM's most respected product and has held that kind of mystique for years. Corvette is the proof that GM can build a great product and create and enduring franchise.

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:rolleyes: GM, Ford and Chrysler have managed to kill themselves without any help from nearly-invisible car geek blogs. TTAC can't kill anything -- it only wishes it could.

Regarding the Vette: if it doesn't make money it might be a dead duck. Nothing is sacred. See Duesenberg for details.

LOL.

This guy better watch his back... "Thems fightin' words"

Seriously though, sources like TTAC are all about one thing: KILLING what's left of Detroit. Of course they're going to start a campaign to kill the Vette. They know the consequences that a dead Vette would carry.

This is the same source that bitched about (the highly successful) Escalade for the first YEAR it was out.

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you may not like how dismissive he was towards the corvette 'legacy' or its chevrolet relation....but there is an underlying point that is a good one. the corvette at this moment is wasteful expenditure. it really depends on how much the car costs, in maintenence at the plant and payment to those workers, in marketing costs, and in man hours to build. all that taken into consideration though, the logical argument is it only produces 30k units sales in a good year, and that is simply not enough product or where GM needs to focus in on. the only full proof, reasonable dripped-in-logic argument GM would have against that, that is if they still have any sense of logic within themselves, is that it's all profit at this point and killing it would achieve nothing for the bottom line.

the fact that none of you could come with a cogent argument against this guy, all you did was call him biased and ignorant instead of addressing his point, well it shows you have no defense against his argument, just as GM would if they were pressed. this is a low volume halo car, when GM is being funded by taxpayer dollars, there is no room for games like this one. [again, all that said, it could be that GM really doesn't spend any money overall since the vette could generate enough income to cover its own marketing/mfg costs, I don't know].

why does the corvette have to be justified? the corvette as it stands could go 3 to 5 yrs without an update. what does that mean? no development costs for one thing which seems to be the highest cost of producing a vehicle. i'll put it another way. BMW is struggling, they should stop making the M-series. had that guy said that he would probably have a burning house right now. every tom dick and harry in the business is taking free shots at detroit because not only is it easy, its the "in" thing to do. if the plant started having monthly shutterings then fine stop production but whats the point of killing a brand Icon? limit production to so many a year. constantly things down the line from corvette testing is trickled down the line to the other models.

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GM needs to continue to learn how to do Lean Manufacturing better. A part of that is knowing how to do low-volume, high-profit margin vehicles. The 'vette is the perfect car to continue to learn those things on. It also greatly helps Chevy & GM's image, and killing it would just greatly increase the number of people who are apathetic at best about the fate of Chevy & GM.

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