Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

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Thread: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

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    Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    The Iconic Corvette: It’s Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic
    BNET
    May 4, 2011
    by Jim Motavalli

    Since 1953, the fire-breathing Corvette has been a firm root in the General Motors family tree. Even though it doesn’t sell all that well, the ‘Vette occupies a sacred niche at the company that nobody questions. But they should, because its time has come and gone. If there was ever a time to wave goodbye to this relic of the muscle car era, this is it — as GM considers the new C7 model and announces a more than $130 million investment in the Corvette’s Kentucky factory.

    GM’s future is with fuel-efficient cars that establish a new forward-thinking global tradition for the company, not with retro rockets that mine its past with ever-diminishing results. It’s great that GM’s recovering, but it’s doing so largely on the basis of new compacts like the Cruze, which are finally competitive with small cars from the rest of the world. How does the Corvette fit into that future?

    A niche car, always
    In 2011, Chevrolet hopes to sell 20,000 Corvettes, but it sold just 12,194 in 2010. The peak year was way back in 1979, when 53,000 were produced, and the numbers have been declining since 2007. It’s a car many people admire, and car magazines gush over endlessly, but — year after year — it hardly makes a dent in the showrooms. It’s less than one percent of GM’s annual sales, and the company sells fewer ‘Vettes in a year than it moves Cruzes in a month.

    Why? Because the Corvette, with room for two and barely enough storage space for an overnight bag, is completely impractical for anything other than breaking traffic laws and showing off.

    I know what you’re going to say: The Corvette is an icon, the longest-running U.S. nameplate, an American Ferrari. In the high-performance ZR-1, GM has a $100,000 prestige car that beats the Italians at their own game. The small sales don’t matter, because the Corvette is priceless to GM in terms of enhancing Chevrolet’s brand image, building excitement, yadda, yadda.

    But the V-8-powered, rear-drive Corvette is a symbol of the old GM, the company of former vice chairman Bob Lutz, who never met a muscle car he didn’t like (I know he championed the Chevy Volt, but read his new book). The Corvette, despite its techie aura, looks back, when all of GM’s time and attention should be focused forward on building 40-mpg cars that people will want to buy.

    Full article at link.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    Pure nonsense.

    Nevermind the financial aspects, where the Corvette is still highly profitable, but strip a company of it's high-performance and fun halo cars and you end up with Toyota or Volvo. Companies that might sell tons of vehicles, but only a minuscule number of passionate supporters. No thanks.

    The article almost smacks of trolling.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    Recent sales beg to differ.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    Jim Motavalli fails. Completely. Where do you even begin?

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    Wow, someone was desperate for traffic.
    "barely enough storage space for an overnight bag"
    That statement makes me assume that either the author is completely talking out of his nether regions, or he packs like a princess.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    The Corvette should live on, and is an important part of the GM line up... THE problem with the Corvette is that it has no business being sold as a Chevy... It is a "luxury" car in the "working mans" division.

    Corvette should stand as its own division or should be sold exclusively along side Cadillac.

    The existence of the Corvette has for decades put constraints on the rest of the GM lineup. Only at GM would you have the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car you sell come out of your entry level division while you actively retire and replace V8 cars with V6 and soon I4 engines in your luxury brand.

    The Corvette is just more of the same at GM... Great product... messed up marketing, product positioning, and execution.
    Last edited by 2002 Caddy; 05-04-2011 at 04:40 PM.
    Proposed Cadillac Tag Lines...
    GM's "Back to the Future" Division,
    GM's Deja Vu Division,
    Cadillac is Truck.
    Cadillac is Cadence!
    Cadillac, you have to crawl before you walk,
    Cadillac V8? Whats a V8?
    Cadillac, the potential of mixed feelings!
    The New Cadillac Flagship: The Chevy Corvette.
    Proposed Volt Tag Line..
    People who don't like the Volt haven't driven one, and
    People who hate the Volt listen to too much talk radio.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    The car should not be killed off. But it needs to evolve into a new modern world. And the car needs to be more modernized.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphibian View Post
    Jim Motavalli fails. Completely. Where do you even begin?
    You begin by saying that he is an environmentalist and New York Times writer who doesn't like GM, drives a 1963 Dodge Dart convertible, a car nearly as old as the Corvette. He needs to concentrate his writing on water and air powered vehicles. While he likened the Corvette to an American Ferrari, but I didn't read him calling for the end of Ferrari or Rolls Royce, for that matter. He is hardly objective.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    The article reads like not too bright,first year journalism students attempt to gain readers with a shocking headline like "Child labor...why its good for America" or something like that....

    Moving along, nothing to see here.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    Quote Originally Posted by Slideways View Post
    Wow, someone was desperate for traffic.
    "barely enough storage space for an overnight bag"
    That statement makes me assume that either the author is completely talking out of his nether regions, or he packs like a princess.
    He should slap himself I remember driving the C5 to Home Depot and putting potting soil into it and rakes and a shovel. People were staring at me like I had two heads. The Vette has a surprising amount of storage space, and it has seats that fit bigger guys like me. In fact I fit better in my C5 than I do a STS or Buick Lacrosse.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2002 Caddy View Post
    The Corvette should live on, and is an important part of the GM line up... THE problem with the Corvette is that it has no business being sold as a Chevy... It is a "luxury" car in the "working mans" division.

    Corvette should stand as its own division or should be sold exclusively along side Cadillac.

    The existence of the Corvette has for decades put constraints on the rest of the GM lineup. Only at GM would you have the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car you sell come out of your entry level division while you actively retire and replace V8 cars with V6 and soon I4 engines in your luxury brand.

    The Corvette is just more of the same at GM... Great product... messed up marketing, product positioning, and execution.
    Its not a luxury car, the marketing and product positioning are perfect....the Cruze is now a premium small car...the Malibu a premium style mid size car...the Corvette is a perfect halo for all of GM.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    The Corvette should live on, and is an important part of the GM line up... THE problem with the Corvette is that it has no business being sold as a Chevy... It is a "luxury" car in the "working mans" division.
    So what? it is the "working mans" sports car, now bordering on the working mans supercar, what else can you get for $50,000 that......

    Performs like that?
    Can be driven in 100 degree weather in traffic with 38 degree air conditioning on,without barfing its inards out or setting iself on fire?
    Has 100,000 warranty?
    Is serviced at 4000 dealers from coast to coast?

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    There's no need to turn Corvette into something it's not. If GM wants to build a "Luxury Corvette", there's always Cadillac. XLR 1.0 didn't really pan out, but it was nice to look at.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    Quote Originally Posted by MCGARRETT View Post
    So what? it is the "working mans" sports car, now bordering on the working mans supercar, what else can you get for $50,000 that......

    Performs like that?
    Can be driven in 100 degree weather in traffic with 38 degree air conditioning on,without barfing its inards out or setting iself on fire?
    Has 100,000 warranty?
    Is serviced at 4000 dealers from coast to coast?
    Again, you are missing the point and the problem... So we are happy that the fastest, most powerful and most expensive car that GM makes is not in the brand that is supposed to make the best cars that GM sells?

    Again no issue with the Vette...(OK maybe an MCE on the interior is in order) but it is a great car and an awesome product. Competes head to head with Lambo's, Ferraris, LFA, Porches, SL AMG, etc (none of those are luxury cars either I guess ) and wins.

    The issue is not with the Corvette... The issue is what the Corvette has done, and continues to do, to the cars in the "better" GM divisions. GM's history is long littered with great cars that came a little to close to the vette and were quickly shown the door... Or with cars that needed to be on par or "one up" the Vette and were still born doomed to fail.

    The Corvette needs to stand on its own...

    And the truth is that GM knows this... The Corvette has as much "Chevy" badging on it as years ago my sister's Intrigue had Oldsmobile badging.
    Last edited by 2002 Caddy; 05-04-2011 at 05:36 PM.
    Proposed Cadillac Tag Lines...
    GM's "Back to the Future" Division,
    GM's Deja Vu Division,
    Cadillac is Truck.
    Cadillac is Cadence!
    Cadillac, you have to crawl before you walk,
    Cadillac V8? Whats a V8?
    Cadillac, the potential of mixed feelings!
    The New Cadillac Flagship: The Chevy Corvette.
    Proposed Volt Tag Line..
    People who don't like the Volt haven't driven one, and
    People who hate the Volt listen to too much talk radio.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    Some cars become so iconoclastic they transcend any notion of "brand" and become a brand themselves. The Corvette is one of them.

    "Mini" has stood alone, sans Austin or Morris badging, since 1969. "Rambler" became its own brand for a while and Kaiser-Willys opted to sell all its products under the "Jeep" label in the 1960s. Today we have both "Land" and "Range" Rovers.

    While reason suggests the Corvette could and should stand on its own two feet, the traditionalist in me says that some things shouldn't be monkeyed with, and the Corvette is one of them. Corvettes don't need premium, Bentley-like interiors. Save that sort of mess for the froufrou princesses who also complain about lack of cargo room. Any true Corvette buyer is not going to be concerned with whether or not the vanity mirror is illuminated.

    The Corvette serves one purpose and one purpose only: it allows pauchy men with all the appeal of a baloney, lard and tuna sandwich to attract women — often of a less-than-polished nature — who'd otherwise snub their noses at them. Engineers may design it to pull g's, but customers buy them to pull, erm, something else entirely.

    Sure, the Corvette can please the journos with its world-class dynamics, but it does what it does best by serving as the market's only reasonably affordable supercar, allowing the teems of Stanley Zbornaks out there to both afford both a supercar, and alimony payments.

    While the Corvette's initial sticker price places it out the reach of the average working man, its less-than-prestigious name allows it depreciation that's perhaps not so good for the original buyer, but an opportunity for the everyman, who can usually pick up a good used example within his budget. In a way, the Corvette is less important as a new car, and more important as a used one.

    Bottom line? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Listen to the people who actually buy these cars, not some froufrou yuppie who wouldn't deign to set foot in a Chevrolet dealer in the first place...
    Last edited by t-rex; 05-04-2011 at 06:12 PM.

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    Re: Commentary: The Iconic Corvette: Itís Time for GM to Retire This Old Relic

    Again, you are missing the point and the problem... So we are happy that the fastest, most powerful and most expensive car that GM makes is not in the brand that is supposed to make the best cars that GM sells?
    Yes, next question.



    Sure, the Corvette can please the journos with its world-class dynamics, but it does what it does best by serving as the market's only reasonably affordable supercar, allowing the teems of Stanley Zbornaks out there to both afford both a supercar, and alimony payments.
    I gotta love the Stan Zbornak refference.
    Last edited by MCGARRETT; 05-04-2011 at 06:31 PM.

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