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C7’s End & C8’s Beginnings: What Could Be GM’s Game Plan To Deal With Both Changes?

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  • C7’s End & C8’s Beginnings: What Could Be GM’s Game Plan To Deal With Both Changes?


    Introductory note: While this thread has lots of facts, its essential thesis is my asking one question about a potential C8 delay, and “if yes,” suggesting some constructive options, with the primary one being that if the C8 customer production has been delayed, GM should extend the C7 one more year but as a modified 2020 C7 to juice its sales and excitement.

    Below C8 spyder rendering thanks to fvs!

    Click image for larger version  Name:	53F356B8-68B9-4947-9F0C-89D78A204BDB.jpeg Views:	2 Size:	119.4 KB ID:	21409

    I am not alone in suggesting last year C7, 2020 changes, for I notice a similar post by Maxster, asking/suggesting identical question/solution.

    GM’s current issues:

    1) While IMO Mary Barra is current doing exactly and 100% of what is now needed, due to GM announced plant shut downs and the cessation of at least six models, GM is seen as a troubled car company right now.

    2) Adding to that is the plethora of doom and gloom overall GM news, is that the Corvette mid engine’s electrical system is at least wounded, perhaps needing an extensive, six month makeover; if true, that would lead to potential delays in C8’s being received by customers for perhaps at long as one model year later, e.g., the mid engine C8’s could well be becoming a 2021 model year Corvette.


    The C7’s 1.13.13 NAIAS reveal was more than eight months before the first C7 was received by a customer. Thus, if the mid engine Corvette were not revealed until mid April at the New York Auto Show as many believe, and if such a similar eight months time frame were occur for the C8, it would mean the first customer cars would not be arriving until the week or two before Christmas. If true, why would GM not therefore delay C8 deliveries two weeks further, delivering the first ME’s in the beginning days of 2020, and thus becoming a 2021 model — something that has been already predicted by more than a few of automedia.

    The time between the C7 Z06’s 1.13.14 reveal and the first Z06 customer cars coming off the assembly line was even longer, e.g., ten months. So if the Z06’schedule were repeated and if the ME’s were again mid-April revealed at NYAS, the first customer car would not come off the assembly line until around Valentine’s Day, 2020. Not saying this is what would be happening, just drawing some potential historical parallels.

    C7 Sales Info/Considerations:

    A) Little has been majorly-Corvette-new other the ZR1 in the last two years, i.e., other than that very limited production model, the 2019’s started with the same car as the 2018, and the 2018 was a basically a continuation of the 2017. Whatever happened to GM using the last few years of a Corvette generation to do a major stylistic refresh?
    B) Many Corvette owners do not believe that the C7 production is ending at the end of 2019, so in their minds, why not wait a year or two more for that coming visual refresh or that long-rumored “power enhancement.”
    C) Based on the GM memo sent to its dealers on December 11, 2017, GM stated that the end of the 2019 ZR1 production was estimated to be March, 2019. Highly unlikely IMO, that GM would stop production of the its newest and still most sought after ZR1 model in March, yet continue the other three models (the ones that are now being heavily discounted), especially since I just talked with two mega Corvette dealers and they still can not get enough ZR1’s to meet their 2019 ZR1 buyer-deposit-request ZR1 lists. As they both told me, they would happily take more ZR1’s produced after this March.
    D) C7 sales continue to progressively fall. 2018 sales were down 25% from the year before, just 18,791 units — a far cry form the first three years of the C7 generation when they average 39,000 units per year. During 2018, sales averaged just 1,565 Corvettes per month, which is really sad considering that even without overtime, BGA is producing up to 1,953 per month. January and February sales, true winter weather months, will probably result in sales of less than 1,000 Corvettes each.
    E) There are currently 8,000 unsold C7’s on dealers lot nationwide, and that number is growing, i.e., even in September, 2018, production exceeded customer-delivered units. (Source=einventory.com)

    Just like the C6’s last year, GM needs IMO, to immediately start a $10,000 subsidy for all current unsold Corvettes (regardless of any other option mentioned in this article).

    F) While we all know friends who have bought a C7 in the last few months, we all know a greater number who are holding off buying one until the C8 is revealed — and the number in the “waiting to first see the C8” group appears to be growing more now than those choosing to now buy a C7.

    Even many of Corvette owners who believe a C8 mid engine is coming within one year, are positive that it will arrive with a manual transmission option and/or a soft top convertible option and thus for those buyers for whom one or both is a critical buying component, they are happily sitting on the Corvette-non-buying sidelines for a while.

    GM’s C7 Conundrum:

    C7’s sales are slowing, and eventual C8 deliveries are customer being probably delayed, perhaps to the end of this year, maybe even later.

    Not really an option but a necessity, GM please take as much time as you need to fully and properly test and develop the C8, insuring that when it finally starts being delivered to customers, it is a first class Corvette, starting its life as a trouble free generation.

    Options:

    1) Continue 2019 C7 production, unchanged, another six months past the end of March. IMO, that would be a very poor decision in lots of ways, especially since the 2019 MY is already going to be a 14 month long model year if production were to end in March. It would also add to the feelings that GM has current problems, i.e., that even its flagship Corvette is just biding time, kind of limping along as sales progressively sag.

    2) “Pull a 1983” and entirely stop production of the Corvette for a six month time period, i.e., skip the 2020 Corvette model year entirely. Personally, I can not think of a worse solution.

    3) Have the 2020 C7 be only changed by replacing two colors or with similar very small changes.

    IMO, GM can neither have the 2019 C7 continue production for an extra six months, nor can GM sputter onward having no distinctly different 2020 model year Corvette.

    How about instead a new option, a six month only, nicely-changed 2020 C7, doing something special to juice C7 excitement for a six month 2020, C7 model year? This would regenerate C7 sales by putting some excitement back into Stingray, Grand Sport and the Z06 models.

    A) Juice up the LT1, if possible by 10-15 HP. However, that solution would do nothing for sagging Z06 sales.

    B) Additionally, make the four below (or similar) changes, ones that are attractive and easily visible even 50’ away, so people seeing the 2020 Corvette excitedly exclaim, “that is a 2020 C7!!!”

    Specific options:

    1) Add hood rear corner ducts to the Stingray, Grand Sport and the Z06 (however, leaving the ZR1’s gorgeous hood however exactly as is);
    2) Change only the large lower half of the rear fascia/diffuser “black” lower piece, by including an integral vertical fins;
    3) Make a major interior change that is also dynamically-different looking, but also easy and inexpensive to do, i.e., paint the “upside down Udash/console aluminum trim” and other existing shiny aluminum trim pieces instead carbon flash metallic black; the cost would be minimal, yet for all walking around the car, it would be clearly 2020 identifiable.
    4) Bring out bold, significantly different, 2020 wheels!

    C) Change the whole “future produce announcement game plan,” and openly share at the late-April National Corvette Museum BASH, that “these 2020 C7 changes are for a roughly a five/six month-run; that this is the very end of the front engine Corvette; that we start production of the 2021 model year mid-engine C8 early at the very beginning of ; and, that the 2021 ME will not offer a manual transmission, nor offer a soft top convertible.”

    Of those roughly 8,500, new 2020 C7, units, make an additional 750-1,000 ZR1’s to meet the demand of those wanting a ZR1 but who will not be able to otherwise get a 2019 at current production rates..

    All the above would give GM a public flair of still having a dynamic, progressively-changing sports car even during its last year of its C7 generation, and by openly partly sharing part of what is and is not coming next, and when, would both juice 2019 and 2020 C7 manual and soft top convertible sales, and also generate more C8 buzz. Additional, if the C8’s reveal has not by then been publicly shared, announce the C8’s reveal location and date at the BASH.

    Time for GM to do some “jump shifts” by both being open about its C7, simultaneously making the C7’s ending 2020 being an exciting one; and lastly, by announcing the C8’s reveal date/location and also it production beginning.












    Last edited by John; 01-03-2019, 05:09 PM.
    Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

  • #2
    The C7 has run 6 years and I don't think putting lipstick on it is going to help C7 sell. Cadillac did something similar to what your talking about announcing a last year run with special options and at a glance it was obvious it was the last run. (2015 CTS-V ) AXE the C7, There are too many sitting around waiting to be sold. Bring on the new 2020 ME whenever the Kinks are all worked out. Keep the C7 ZR-1 for another 2020 run. Obviously with all the anticipation of the Mid -Engine there are plenty of people saving their cash and selling a ton of C-7 model cars to make room for the Mid-Engine Vette which many have hoped for for many years. Why would there even be a thought to continue the C7 with sales terribly slumping? Possibly an elevated priced Final model of only 500 with specific extra added lipstick would definitely find buyers being the last of the breed.

    I myself would not wait till 2021 for ME. If no info within the next several months my money will go elsewhere.
    Last edited by Frenzy36; 01-03-2019, 04:12 PM.
    Rocket City Florida

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    • #3
      IMO, perhaps because 22% of Corvette buyers love a manual trans, and could most of the convertible lovers like their totally flat deck convertibles (do not want a HT ‘very with big buttresses).
      Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by John View Post
        IMO, perhaps because 22% of Corvette buyers love a manual trans, and could most of the convertible lovers like their totally flat deck convertibles (do not want a HT ‘very with big buttresses).
        Am I missing something? Where did this come from John? Is this from another thread?
        Rocket City Florida

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        • #5
          My favorite Corvette resource, CorvetteBlogger, re the 22% of C7 buyers choosing manuals, and many conversations with some Corvette owners who are adamant that they love their soft top, flat deck Corvette convertibles, and do not like the buttressed Spyder look. Just suggesting an option for how GM juices last year C7 sales, by their underscoring what current attributes are going missing before 2018 is over.
          Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

          Comment


          • #6
            Great read, John. A couple of initial thoughts. While there are 8,000+ new Corvettes sitting on dealership lots, the dealerships themselves ordered those Corvettes to be built. GM only builds the Corvettes that are ordered by the dealerships. GM operates to maximize GM's bottom line rather than the dealership's bottom line, walking a tightrope of sorts with how far they can push the dealerships via the allocation system, which is why dealerships are still ordering new Corvettes from GM. I do know that when we see GM offer significant rebates, we'll know the end of the C7 is right around the corner.

            Another thought...on several occasions, GM has moved from one design to another design of a given vehicle within the same model year. For example, in MY 2016, you could purchase the newly designed Malibu or you could purchase the previous body style but still in a 2016 MY version called the Malibu Limited. The C7 and C8 certainly could both be produced as MY 2020 cars if GM needed more time to roll out the C8.

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            • #7
              That is if the bi-assembly process, back to back C7’s/C8’s, would have worked as well as it was originally hoped to. Like all, things changed.
              Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

              Comment


              • #8
                John,
                Great synopsis of what is known, imagined and not-known as of now.
                My limited sources within GM have confirmed the existence of the ME and offered assistance in getting on “the list”. This in no way means that my network is remotely comparable to the sum of contacts and sources of the members in this forum.
                It is been said before that the C7-R has reached the limits of front engine/rear drive performance. The racing program for the C8-R may be the compelling reason to announce the new ME. I don’t know how racing regulations are evolving in the near future for the races and classes where the C8-R would be applicable, in this area is where I would like to invoke the resources of the forum. I am reasonably knowledgeable of the changes that are coming for Formula One (which wouldn’t be pertinent to this discussion) in the next couple years but am at a loss on what would pertain to the new GM product.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by John View Post
                  That is if the bi-assembly process, back to back C7’s/C8’s, would have worked as well as it was originally hoped to. Like all, things changed.
                  If the C7 is produced for the first few months followed by the C8 would it not be possible for both to be produced as MY 2020?

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Jag for suggesting a very good alternative/excellent point.

                    The only reason why I suggest they would want to call the ME a 2021 model, assuming it is not ready for actual customer delivery unti right after Christmas of this year, is that manufacturers want to have their cars’ model year be as far into the future as legally allowed, fo as we all know, they could deliver/sell it as a 2021 MY starting on January 1, 2020, then make that 2021 ME right through summer of 2021.

                    Alternatively, as you suggest, they could sell the 2020 ME for only a six month model year through June, 2020 (just as the first year of the C5, the 1997 was done), then start producing a second year ME in July, 2021.
                    Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

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                    • #11
                      Lower depreciation with a higher model year designation...

                      Better lease pricing as well considering residuals hold up longer.

                      not sire the cirvette is a lease monster....most pay cash for the car as a matter of course..

                      that first photo with the roof off in the first post of this thread is awesome.

                      slap that uprated 500 hp LT1 into the last year of c7 production would help c7 sales if its available...otherwise cut and run if we are really at 8000 units of unsold c7 s...

                      at 18000 total c7 units sold in 2018 calender year...thats 5 and a half month supply...which is really scarey.....

                      Blow the ballast tanks and fire sale time at your local corvette dealer.,,to move the left over inventory..

                      5 months inventory of unsold products s of any brand is huge....

                      im not buying a new c7...but ...this might be time to live their dreams especially for those who have never owned a sports car...



                      Last edited by JB; 01-04-2019, 05:37 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I believe that the recent rash of sightings around Detroit was GM's answer to the rumors of problems with the C8. It was their way of saying "chill folks, it's on it's way".

                        Any day now I'm expecting an announcement of shudowns at BGA, both to reduce the backlog and to prepare for the new car. The sales situation with the C7 is worse than appears IMO. My local dealer looks to have been carrying the same bloated inventory for months now.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What effect do you guys think the coming recession (experts predicting) will have on the release of the C8? GM seems to be preparing for it......
                          The least we can do is wave to each other

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                          • #14
                            On a postive side, Oregon’s largest Corvette dealer, our sponsoring vendor Suburban Chev (truly great folks), which had been carrying an inventory of seven unsold 2018’s and 2019’s new Corvettes for several months, sold four of them during December and is now down to just three new Corvettes, and in the process also totally clearing out their pre-2019’s.
                            Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

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                            • #15
                              I’m not thinking it will have a major impact on release. They may wait temporarily 2-3 months to let things settle with the current turmoil and plant closings but don’t think they can or will sit on it long term. My cent and a half.
                              There is a madness to my method!

                              2015 Z06 Torch/adrenaline
                              2001 coupe Torch/oak R8C
                              79 coupe Silver/oyster
                              All one owner
                              Museum lifetime members

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