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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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  • #46
    Thank you very much JB. Interesting ideas. Thank you Carscoops for raising alternative ideas for our consideration.
    Last edited by John; 01-07-2019, 10:36 PM.
    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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    • #47
      Originally posted by Frenzy36 View Post
      The C7 has run 6 years and I don't think putting lipstick on it is going to help C7 sell. . . . I myself would not wait till 2021 for ME. If no info within the next several months my money will go elsewhere.
      The above makes 100% sense. Just how hard can it be to make the car? What's the harm in fair disclosure? Does customer loyalty deserve a pat on the head? Well! Not too hard. No harm. And ,Therefore, they must be springing a surprise reveal party at an iminent unlikely moment. That's the only way it makes sense, if it makes any.
      Last edited by SheepDog; 01-08-2019, 02:26 PM.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by SheepDog View Post
        Just how hard can it be to make the car?
        As noted in JB’s thread today, Audi brought out an R8 without proper frame testing, and let us also remember Porsche bringing out their 911GT2’s roughly five years, only to have five burn to the ground from engine fires, then having to recall all 791 that were already sold and completely bring them back to replace with completely brand new motors — delays of many, many months.

        Or how about right now with Porsche freezing at the entry port into the U.S., all their 911 GT2’s for some several month long time period; someone posted that all such models are now being held until the first week of April (and they already have been “port held” for over a month for some problem). Porsche is not even sharing with its specific customers awaiting their custom built new cars, what that problem issue is.

        Personally, I am a Corvette person, and if the car is delayed, then delayed even more for more testing and development, so that when it is revealed it is truly customer ready, I will wait. I sure would prefer it not be delayed, but GM knows I am loving my C7 Z06, and I will continue to enjoy it until you my ME is ready for customer sales.


        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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        • #49
          Originally posted by John View Post

          As noted in JB’s thread today, Audi brought out an R8 without proper frame testing, and let us also remember Porsche bringing out their 911GT2’s roughly five years, only to have five burn to the ground from engine fires, then having to recall all 791 that were already sold and completely bring them back to replace with completely brand new motors — delays of many, many months.

          Or how about right now with Porsche freezing at the entry port into the U.S., all their 911 GT2’s for some several month long time period; someone posted that all such models are now being held until the first week of April (and they already have been “port held” for over a month for some problem). Porsche is not even sharing with its specific customers awaiting their custom built new cars, what that problem issue is.

          Personally, I am a Corvette person, and if the car is delayed, then delayed even more for more testing and development, so that when it is revealed it is truly customer ready, I will wait. I sure would prefer it not be delayed, but GM knows I am loving my C7 Z06, and I will continue to enjoy it until you my ME is ready for customer sales.

          That's powerful, persuasive history, John, on "just how hard". I conceed. But if they are using the "tried and true" LT1 on the entry model? , then ? --- what then? Seems like it still aught to be just about show and tell time -- at least as to the engine. And patience is virtuous. Transaxle? Suspension?? Frame?? Electric?? OK. Void of information is not informative, but it can be mistaken for suspicious.

          Porsche made 2 errors. testing and information. Corvette might choose to avoid both. Test, test test and be reasonably informative.
          Last edited by SheepDog; 01-08-2019, 04:53 PM.

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          • #50
            Here is an interesting story that the C7 made the cut on. Not as bad as some but has the reputation now of being put out to pasture.

            http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/resea...Yn6?ocid=ientp

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Busa Dave View Post
              Here is an interesting story that the C7 made the cut on. Not as bad as some but has the reputation now of being put out to pasture.

              http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/resea...Yn6?ocid=ientp
              Interesting article,

              Corvette is in the sweet spot on every measure: price, size, power, looks, reputation, storage, performance, reliability, etc. Corvette sell as many units as all other 2 seaters combined, in most years in the U.S. The Corvette is GM in its body builder pose and everybody looks. It brings value above the direct profit from sales.

              Miata and twin are too small for 50% of drivers and no storage.

              NSX cost too much, no storage and unnecessary electric stuff.

              R8 cost too much and overweight

              GTR has price and age liability.

              The Boxster is smallish, underpowered and overpriced.

              911 is perfect except too pricy. Hope the base C8 turns out to be a $65K “911”, a sweet spot fantasy.

              What sales number is the break even $ point for each company on the low volume cars?

              Are any of them actually loosing money or simply not making a killing.

              Are the corporations willing to make low profit from a small volume car that satisfies a small number of buyers and provides employment to a small work force.

              Do sports cars draw lookers who end up buying other more useful vehicles? Hopefully Corvette does and will continue to add that value and stays alive.

              Comment


              • #52
                Great analysis SheepDog. Really good questions. I can only fractionally start to answer a few of them.

                If a major OEM is awash in cash and looking for ways to create “buzz,” such as a halo car, there is no doubt that they sometimes create a small production unit car that they know from the outside will be a financial loser. Very rare, very infrequent, but it is done.

                Cadillac is not awash in cash and has many bigger issues to deal with, so IMO not a chance for a XLR repeat for several years, and if then.

                Corvette made $2B net for GM during the C7’s run, been as one highly connected person described it, it was a major money maker. Tadge said to some dealers and top level Corvete enthusiasts a few years ago that the C7 ’ break even point was somewhere around 18,000 units annually — so even with the poor 2018 sales, its 18,700 units sold last year was not a losing year. However, to continue to break even will not work, for it takes massive amounts of testing and development money, along with periodic plant upgrade money, to keep a model going and growing and developing for the next generation. By best estimates, $900M has been spent on BGA plan upgrades this past three years (source = Kai Spande), and an additional $900 is what we believe is the C8 mid engine’s development and testing and start up costs.

                GM would not be developing the somewhat risky ME C8 if they were not sure that it would be a major money maker for the company.

                Sports cars are a dealership draw — or at least they used to be. How many now come into a dealership because they have seen that a sports car is in the showroom, or saw one though a showroom window, or similar, and ended up buying one in the current era, is an ever dwindling number, a far different proposition that was the “car sales dealership customer attraction process” of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

                Others have more or different or supplemental info to answer the above questions please?






                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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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Frenzy36 View Post
                  The C7 has run 6 years and I don't think putting lipstick on it is going to help C7 sell.
                  ...edit...
                  I myself would not wait till 2021 for ME. If no info within the next several months my money will go elsewhere.
                  While I totally agree with the first statement, I am waiting for the C8 to decide.

                  About a year and half ago, I was ready to order a C7 Z06, when the rumors started getting serious that the C8 would be a ME. I'm generally a buy and hold car owner so the prospect of buying a C7 only to sell it for a C8 wasn't going to happen. I currently have no Corvette, and I don't care if they put warp engines and flux capacitor in the last C7, at this point I'm holding out for the C8, ****it!

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                  • #54
                    That c8 spider rendering in the first post of this thread by fvs is stunning...

                    Wow! All the rendering by our artists are great but today this sketch on the forum.header is really beautiful...really caught my eye even though it's been on the forum.for quite some time.

                    I'm on a phone call with a google.search and up popped that bright torch red c8 spider
                    I
                    Last edited by JB; 01-19-2019, 12:00 PM.

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                    • #55
                      The codes, 1YC07 and 1YC67, could be the 2 special editions that are coming out on the C7 to close out the model year.
                      Lifetime member National Corvette Museum #2588
                      Retired from GM, Paint Dept.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by John View Post
                        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.











                        John, I was wondering could GM do what some other manufacturers have done on the first release of their special cars. Make the delayed ME a Launch Edition 2020 limited car only that comes out at the end of this year. GM makis a limited number of cars which helps production, the line switch over and suppliers ramp up Product for the main car.

                        Supra is doing a special edition out of the gates. Alfa 4C did one and many car companies been going in this direction. These cars are not more than a unique optioned car with particular paint colors no motor or trans changes and a numbered Plack. This will allow GM to faze out the C7 as a 2019 while slowly producing the ME/LE as a limited 2020 car. BG could definitely produce a controlled small numbered of ME/LE then realease the base ME in late January 2020/Feburary 2020 as a 2021. The LE would not be much different other than the 1st ME wiith cosmetic and special added stand alone options with a limited numbered cars. Just a thought.








                        [/QUOTE]

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                        • #57
                          Like your thinking Fasttoys! Kind of like the 2014 Premiere Edition C7. While at the C8’s reveal stating that the regular ME will start in X months at $xx,xxx (bargain price), sell the totally loaded ME Special Edition at $89,999 (or maybe even $94,999). It would be 3LT (or 4LT), have many features standards such as the front axle list system, tasteful and centerline-matched visible carbon fiber, unique wheels, and maybe even a special/unique hood.

                          Produce only 1,000 units, e.g., maybe 500 of the removable couple roof, then 500 more of the HT convertible. Allow color choice, or maybe offer four exterior colors and a couple of interior colors???

                          Sign me up. Who knows, it might again be called the Premiere Edition. Or maybe the “Elegant Edition?”
                          Last edited by John; 01-19-2019, 01:43 PM.
                          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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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by John View Post
                            Like your thinking Fasttoys! Kind of like the 2014 Premiere Edition C7. While at the C8’s reveal stating that the regular ME will start in X months at $xx,xxx (bargain price), sell the totally loaded ME Special Edition at $89,999 (or maybe even $94,999). It would be 3LT (or 4LT), have many features standards such as the front axle list system, tasteful and centerline-matched visible carbon fiber, unique wheels, and maybe even a special/unique hood.

                            Produce only 1,000 units, e.g., maybe 500 of the removable couple roof, then 500 more of the HT convertible. Allow color choice, or maybe offer four exterior colors and a couple of interior colors???

                            Sign me up. Who knows, it might again be called the Premiere Edition. Or maybe the “Elegant Edition?”
                            Guess it wouldn’t be good to call it the John edition. ?
                            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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                            • #59
                              Funny; I sure agree with that. However, remember the “Brougham d’Elegance“ version of the Cadillac?

                              Click image for larger version

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                              Picture thanks to the Cadillac Forum.




                              Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                I read somewhere that Bowling Green would be capable of running two different car lines at the plant. Being the C7 and C8 seem to be totally different cars (to me), why would GM discontinue the C7 just because the C8 was available, especially if there are over 8000 new C7's sitting on dealers lots. I think if they did a refresh on the C7, like a 500 - 550 HP motor and some kind of minor exterior body change, would help sell the existing inventory on lots today, otherwise they will have to deeply discount them to sell a discontinued model. I also don't think that the ME C8 is going to be the bread & butter seller the the traditional Corvette has been for the last 65 years.

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