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Corvette Today Podcast With Kai Spande BGA Manager

On this episode of CORVETTE TODAY, you get to meet the Corvette Plant Manager for the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, Kai Spande!
Your host, Steve Garrett, introduces you to Kai as he traces his career with GM. Kai talks about how the Bowling Green Assembly Plant transitioned from the front engine, C7 Corvette, to the mid-engine C8 Corvette. You'll get insights on the plant expansion and how they made that all happen...giving the new C8 Corvette a true state-of-the-art build facility. Kai also tells you about the Corvettes he has owned and the funny story of how he loved Corvettes, but never thought he'd get to work for it during his tenure at GM. Get to personally know Corvette Plant Manager, Kai Spande, on this episode of CORVETTE TODAY!

Listen here: https://adori.page.link/corvette-today
Website: www.CorvetteTodayPodcast.com
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXCRn-2X0SjjEXUt_...
Get CORVETTE TODAY emails: https://CorvetteToday.ck.page
CORVETTE TODAY Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2718423201763136
NEW!!! Get CORVETTE TODAY merchandise here: https://www.agpestores.com//lanmarxgraphix/grouppr...
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POLL: ME Update Reveal Predictions

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  • POLL: ME Update Reveal Predictions

    FACT: We know nothing yet. I believe that GM has yet to make up its mind as to when they are going to reveal the ME.

    Quite a few of us got their hopes up for the following, but already passed events
    A) Pebble Beach
    B) Laguna Seca
    C) SEMA
    D) LA Auto Show
    E) NAIAS
    F) Daytona (ROLEX 24)

    All of those reveal event options clearly came and went without our desired ME reveal.

    I initially had, but have since removed the Feb 9th Auto Show from the reveal options below,for two reasons including our poll software only allows ten total choices, and second, the ME is not ready for its reveal. But could the LT2’s motor be revealed there?

    So what is our collective, current best thinking as to when the C8 itself would be revealed?

    Assumption: For all the following auto-show-connected events, the reveal would be a private, stand alone event a day or two before the event, then the ME would be displayed again during both the show’s press days and then its public days:

    What do you think of the reveal options, if as several sources have suggested, it would be revealed by this summer?

    1) March 15th Geneva Auto Show: World’s most prestigious but not in U.S.; also, GM has never revealed a new generation outside the U.S.

    2) March 16th Sebring Race: Such a popular race; might this be the place?

    3) April 19th New York Auto Show: Largest U.S. show with 1,100,000 visitors and the site of previous Corvette model reveals. 1953 Corvette revealed in NYC. Probably a very likely candidate IF the C8 is ready to be revealed by then, and if not then ready, think the LT2 would be revealed there and a date for the ME’s reveal also announced at that show.

    4) April 25th NCM BASH: While a few thousand Corvette owners who would be ecstatic, based on “audience viewership size,” even if the C8 were revealed by the Bash, GM would have IMO instead revealed it a week earlier at NYAS with its huge viewing audience and prestige. A “too bad, but IMO an “unlikely” — especially for those of going to the event.

    5) May 26th Indy 500 Race: 1/4M in attendance; 4.9M U.S. television audience plus estimated 2M additional worldwide audience, and if there, C8 could be the Indy 500’s Pace Car. If I were GM, would have a Bruce Springsteen concert the Friday before the Monday race, and make a package deal with two race tickets. [Checked and his schedule is wide open LOL.] A quite likely reveal location for many, but to GM?

    6) June 2nd Belle Isle Indy Car race: Just 3 miles from GM’s headquarters, just across town from the site of the 1.3.13 C7 reveal (the Russell Industrial Center owned by GM); perhaps likely for many reasons including “home of the Big Three” U.S. car industry.

    7) Mid-June, 24 Hours of LeMans: World wide attention but so many competing activities that week & the race. IMO, “not likely,” though some disagree.

    8) July “Wild Card: Somewhere within the U.S.: Maybe a TV reveal, All Star baseball game; or something not yet imagined by us — but maybe so imagined by GM? Should we yawn or pay close attention to this time slot?

    9) August 18th Pebble Beach Concours: More mid engine cars are sold in southern CA than anywhere else in the U.S., and what bigger way to say, “notice me” to the world’s sports car elites than to come to their home “pavilion turf” where most build mega-expensive, temporary buildings to entertain their elite clients.

    10) NCM 25th Anniversary in Bowling Green (August 28-31): Across the street from BGA; 8,500 Corvette enthusiasts arrive there at the end of the 2019 National Corvette Caravan, and as to those who say BG is in the middle of nowhere, IMO if “city X, country Y” which is located 10,000 miles from BG has an editor or journalist interested in exciting automobiles, would they not send a representative to the C8 reveal if given a month’s notice? The old, “if they reveal it, they will come.” Two top GM Corvette team members are on the NCM Board of Directors, and the tie between GM and NCM has never been closer. Another dark horse, long shot, rated “exquisite”for the 8,500 Caravan attendees (though that could easily be 10,000+ attendees if announced a month in advance).

    Your thoughts??? Please if you vote for July Wild card, please specify below what you are thinking?

    44
    March 15th Geneva Auto Show
    2.27%
    1
    March 16th Sebring Race
    0%
    0
    April 19th New York Auto Show
    61.36%
    27
    April 25th NCM Bash
    4.55%
    2
    May 26th Indy 500 Race
    9.09%
    4
    June 2nd Belle Isle Indy Car Race
    11.36%
    5
    Mid-June 24 Hours of LeMans Race
    2.27%
    1
    July “Wild Card”
    2.27%
    1
    August 18th Pebble Beach Concours
    4.55%
    2
    NCM 25th Anniversary (August 28th-31st)
    2.27%
    1
    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  • #2
    How’s this for another possibility, that GM reveals the LT2 at the Bash, there show us the C8’s emblem (giving all registrants a 1 1/2” version of it), and also announce a later specific reveal date/location?

    I would be happy to drive to Bowling Green for my little C8 emblem.
    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

    Comment


    • #3
      NYC makes a lot of sense. For one, that's where the first Corvette was introduced to the public as stated. This is the biggest change in the history of the Corvette so there is a certain appeal to going back to where everything started 66 years ago. With that said, I voted for sometime in July!

      Here's my logic..... This will give the 'General' some time to slide production over to a limited run of 2020 C7's. Most of the 'big dealers' that I have spoken to have said that they feel the February Corvette allocation they get will be their last for the model year. That will take the currently planned production slots for everything.... base models, GS's, Z06's and ZR1's.... through the month of April. It would be a piece of cake to slip in a short run of 2020 C7's with minor trim and finish changes much like the Z06 powered 'verts' back in 2013. In addition, a reveal in July wouldn't impact the 'saleability' of the short model year run as would a NYC reveal. Furthermore, that would give everybody sufficient time to work out any issues with the new ME before they started building the new ME's in February or March of 2020 (as 2021 model year cars).

      I'll also throw this out.... The factory could concentrate on ME's exclusively for a year or so until production catches up with demand then introduce a new FE Corvette that would be targeted at the $50,000 market segment. They have the space in Bowling Green..... why not use it to build two versions and expand their market.
      2020 HTC Torch Red with lots of goodies. Built in September. Museum Delivered in October......

      Other toys in the garage: Ferrari California, BMW i8 Roadster, Bentley Flying Spur

      Comment


      • #4
        April 19 New York Auto Show -- Took my vote as if GM has properly finished and tested would make the most sense as to the worldwide attention and enormous crowds attending . Even if testing has not been completed would give them a worldwide viewing audience for reveal and announcement of orders to be placed. I however would also have to say that continuing production of the FE (other than announced final production model) would be a mistake as there will be thousands of pristine corvette's entering the marketplace in an attempt to free up garage space and funds for the new ME.
        Rocket City Florida- 2001 ZO6 - 2013 427 Vert - 2020 Stingray

        Comment


        • #5
          August in Pebble Beach! The world takes notice when Pebble Beach is in the headlines of the automotive industry! The buzz around the peninsula that week is intense and international. Were the Mid Engine Corvette revealed at Pebble Beach it would be in the world's newspapers the next morning and on international television the same day! What better way to appeal to the entire universe of car buyers?!?!

          Comment


          • #6
            The Monterey Classic Car week with it's crown jewel show "Pebble Beach Concour D'Elegance" would garner more captured potential buyers than any single car show in America or Europe. The entire Classic car week has more mid engine sports car manufacturers displaying their latest than any event anywhere in the entire world. There are at least five venues during the week where the Corvette Zora could be displayed to thousands of potential buyers. No other world Exotic Car event comes remotely close to this. The Quail, Monterey Historics at Laguna Seca, and the Concept Car Display at the Pebble Beach Concour are the top three venues to focus. There are three other events that could also work. We have to remember that this is a huge event for all other Sports Car companies as well. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani, Konnigsegg, Bugatti, McLaren, Porsche, Aston Martin, Audi, Mercedes Benz AMG, BMW, Jaguar, Bentley, Rolls Royce all have Salons set up and some even have huge multi-million dollar temporary buildings set up to capture the buyer. It is HUGE ! All eyes would be on GM and the Corvette team especially Porsche since the Zora could really take sales from them more than any other. All manufacturers have ride and drive programs to entice the buyers and the Salons with sales experts to assist in configuring their cars to the potential buyer. If they were going to reveal at any of the four races. the 24hr of LeMans would obviously be the next best option as that is a very important event for Team Corvette though not as glamorous or Internationally attended as Pebble Beach.
            Last edited by Skank; 01-27-2019, 11:50 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              If at Pebble Beach, we know you will be there are our roving reporter! Thank you Skank.

              Ltomn, guessing you will be there too — as you often are.
              GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

              Comment


              • #8
                I really doubt that any traditional Auto Show has the gravitas or seriousness that a Concour has. Most auto shows are family oriented with parents and their kids jumping in and out of the cars and slamming doors. There are also too many generic teeny cars, trucks, and hybrids(Yuk) to endure.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Concour Classic Week events, which includes the Quail event, is a week of shows for serious sports car enthusiasts! No other car show in the world can boast the quality of attendees and potential buyers for serious sports cars. I have been more then once now and only the first time does one not choose to dress quite smartly. It is sophisticated and absolutely wonderful because of that. For instance, last year Skank and I witnessed the set up of Bugatti when they planned to reveal the new $6 million Diva. They had guards around the covered car all night. Heavens! The wheels were covered!! The crowd around it the next day was astounding. Since GM is clearly intending this to be an international sports car, and the international press abounds at this function, this is, hands down, the event to consider.
                  Last edited by ltomn; 01-27-2019, 12:24 PM. Reason: elaborating a comment

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Since Bugatti chose to reveal their 6 million dollar Bugatti Diva, I'm sure Corvette would be proud to reveal their new mid engine SuperCar.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ltomn View Post
                      The Concour events, which includes the Quail event, is a week of shows for serious sports car enthusiasts! No other car show in the world can boast the quality of attendees and potential buyers for serious sports cars. I have been more then once now and only the first time does one not choose to dress quite smartly. It is sophisticated and absolutely wonderful because of that. For instance, last year Skank and I witnessed the set up of Bugatti when they planned to reveal the new $6 million Diva. They had guards around the covered car all night. Heavens! The wheels were covered!! The crowd around it the next day was astounding. Since GM is clearly intending this to be an international sports car, and the international press abounds at this function, this is, hands down, the event to consider.
                      Let me ask this though, is that really the Corvette crowd? Unless they are raising prices and moving up market that’s not really the crowd of owners I see. Most of the owners are blue collar workers and many have moved up from lower level cars (like mustang/camaro). If the crowd is as you described sounds much more Ferrari, Lambo, mclaren, more of the look at what I have crowd. If the C8 is ME and priced where John and others think (myself included) I see this as a NY show or GM event.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've worked for the Concour as a class host for 8 years now and I can assure you that the 3 biggest events of the some 20 events that week would garner more attention than a generic car show. The Concour week is International with a massive Media center set up at Pebble Beach. Motor Trend Television covers the entire event.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          How many times does one have to comment on this misguided concept of the value of the Mid Engine Corvette?! Several posters have repeatedly reminded readers of the list of attributes this vehicle is said to boast. While conceding that it is possible there will be a lighter price tag on a basic model, the ME has to have a certain standard to be called a Zora or even a new Mid Engine Corvette. Some have eluded to a $250,000 price for the all wheel drive model! That certainly suggests the concept of $160,000, for a lesser model, is not out of the question. Considering that, $250,000 for a 1000 bhp Zora, certainly intimates it can run with the $2 million, European big dogs!
                          Last edited by ltomn; 01-27-2019, 12:54 PM. Reason: clarifying a statement

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hope I don’t hear that bang when they shoot themselves in the foot.
                            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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                            • #15
                              How many times do we have to have this debate?

                              One of my current cars, the highest performance model of the line, a 2018, has advanced AWD, does 0-60 in 4.8 sec, has all the driver aids, DCT, technology to spare, full digital dashboard, multiple driving modes, stability control, nice leather interior, LED lighting, light alloy 19" wheels with 35 section high performance tires, and is made in Germany. So it must cost $200,000. Right?

                              No, it retails here in Canada for the equivalent of $US 34,000.

                              Corvette will continue with the pricing model they have always used. If they want to stay in business, that is.

                              Oh yes, staying on topic, my vote was for NY.
                              Last edited by Bikerjulio; 01-27-2019, 05:21 PM.
                              2020 C8 Corvette.D.O.B 2/03/2020
                              Shadow Grey Metallic on Black
                              2LT, Z51 + MRC. GT1 seats.
                              Spectra Grey Tridents.
                              Carbon flash mirrors and spoiler.

                              Comment

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