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Might ME’s Come Sooner Than Late Next Summer

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  • Might ME’s Come Sooner Than Late Next Summer

    Introductory note: This thread was written three weeks ago when it was looking like both FE’s and ME’s would be built next year, side-by-side. Since then, some are questioning whether C7’s will even continue. Whether C7’s will be build next year OR not, still lots of ideas in here as to why the thread’s main thesis, that ME customer deliveries could occur early next summer, might be what actually happens.

    We have an earlier thread that estimated that actual production of customer ME’s would start next June — though the first customer cars would still not be delivered until late summer of 2019. Here is that thread.

    https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...te-next-summer

    But might there be circumstances by which customer ME deliveries could start earlier? And if so, what could they be?

    A) Maybe 2019 Production Ceases Earlier And Thus ME’s Start To Be Assembled Sooner?

    A December 11, 2017 memo to all Chevy dealers getting a 2019 ZR1, stated that production of ZR1’s would end “‘estimated’. March, 2019.” [The word “estimated” was GM’s.]

    However, what if, for either or both of the following reasons, production of 2019’s were to stop earlier than March, 2019?

    1) 2019 Corvette sales are starting to drop at an increasing rate. While the big forum dealers are continuing to sell pre-sold, custom-optioned new Corvettes, too many smaller dealers are just plain “not moving stock” — compounded by many dealers still having 2018 Corvettes to sell (and yes, even more regrettably, still some unsold 2017’S at some dealers). Sales of 2019 Corvettes compared to one year earlier are down 25.2% in the U.S., down 52% in Canada.

    2) What if the 2020 ME is ready for production earlier than we originally thought, with the consequences that the first customer cars could arrive prior to the end of next summer?

    Solution to both:

    Start to assemble the 2020’s ME as soon as they are, “customer car, production line ready,” and if C7 ZR12 production were to occur again next year, “re-name” all ZR1’s produced from that time forward as 2020 ZR1’s. I doubt a single customer who would have been told they were originally getting a 2019 ZR1, would be anything but delighted that they would instead be getting a 2020 ZR1. And if there are not even any 2020 ZR1’s (let alone no SR/GS/Z06 models), it would be even easier for GM to start 2020 ME production earlier.

    How soon could this move up 2020 ME production? We simply do not know. However, we do know that there is still anamount of ME development testing still needed to occur, and legally critical, one can not sell a 2020 model year vehicle in the U.S., prior to the first day of the proceeding year, e.g., not before January 1, 2019. On the postive side, a little birdie has been recently chirping as how the ME’s are nicely developing.

    B) There are two other scenarios which could move up 2020 ME customer deliveries, as follows:

    1) The assembly part of the Plant was completely gutted last fall, with all new equipment purchased that was compatible with both 2019+ C7 assembly and 2020+ ME assembly. What if the transition time from the 2019 C7’s end production, until assembly of the 2020 MEs starts, is a lot less than the 6-8 weeks earlier envisioned to move/change equipment and train staff, were reduced to say just 4 weeks?

    2) What if, secondarily, as a result of the new job training procedures implemented last fall (during the 13 week Plant shut down), and the new equipment installed then, results in a faster ME ramp up process than the many-months-long C7 time period between the first customer C7 being built, i.e., whereas the first C7 was delivered to a customer on September. 19, 2013 (with that C7 ramp up taking about 4 months), but what if the ramp up for the C8 could be a month or maybe even two months shorter.

    ​​​​​​With progressively declining C7 sales, GM‘s now-nine-month-old estimate of next March being the end of 2019 production, could well have been since moved up one, two or even three months. Additionally this thread has two scenarios for a shorter “ME building ramp up process,” One or both of these factors could alone or together move first ME deliveries to perhaps even the beginning of next summer.

    So while this thread gets us no closer to knowing the actual time when 2020 ME’s could start to be delivered, hopefully it frames some options and presents food for thought as to what might be happening when, and what could move up 2020 ME production from the now-projected end of next summer to maybe as early as the beginning of next month — IF everything listed above were turn out perfectly?
    Last edited by John; 09-01-2018, 06:35 PM. Reason: Increasing C7 sales decline and updated other, potential changes.
    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 22 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  • #2
    Sales of the front engine c7 are falling rather quickly so I still question the rationale behind those who believe the corvette will be two models of a 2seat sports car.



    I believe the rear mid engine will be the only corvette.

    Comment


    • #3
      Here in Ontario I've been monitoring the new 2019 inventory at my ( large by Canadian standards) dealer for several months now. I was seeing to same 13 cars in stock for a long time and now it's up to 16 cars. In other words they are hardly moving.

      So while not doubting that GM could make C7's and C8's together if they wanted to, I think the market is telling them it would be a waste of time. The prime selling season is going to be over in a month or 2, and GM will be able to get plenty of feedback from dealers as to likely demand for the continuance of the C7. My guess is that it's going to be a big thumbs down. And GM will have a decision made well before the end of this year.
      2020 C8 Corvette
      Shadow Grey Metallic on Black
      2LT, Z51 + MRC
      Spectra Grey Tridents
      Carbon flash mirrors and spoiler

      I'm a Rat and so is my car! (a reference to the Chinese astrological calendar).

      Comment


      • #4
        I've looked a a few BGA videos and realized that I haven't seen a convertible mixed in with coupes. So, more importantly for me is the question of how early the convertibles will be built, and how convertible and coupe production is juggled.
        2020 C8 Corvette
        Shadow Grey Metallic on Black
        2LT, Z51 + MRC
        Spectra Grey Tridents
        Carbon flash mirrors and spoiler

        I'm a Rat and so is my car! (a reference to the Chinese astrological calendar).

        Comment


        • #5
          Good points. One of the reason why many, including me, continue to speculate (just that) that there will be some C7’s also made next year, is that it is factual that the C7 will have more trunk space than the ME, factual that the ZR1 was designed as a two year program (and lots of dealers still have more on their current ZR1 ordering list than they will have allocations for this year), and highly probably that the FE would uniquely offer the cargo space for two golf bags, a manual trans and similar.

          As you noted, talking about big decisions for GM...

          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 22 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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          • #6
            Do we ever remember this much controversy/angst before a new generation Corvette was revealed. We sure remember it after the reveal (the C5’s big butt, the C6’s visible headlights, and the C7’s non-round tail lights), but before?
            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 22 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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            • #7
              I hate to be the pessimist in the group but.... there are a whole lot of 3rd party suppliers needed to support production of a new car. I don't think you can just call 'em up and ask them to pull up deliveries of the new components and sub-assemblies. (Remember JIT.... just in time.... scheduling) Things like seats, interior components, wheels, etc..... not to mention GM sourced components like engines and so forth.

              Heck, remember all the stuff that was on 'constraint' when the C7's first came out as they worked out delivery and quality issues with suppliers.

              As much as I'd like to see 'em jump right in with an early release, I just don't think that it can happen. Sorry for the gloom and doom.....
              C8 Deposit July 2018 (HTC). In the system: Jan 20. Torch Red with lots of goodies. Museum Delivery in Sept.... maybe.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks for those reminders. Apropos what you wrote, two weeks ago I pulled up the list of constrained options for the C7 in the second month after it was in full swing, and in the second week of November, 2013, there were six different constraints on options for the StingRay. [Many painfully remember no visible CF tops available on the coupe for the longest time.]
                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 22 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bikerjulio View Post
                  I've looked a a few BGA videos and realized that I haven't seen a convertible mixed in with coupes. So, more importantly for me is the question of how early the convertibles will be built, and how convertible and coupe production is juggled.
                  What about this? Any knowledge of how convertibles slot into the production?
                  2020 C8 Corvette
                  Shadow Grey Metallic on Black
                  2LT, Z51 + MRC
                  Spectra Grey Tridents
                  Carbon flash mirrors and spoiler

                  I'm a Rat and so is my car! (a reference to the Chinese astrological calendar).

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    All good points and time will tell what ends up happening. I was always leaning toward a sooner release date based on discussions with people close to the industry/GM and personal hopes. I try to be more fact base when I look at a situation. If the engineering team have setbacks which some have eluded to on other forums then it could be a long wait which unfortunately cost GM money. Knowing CFO’s finance and large corporations and their motivation at that level of making profits/money and shareholder value, push and pull between finance and the manufacturing team.

                    We know the C7 is at the end of its life cycle just sales alone shares that message. Another issue Sports Cars and regular Car purchases are slowing with many consumers moving to SUV’s. I remember back in the old days to get a fast car you had to buy a sports car. Now someone has more options they could buy a dual purpose vehicle like a family sedan or an SUV that beat many sports cars in a straight line. This has hurt some base 911 sales, I know many friends tell their wives hey honey the 911 is particle it has a back seat for the kids, today they move to a high-performance SUV or sedan. This is a luxury purchased at a bargain price compared to the competition and if GM can pull it off and keep the MSRP at 70k ish all I can say WOW
                    Last edited by Fasttoys; 09-05-2018, 04:38 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bikerjulio View Post
                      I've looked a a few BGA videos and realized that I haven't seen a convertible mixed in with coupes. So, more importantly for me is the question of how early the convertibles will be built, and how convertible and coupe production is juggled.
                      Let’s define first what is meant by “a convertible.” If one is thinking a soft top convertible like we have had for many successive Corvette generations, you are absolutely correct, for we have not see a single ME IVERS that is a soft top. Does not mean it could not appear in later years? Of course not. But do we really think it is realistic that GM is going to produce threee separate versions of the ME, e.g., a coupe, a HT convertible and soft top convertible?

                      We have seen a ME IVERS which are HT convertibles and others which are coupes.

                      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 22 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John View Post

                        Let’s define first what is meant by “a convertible.” If one is thinking a soft top convertible like we have had for many successive Corvette generations, you are absolutely correct, for we have not see a single ME IVERS that is a soft top. Does not mean it could not appear in later years? Of course not. But do we really think it is realistic that GM is going to produce threee separate versions of the ME, e.g., a coupe, a HT convertible and soft top convertible?

                        We have seen a ME IVERS which are HT convertibles and others which are coupes.
                        Sorry but we have a little misunderstanding. I'm asking about the manufacturing line.

                        It's nothing to do with hard or soft tops. I'm just saying that in watching videos of production, all I have seen is coupes. That could be coincidence. So, do coupes and convertibles get built together on the line, of do they do them in batches? And how might this play out with the coupes and hardtops we are expecting?
                        2020 C8 Corvette
                        Shadow Grey Metallic on Black
                        2LT, Z51 + MRC
                        Spectra Grey Tridents
                        Carbon flash mirrors and spoiler

                        I'm a Rat and so is my car! (a reference to the Chinese astrological calendar).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In the C7 area, cars are assembled by “color batches,” most often ten Corvette of this color, then ten of another color. However, it is more complex than that, for there are other factors that are critically involved, for example, no three Z06’s in a row, no two convertibles back to back, and I am guessing (probable but not confirmed since we have not been allowed in the Plant since last year), no two ZR1’s back to back.

                          As to which of these things will also hold for the ME line, that is totally unknown at this time, perhaps yet unknown to GM, for their bigger issue, which they might started to have started to address on July 13th and last Friday (as per our last Thursday’s thread, Tomorrow: ME’s Assembled at BGA) , is can we do ME’s back to back, can we do them as many as we want in a row, must they be intermixed with C7’s in a specific way — such as can a C7 convertible follow a ME HT convertible, etc. Lots for GM to learn, and us to later learn...
                          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 22 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by John View Post
                            In the C7 area, cars are assembled by “color batches,” most often ten Corvette of this color, then ten of another color. However, it is more complex than that, for there are other factors that are critically involved, for example, no three Z06’s in a row, no two convertibles back to back, and I am guessing (probable but not confirmed since we have not been allowed in the Plant since last year), no two ZR1’s back to back.

                            As to which of these things will also hold for the ME line, that is totally unknown at this time, perhaps yet unknown to GM, for their bigger issue, which they might started to have started to address on July 13th and last Friday (as per our last Thursday’s thread, Tomorrow: ME’s Assembled at BGA) , is can we do ME’s back to back, can we do them as many as we want in a row, must they be intermixed with C7’s in a specific way — such as can a C7 convertible follow a ME HT convertible, etc. Lots for GM to learn, and us to later learn...
                            John, this is fascinating information. I had no idea that such a regimen was the norm. The only part of a auto company facility i've very been in is corporate offices.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Convertibles take the most time for certain of their job components — and why they can not have C7 ‘verts go back to back, but maybe GM has designed the ME to “work around” this to give them the best assembly flexibility.

                              I was within BGA the one day (just coincidence) in April, 2014 when they deliberately tried running four Z06’s (all IVERS) back to back. To say the least, it was not a postive outcome, and I saw two of them that were in the “repair area” the following morning. I arrived that second morning around 10:00 AM, so possibly the other two Z06’s that were part of the four-Z06-train experiment had already been fixed, or were going to come in later. I heard from the repair bay supervisor the next (third) day that they will not be running them more four in a row again. And in about 20 plant trips after that, never saw them four in a row again.

                              These kinds of learnings is what GM will totally figure out now — before they start customer ME’s.
                              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 22 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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