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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
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NO MANUAL For The C8

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  • NO MANUAL For The C8

    Could Tadge be more clear, and could his reasoning be more precise and precise, and well, more reasonable.. For the rest of this article please go to the link at the bottom of it.

    Originally posted by MotorAuthority
    Corvette fans still holding out hope for a manual transmission in the C8 generation of the Chevrolet Corvette, abandon hope. Not only does the Corvette’s chief engineer and vehicle line director say the Corvette won’t get a manual, but building manual transmissions is a dying industry.

    When I asked Corvette lead engineer Tadge Juechter at the reveal of the 2020 Corvette on Thursday if there is any chance the manual will come back, he replied simply: “No.”

    Juechter said a manual-equipped Corvette wouldn't sell well enough to make it worth a supplier’s effort to develop.

    “We couldn’t find anybody honestly who’d be willing to do it. Because just like the automatic, the DCT, it would have to be a bespoke manual,” Juechter said. “It’s low volume, very expensive. The reason is it’s a low-volume industry. That industry is dying—building manual transmissions.”
    https://www.motorauthority.com/news/...dying-business
    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
    I'm usally someone who always prefers a manual. But with the claimed 0-60 time of the C8 I can totally see why they don't offer a manual. With Automatic only they can also reduce the base price for the AT since every car gets it. Let's just hope the new automatic has higher quality from the beginning than the 8AT with the never ending shudder problems.

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    • #3
      Could that add some "value" to my C7 Manual? Or is it just like a rotary phone at this point...?

      Comment


      • #4
        Tadge said the take rate on the 7 speed in the C7 is down to 17%. So those of us who love manuals, don't blame GM: blame your fellow Corvette buyers.
        Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

        Current C7: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black overDaytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

        Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

        Never grow up - It's a trap.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ace View Post
          I'm usally someone who always prefers a manual. But with the claimed 0-60 time of the C8 I can totally see why they don't offer a manual. With Automatic only they can also reduce the base price for the AT since every car gets it. Let's just hope the new automatic has higher quality from the beginning than the 8AT with the never ending shudder problems.
          The DCT is a computer controlled manual transmission. There's no torque converter, which caused many of the problem with the A8.
          Last edited by meyerweb; 07-23-2019, 02:18 PM.
          Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

          Current C7: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black overDaytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

          Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

          Never grow up - It's a trap.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yet, they still charged more for the automatic in the C7? Wassup wit dat?
            I’d love to see the value of my manual go up, but I doubt it.....
            Black over Sky Cool Gray.....2LT.....Z51.....FE4.....E60.....

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Meldoon View Post
              Yet, they still charged more for the automatic in the C7? Wassup wit dat?
              I’d love to see the value of my manual go up, but I doubt it.....
              Modern torque converter automatics are far more complex than a traditional manual transmission. I have no doubt the A8 cost more to build than the M7.
              Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

              Current C7: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black overDaytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

              Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

              Never grow up - It's a trap.

              Comment


              • #8
                Our current four vehicles are all manuals, now with our having 53 manuals in a row. So while this will be a major change for us, even though we are both 72 years of age these old dogs can be taught new tricks, e.g. are not dinosaurs (yet). In fact, both of us are very excited about the C8!!!
                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.

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                • #9
                  I think the hard core drivers that prefer to be fully engaged in the driving experience with a manual (I'm in this group of dinosaurs) for the most part weren't willing to buy the cars new. The people who could afford manual sports cars are now older and the aggressive edge they maybe once had has softened. There was a time NO BODY bought a 911 with anything but a manual, now the latest car comes as PDK only. The demographics are moving up in age and the manuals will be a thing of the past. For me a faster shift was never the desire, just a really good manual with a solid feel and action, but when they say well this is faster, it justifies the DCT even more to most. All you C7 guys with a stick may hang on to more of your $ longer, one of the most desired Porsche 911s is a 2009-2012 manual transmission car and they get a premium for them.

                  Not just age but income, I've got twenty something kids and two of the three don't even dream of owning a home, much less having the discretionary income for a $70k car. I think the divide between the haves and the have nots is widening by the day.
                  Last edited by Phil1098; 07-23-2019, 02:36 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Racer X View Post
                    Could that add some "value" to my C7 Manual? Or is it just like a rotary phone at this point...?
                    I think C7 manuals will be desirable especially the 2019s, being the last year.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Phil1098 View Post
                      I think the hard core drivers that prefer to be fully engaged in the driving experience with a manual (I'm in this group of dinosaurs) for the most part weren't willing to buy the cars new. The people who could afford manual sports cars are now older and the aggressive edge they maybe once had has softened. There was a time NO BODY bought a 911 with anything but a manual, now the latest car comes as PDK only. The demographics are moving up in age and the manuals will be a thing of the past. For me a faster shift was never the desire, just a really good manual with a solid feel and action, but when they say well this is faster, it justifies the DCT even more to most. All you C7 guys with a stick may hang on to more of your $ longer, one of the most desired Porsche 911s is a 2009-2012 manual transmission car and they get a premium for them.

                      Not just age but income, I've got twenty something kids and two of the three don't even dream of owning a home, much less having the discretionary income for a $70k car. I think the divide between the haves and the have nots is widening by the day.
                      The same is for Ferraris that have manuals especially in the 430s One out of 25 cars may have had manuals and the manuals bring a considerable premium.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by John View Post
                        Our current four vehicles are all manuals, now with our having 53 manuals in a row. So while this will be a major change for us, even though we are both 72 years of age these old dogs can be taught new tricks, e.g. are not dinosaurs (yet). In fact, both of us are very excited about the C8!!!
                        +1

                        I've never owned an automatic until I bought an SUV last year. Manual equipped SUVs just don't exist.
                        Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

                        Current C7: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black overDaytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

                        Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

                        Never grow up - It's a trap.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We literally own the last GM full sized pickup GM ever made, and we had to special order it. It was April 22, 1992 that it arrived (and still is with us).
                          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


                          • #14
                            The central tunnel is a support structure that can not allow for the remote linkage according to gm executives during the reveal or after in various discussions.

                            the tunnel structure allowed lower side sills fir easier entry and the construction process of bolting the frame together required a central tunnel become the main structural point of the c8....ti achieve a 10 percent improvement...

                            money was saved bolting the six large pieces of the chassis together as opposed to c7 and c6 chassis design and construction.

                            i believe this new construction design could be something that becomes utilized for battery vehicles and the corvette as usual is the low volume product to put thisnchassis design into production to find out all the potential pitfalls etc..

                            another interesting possibility is this new design of a chassis and its construction could allow for alterations of the length and width for various models rather inexpensively..


                            the less than 60k starting price tag is there because of the all the value this new corvette offers to the corporation.

                            sorry for the rant.,.the center tunnel as the main support structure supposedly could house the shift linkage so no manual...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The tunnel was the least of the concern, the fact they couldn't find a transmission manufacturer was number one. Why would they have tried to find a manufacturer if the tunnel wouldn't allow it, that doesn't make any sense. "Hey guys we have contracted with XYZ transmissions and they're building our manual right now. What do you mean we can't shift it because we have a huge tunnel? Well ****, now we're going to have to find a way to tell XYZ we can't do it after all." If the tunnel can support the car, it can support a shifter.

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