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Webasto The HT Convertible Manufacturer for the C8?

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  • Webasto The HT Convertible Manufacturer for the C8?

    Webasto is a German Company that does folding hardtop manufacturing. They design, engineer, and fabricate the worlds premier automotive folding hardtop convertibles such as Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, and others. In fact their corporate video shows a Ferrari Spyder. They now have a plant in Louisville, Kentucky as shown in the video below. Most likely, Webasto was the company used for the C8 since Corvette used Webasto on the C7 generation convertibles. The new Webasto plant in Louisville, Kentucky(116 miles away) that opened up could certainly tool up to supply the folding hardtop system that Webasto is so famous for.

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    And the C8 folding hardtop is a dead ringer for the F488, F8 Tributo, and 812 Spyders that also use the Nacelle design. Below are links to all of this conjecture. I also have a video below that shows the McLaren folding hardtop with a transparent main roof panel that Corvette could be considering. Hope this is spot on!



    https://www.webasto.com/uploads/medi...ornia-dach.pdf

    https://www.webasto-group.com/en/ori...ertible-roofs/

    https://www.webasto-group.com/en/pre...ette-stingray/

    https://www.webasto-group.com/en/pre...ant-in-puebla/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=yotMnhz5dA8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUtiJaLYZ8w
    Last edited by John; 09-10-2019, 02:31 PM.

  • #2
    Outstanding sleuthing Skank. You have a special skill to identify key manufacturers of key Corvette components.

    Webasto building a brand new mega factory just 116 miles away from Bowling Green, and building the C7 convertibles top are the two clinchers for me that they are the manufacturer of the C8’s HT convertible!

    They build the HT tops for Ferrari Spyder and other exotics.

    You earlier outed that Faurecia, who designed the C8’s interior, also builds interiors for Bugatti, Ferrari and other top sports car manufacturers. GM is “going to the well” to insure the C8 looks and works beautifully.

    Thanks again Skank!
    Last edited by John; 09-10-2019, 02:40 PM.
    GS7 Elkhart Lake Blue, HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5ZZ high wing; 5VM vis CF ground effects pkg; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards.

    Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20+ year members of National Corvette Museum.

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    • #3
      The amount of R & D that goes in to this has to be relatively minor for GM. Webasto builds the mechanics of the system! It's obviously outstanding or the foreign car manufacturers wouldn't use them! Maybe they are embellished by the car companies to elaborate them for their use and installs but the basics cannot cost that much less to result in the stated cost. McLaren charges over $20k for their Spyder and Ferrari charges $27k for theirs. Am I safe suggesting I cannot imagine a 400% - 500% markup which is what it would take for GM to sell theirs for $5k. I more believe that the effects of mass production may make this something close to $7500 - $10k. And even at that - it would be a deal.

      Comment


      • #4
        GM routinely engages in enormous mark ups when it can get away with it. Black painted wheels are about a thousand dollars more than silver ones. The difference in cost between silver and black can't be more than a few bucks, if anything.

        The market will determine how much GM will want to charge for a retractable hard top.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Milliwatt Rob View Post
          GM routinely engages in enormous mark ups when it can get away with it. Black painted wheels are about a thousand dollars more than silver ones. The difference in cost between silver and black can't be more than a few bucks, if anything.

          The market will determine how much GM will want to charge for a retractable hard top.
          Yep, and it doesn't cost anything more to paint a caliper red than black, but....

          On the C7, the base model came with gray calipers, and black were an extra cost option. The Z51 (or maybe the Z06) came with black ones, and gray was an option. Nothing but profit. And yes, McLaren charges what the market is willing to pay for the HTV, not what is costs them to make. You can be GM has done plenty of market research to figure out the best selling price for the HTV.
          SunKissed, my 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible (One of about 40)

          Purchased 5/2/2015,
          >33,000+ miles

          Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club. Check us out http://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Milliwatt Rob View Post
            GM routinely engages in enormous mark ups when it can get away with it. Black painted wheels are about a thousand dollars more than silver ones. The difference in cost between silver and black can't be more than a few bucks, if anything.

            The market will determine how much GM will want to charge for a retractable hard top.
            Bob, I don't doubt that at all. Your statement is support for the concept that this Spyder roof is not going to be an inexpensive addition from GM. I admit that I've been wrong about costs before but this is not a simple soft top rig. The sophistication of the folding hardtop greatly exceeds that of the soft top. I expect a price that exceeds the previous soft top roof from GM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ltomn View Post

              Bob, I don't doubt that at all. Your statement is support for the concept that this Spyder roof is not going to be an inexpensive addition from GM. I admit that I've been wrong about costs before but this is not a simple soft top rig. The sophistication of the folding hardtop greatly exceeds that of the soft top. I expect a price that exceeds the previous soft top roof from GM.
              Have you actually watched the soft top fold and stow? It's not at all simple. I'm not convinced the HTV is going to be more complex mechanically.
              SunKissed, my 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible (One of about 40)

              Purchased 5/2/2015,
              >33,000+ miles

              Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club. Check us out http://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org

              Comment


              • #8
                The comparison below applies to most convertible cars
                • Safety. Hardtops seem to be generally safer than soft-tops in rollover accidents. However, some experts express doubts about that and recommend choosing hardtops with rollover protection systems, which include stability control systems that prevent rollovers, head-protecting side airbags and roll-bars behind the rear seats that automatically deploy, providing headroom for the car occupants if a rollover occurs.
                • Roof material durability. Hardtop convertible cars have a metal roof that folds away. Soft-top convertibles have a roof of fabric or vinyl pulled on metal ribs, which is less durable, may tear.
                • Keeping. Soft-tops should be kept only in a garage or on a covered parking. Hardtops with properly sealed roof can stand any weather conditions.
                • Weather protection: Hardtop convertible cars have better weather protection because of better isolation from outside by the means of the metal roof that seals well. Soft-top convertibles have poor weather protection and temperatures isolation. With time, the soft roof materials tend to wear and tear, literally. In addition, water protecting substance covering the fabric wears off, which means you’d better not get caught in the rain with such a roof if you didn’t reapply the protectant in due time. If it’s cold outside, it will also be cold in a soft-top convertible.
                • Cost. Soft-top convertibles are generally cheaper than hardtop convertible cars because of simpler roof construction.
                • Roof operating method. Soft-top roofs are generally manually folded, hardtop roofs are retracted and pulled on with the help of an electric motor. Although that may cause some inconvenience if you are not quite skilled yet, there is an advantage as compared with hardtop convertible cars: electric roof motors used are heavy. In addition, an electric motor can fail, which will never happen to a manually operated roof.
                • Hardtops have more moving parts and electronic systems which increases the chance of a failure.
                • Noise. Hardtop convertible cars block road noise, soft-top convertibles don’t. However, some hardtop owners complain of rattling roofs, which is not a problem with soft-tops.
                • Luggage space in the trunk remaining after you pull down a hardtop roof is little to none. Soft roofs leave more room for the luggage.
                • A disadvantage of a hardtop as compared with a soft-top in extra-weight in the trunk form the retracted metal roof which increases pressure on rear chassis and affects handling of the car.
                • A very common opinion is that soft-tops look cheap, hardtops look rich.
                • Hardtops will incur higher repair bills
                • Soft-tops are easier to break and steal than hardtops
                • In some states, the registration fee depends on the vehicle’s weight, so hardtops are a bit more costly. However, considering the cost of the hardtop, the registration fee is not a big deal.
                • If a convertible is going to be our only car then soft-tops drop out of the competition.
                • When repair is needed, a soft roof can be detached and you can continue using the car. With the hardtop you’ll have to leave the whole car in the bodyshop.
                Hardtop Convertibles:




                Hardtop convertible cars became increasingly popular as motor manufacturers strived to make their vehicles more appealing. The market has now matured and designs have improved. Watching what was apparently a fixed roof fold away out of sight is certainly a crowd pleaser and the conventional security of a solid roof has many advantages.

                The earliest production car with a folding hard roof dates all the way back to the 1935 Peugot 402 Eclipse Decapotable. Since this time many manufacturers have made attempts to make their own designs a commercial success. The first really popular modern convertible car to feature a retractable folding roof and start the current trend was the 1996 Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadster. The Mercedes SLK sold well and encouraged a whole new set of customers to consider driving a convertible.

                The benefits of a folding hardtop convertible roof are both perceived and actual improvements in safety and security as well as improved sound and weather proofing. On the down-side the roof usually adds weight, needs extra storage space and when folded can considerably reduce the luggage compartment. Despite assumptions that a hard roof should be more weather-proof, the seals on these cars appear to be equally as prone to water leaks as those of fabric roofs. That said, a well maintained modern roof of either type shouldn’t cause any problems.

                Several major manufacturers (such as Audi and Porsche) have yet to venture into retractable hardtop convertibles and instead focus on making their best drop-tops with high quality fabric soft-top roofs while enjoying the benefit of their light weight and easy stowing. On the other hand, brands such as Mazda, Mercedes and even Ferrari and McLaren have managed to prove that the benefits of hardtop convertible cars can be successfully combined with great style and high performance. The number of hardtop convertible cars is currently in decline particularly at the lower end of the market.

                Buying a Convertible: Softtop or Hardtop?

                Four Reasons to Buy a Softtop over a Hardtop and Four Reasons Not to


                SEE ALL 8 PHOTOS
                Megan StewartWords
                Jun 24, 2016I know firsthand how difficult it can be to choose the right used or new convertible. Chances are your process started by considering one of the most important drop-top purchasing factors: hardtop or softtop? Both models have their pros and cons though, in my case, I picked a softtop with a removable hardtop. From price and cargo space to maintenance costs and how quick that top drops, there are plenty of things to consider when purchasing a convertible. Here are four reasons to go with a softtop over a hardtop and four reasons why that hardtop may be worth a few extra dollars. Go Soft Top

                Space


                SEE ALL 8 PHOTOS

                When it comes to cargo space in a convertible, every cubic inch is precious. With a softtop, you'll get more room. Hardtops fold into the trunk to be stored, often taking up more space than would a soft top. Weight Savings


                SEE ALL 8 PHOTOS

                Because a soft top consists of fabric and, depending on the age of the convertible you're considering, either a plastic or glass rear window, it offers decent weight savings when compared to the much heftier hardtops. Without the added weight of a hard top, the convertible's trunk doesn't get loaded down and, overall, a hard top can weigh 100 pounds or more compared to a similar soft top. Up/Down Speed


                SEE ALL 8 PHOTOS

                Softtops don't take lots of time to put up or down, but the process can take longer in a hardtop. Plus, most softtops can be operated at slightly higher speeds than hardtops. Price


                SEE ALL 8 PHOTOS

                Because a hardtop features more mechanical and electrical components, the price will often be higher, depending on the model. Also, when it's time to replace or repair your top, the soft top could save you money, with potentially cheaper parts and fewer things that can go wrong. Go Hardtop

                Crash Safety

                Nobody wants to think about getting into an accident, but it might happen. Especially if your search involves older models, having a solid roof over your head could be a safer choice. Yes, both models may feature roll bars behind the front passenger seats, but that added level of security and safety can't hurt. Noise/Weather Insulation


                SEE ALL 8 PHOTOS

                Hardtops, thanks to their conventional roof-like practicality, offer better insulation against the elements. But weather isn't the only thing that a new or used hardtop sometimes insulate against; road noise might be significantly reduced, too. Theft-Deterrent


                SEE ALL 8 PHOTOS

                The standard hardtop rear window is always glass, which can help prevent against theft. An older softtop with a plastic rear window is more likely to be stolen or vandalized, as that window can be slashed easily with a knife. Although newer models may be somewhat better protected, canvas or vinyl tops can also be sliced open, something I once experienced firsthand. Top Replacement


                SEE ALL 8 PHOTOS

                As soft tops go, older models with plastic rear windows can get sun damage or crack, , and may need to be replaced at least once over the vehicle's lifetime. Also, on older models at highway speeds, soft tops can tear, and replacing one can be rather tedious when installing it yourself, something I discovered over two days when I once replaced a vinyl top and plastic window on a soft top with a vinyl top and a glass window.

                What do you think? Would you take the coupe-like appeal of a hardtop or the more simple nature of a softtop?


                Last edited by Skank; 09-10-2019, 06:01 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Something that needs to be considered for those that track their cars is that 99% of tracks won’t allow verts unless you have rollover protection installed. Almost all HTC’s on the market have pop-up protection bars as the buttresses/nacelles aren’t capable of providing adequate protection. If the C8 HTC doesn’t come with these it’s going to make for an ugly addition to be able to track the car.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Corporate America learned A LONG TIME AGO that your 'cost' has little to do with the price you charge for something. Pricing is a function of the market and your competition. 'Cost', as such, only determines whether and how much profit you make on the product or feature.

                    Just look at the price of fuel at the pump....
                    The day of the week, relationship to holiday periods, weather, sales by location in gallons during the prior period, traffic patterns, news, etc... all drive the price that posted. The price of crude is so far removed time wise from the actual sale at the pump that it's only impact is on buyer emotions and expectations. Cars and options are really no different, just the market differentiators have changed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tooold2race View Post
                      Corporate America learned A LONG TIME AGO that your 'cost' has little to do with the price you charge for something. Pricing is a function of the market and your competition. 'Cost', as such, only determines whether and how much profit you make on the product or feature.

                      Just look at the price of fuel at the pump....
                      The day of the week, relationship to holiday periods, weather, sales by location in gallons during the prior period, traffic patterns, news, etc... all drive the price that posted. The price of crude is so far removed time wise from the actual sale at the pump that it's only impact is on buyer emotions and expectations. Cars and options are really no different, just the market differentiators have changed.
                      You are correct sir. And for the record...commodity brokers set fuel prices not oil/gas companies like widely misperceived.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Skank View Post
                        The comparison below applies to most convertible cars


                        What do you think? Would you take the coupe-like appeal of a hardtop or the more simple nature of a softtop?

                        Not sure where that came from, but some of it is just nonsense.
                        SunKissed, my 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible (One of about 40)

                        Purchased 5/2/2015,
                        >33,000+ miles

                        Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club. Check us out http://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by meyerweb View Post

                          Not sure where that came from, but some of it is just nonsense.
                          Meyerweb, I put this out there to just keep you busy with the fun of reading it all! !
                          Last edited by Skank; 09-10-2019, 07:32 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Wow, Skank quite an article on hardtop convertible’s. Very nice. Thanks

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As GM surprised everyone with the price of the C8 coupe when speculation was all over the place, I think the same will be found with the vert. I think their pricing will be in-line and people will most likely be pleasantly surprised. At least I hope so cause today I cancelled my coupe and went with the spider.
                              2020 C8 Torch Red/Natural Spider: In the top 5 of first Canadian deliveries.

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