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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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Buyers Tour: Watch Yours Be Made

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  • Buyers Tour: Watch Yours Be Made

    What is the Corvette “Buyers Tour?”

    The following information is straight off NCM’s web site. However, a personal thought or two as an introduction, and before that we all know why there are no Buyers Tours going on right now, i.e., that there is a secret potential future Corvette product intermittently being assembled within the Plant that they do not want us to see or know about. Ssssh.

    To me, the single best part of owning a new Corvette is to spend two to three days watching my Corvette be made. You and a friend, with a full time tour guide, walk down the assembly line, along side your Corvette as piece by piece, parts are installed onto your car. Often an assembly worker will come over and talk to you before or after they work on your car. It is such an exhilarating, positively-emotional experience. The workers are terrific, very friendly and welcoming. And as you are doing this, you have a full time NCM Delivery Specialist Tour Guide telling you thousands of details as to what is happening and why, there to answer your every question as you three watch your car being built. Most of the guides are just retired from the Plant workers. They know and share stuff that one will never learn elsewhere.

    And despite the official BGA position that every car is assembled with the identical care, if a BGA asssembly specialist sees you and your friend standing there in your safety vest, with a person next to you, they know to be a Buyers Tour Guide, I know that they will always be doing their total best as they install your seat, your door, your motor, your windshield, etc. As as noted in the separate thread linked below (Corvette Extra Quality Control Audits, or GCA’s), having a Buyers Tour also increases (but never guarantees) your chances of your car getting a post-assembly extra QC review process.

    I will not get my C8 until the Buyers Tour program resumes!

    Originally posted by NationalCorvetteMuseum
    Buyers Tour

    Please note that the Corvette Buyers Tour is temporarily unavailable. Tours of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant are closed and a date of reopening has not been determined. Please subscribe to NCM eNews for future updates.**

    We are excited to be able to offer the Corvette Buyer’s Plant Tour in conjunction with the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant! This program is offered to provide new Corvette buyer’s with a tour of the Assembly Plant.

    See and experience the assembly of America’s Sports Car with your very own personal tour guide. You and 1 guest can enjoy a private tour of the Plant to see many areas not included on the general Plant tour. Your tour guide will provide information at the paint areas, body start area, installation of seats, doors, trunk, steering wheel, airbags, engine, etc. in addition to the general tour stops such as the marriage point, first start, end of line, DVT and water testing.

    Unforeseen events that may increase or decrease production time could affect the original projected start and/or finish time of the build.

    Cost: The cost of the Corvette Buyer’s Plant Tour experience is $800.00 and is payable on-line upon registration below. You must have an order number from your dealer before you can sign up for this tour.

    What to Expect: After you have registered and paid the $800.00 fee, the NCM will monitor your car’s order number status.

    Depending on when you sign up for this program, we’ll try to give approximately 10 days notice prior to your car’s build date. You will be contacted by a representative of the Museum to provide you with the estimated build date. At this time you can make travel arrangements. It is recommended that you purchase refundable airline tickets if you intend to fly, as the scheduled date may change due to unforeseen events that may increase or decrease production line rates.

    Day of the Tour: You will be scheduled for a tour date and time. Please note that the plant operates from 6:12am Central Time to 4:42pm Central Time. You may need to arrive the day prior to your tour if you are scheduled for an early morning tour. Production schedule Monday through Friday, production days and hours may vary. The Regular plant hours are 6:12am to 4:42pm.

    The NCM representative will contact you if there are any changes to your scheduled date or time. It is very important that we are provided with a cell phone number in order to reach you on short notice or after your arrival to Bowling Green.

    No Guarantee: It is the desire of the Museum and the Assembly Plant that your tour experience enables you to see your new Corvette during your visit, but we cannot guarantee this as part of the program. The National Corvette Museum and the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will not be responsible for any costs you incur for this tour whether you see your car or not. You will not be entitled to a refund if you do not see your car, but we do promise that you will receive a memorable tour of the Corvette Assembly Plant.

    What to Wear/What to Bring: Closed toe shoes (no sandals) are a requirement for all visitors. No cameras, backpacks, purses, fanny packs, cell phones or other packages or containers may be brought into the plant except by special request (for medical reasons, etc.). All rules must be adhered to or tour will be terminated with no refund.

    Age Restrictions: Children must be ten years of age or older.

    Guests: You may bring 1 additional guest at no charge. A maximum of 2 people may go on the Corvette Buyer’s Tour.

    Advanced Registration: At least a 10 day advanced registration is required before the car starts being built.

    R8C Museum Delivery Program: The Corvette Buyer’s Tour Program is NOT part of the R8C Museum Delivery Program. Museum Delivery Option R8C is totally separate and ordered through your Corvette Dealer at the time the order for your new Corvette is placed. If you purchased Museum Delivery Option R8C, you may also participate in the Corvette Buyers Tour by signing up through the link below. The additional fee required to participate in the Buyers Tour is $800.00 – this fee is in addition to the Museum Delivery Program fee. Please note that to participate in both programs will require two different trips to Bowling Green.

    Corvette Photo Album: The Corvette Photo Album Program is NOT part of the R8C Delivery Program or the Corvette Buyers’ Tour Program, however – we do offer a discount if both the Buyers’ Tour and Photo Album are purchased jointly.

    For additional questions regarding the “Buyers Tour” contact Museum Delivery Program Manager – Shane Webb at: [email protected] or call (800) 205-4248 / (270) 777-4505. Lori Bieschke is also available to assist. She can be reached at [email protected] or call (800) 205-4248 / (270) 467-8851.
    https://www.corvettemuseum.org/visit...s/buyers-tour/

    https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...xtra-qc-audits
    Last edited by John; 10-06-2018, 12:34 PM.
    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
    Thanks for posting this . Any idea why they would have such odd starting/stopping time at the plant & working 10.5 hours ?
    A thought if I might ...

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, I do. It takes the maintenance crew 12 minutes to start up the line. Due to union provisions, they would have more expensive night wages for that crew for the time between 5:48 AM and 6:00 AM, so starting 12 minutes labor saves GM money. Ergo, starting twelve minutes later, means ending 12 minutes later.

      And as to the extra thirty minutes, that is the unpaid lunch hour, with 10 hours of the line actually running.

      As as Paul Harvey would say, “now you know the rest of the story.”
      Last edited by John; 10-06-2018, 09:51 PM.
      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


      • #4
        This is concerning to me
        No Guarantee: It is the desire of the Museum and the Assembly Plant that your tour experience enables you to see your new Corvette during your visit, but we cannot guarantee this as part of the program. The National Corvette Museum and the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will not be responsible for any costs you incur for this tour whether you see your car or not. You will not be entitled to a refund if you do not see your car, but we do promise that you will receive a memorable tour of the Corvette Assembly Plant.
        Does this mean $ 800 for a Plant Tour if you cannot watch your car being built?
        Rocket City Florida- 2001 ZO6 - 2013 427 Vert - 2020 Stingray

        Comment


        • #5
          That is the way it was explained to me. They are not exactly sure when your car will be on the line. This is why we did the museum delivery instead.
          3LT Long Beach Red , Z51, FE4 , ZZ3, Black interior ,38S red stitching, Q8T, FA5, ER1, CFX, and R8C

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          • #6
            In the last five years of the program, way over 99% saw their actual car be made. That is the typical legal disclaimer. For example, what if one of the robots damaged your frame. I will take my chances and definitively get my third Buyers Tour
            Last edited by John; 10-07-2018, 11:54 AM.
            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


            • #7
              I will do the tour it if the production schedules happen before I get longer teeth. Charlie aka cutnout

              Comment


              • #8
                My belief is that public tours will resume before the 2019 National Corvette Caravan arrives in Bowling Green (August 25th).

                I believe that the Buyers Tours will be in place by about then, if not by first customer cars being shipped in September.

                Of course, we have no definitive information now, just hopes and beliefs.
                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


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Frenzy36 View Post
                  This is concerning to me

                  Does this mean $ 800 for a Plant Tour if you cannot watch your car being built?
                  The buyers tour is much more extensive than the regular plant tour (from what one owner who took it has said). I'm sure if something gets screwed up you'll still get the more in depth tour, but just not see your car. In all the forum posts I've read over the last several years, I've never seen one from someone who paid for the buyers tour and didn't see their car. I think it will, however, depend on how flexible you are. If your car is scheduled for build on February 31st , and a problem with the line causes it to be delayed for a couple of days, it's your choice whether to spend an extra day in bowling green or not.

                  My only real regret with my Corvette purchase is that I didn't do the buyers tour. I was working, and pretty busy, and felt like I could take the time off. In retrospect, I should have said "Sorry guys, I'm going to be gone for a few days."
                  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


                  • #10
                    meyerweb’s comments are spot on. I used the experience to meet friends in BG, to go to Mammoth Caves, tour the countryside, and to go visit/consult with [email protected] 70 miles away who was going to later do my hood liner, listen to a great local band, and more. I consequently arrived in town four days in advance of my Buyers Tour, and as it actually happened within a couple of hours as it was originally scheduled, left two days afterward.

                    i will do so again — in a Corvette Heartbeat!

                    The Buyers Tour, along with attending the 1.13.13 Reveal, and along with Spring Mountain, the three best experiences of my C7 life!
                    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


                    • #11
                      The buyers tour is the next best thing, next to being handed the keys to your new Corvette. Officials often list safety and scheduling issues as reasons for the Buyer Tours being "temporarily unavailable" announcement. Allegedly, foot traffic flow, even for employees, can have safety perils. Also, the uncertainty of when the car is coming down the line is problematic. All you have to do to get a smirk and a half-smile from an official during this discussion is ask, "could the reason be that C8s might be visible somewhere in the plant". But, then the conversation quickly moves back to safety and scheduling. I am guessing that as soon as a ME C8 shows up on a turntable carousel for public viewing the "temporarily unavailable" notice will disappear for the Buyers Tour.

                      Comment

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