• Sep 15th 2008 at 9:01AM
  • 40


Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Corvette ZR1

It's been more than a decade since the "recession-proof" Chevrolet Corvette had to endure a production cut due to excess dealer inventory, but that's apparently the case once again. Citing slow sales related to the ongoing automotive recession, GM will turn off the Corvette's factory lights during the week of October 6th. When Vette assembly resumes the following week, production will be scaled back to 15 cars per hour (normal speed is 18.5 cars per hour). Unfortunately, GM says layoffs will accompany the new schedule at the Bowling Green facility, with up to 75 workers losing their jobs. While surprising, the news isn't entirely unexpected. Corvette sales were down 8.5 percent for the year through August of 2008. They only rebounded after GM included the model in its employee pricing sale... and we all know a shot in the arm like that won't hold out over time.



[Source: Automotive News]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      The Bawhb
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hmmm..Why, can a small company, namely Tesla Motors ( www.teslamotors.com ) produce a Electric Sports car with plenty of "get up and go" (granted it's not as cost effective as GM can produce.) but, the concept is there.
      It is that GM, Ford, and Chrysler are in bed with the oil companies, and bigger is better...
      NO WHERE IN THE CONTENITAL UNITED STATES can you LEAGALLY drive faster than 80 MPH so what is the point? The EV-1 was the future; it was drowned in crude oil!
      • 7 Years Ago
      There are some good deals to be had on 2008 and 2009 Vettes out there. They're knocking over 10k off the price on Z06's.

      I saw a Vette similarly equipped to mine for around 43-44k. If they also had some lower finance percentage I'd trade my 2005 in a heartbeat for a new one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @Big...good point on Porsche. I wonder what the breakdown would be broken out by Cayman/Boxster, Cayenne, and 911 series.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Demand for sports cars is much more elastic than the demand for most other vehicles.

      Corvette may or may not be a bargain at $40-50k. What determines that is if people have 40-50k to spend on that.

      The costs of groceries, fuel, and every other good and service in this economy is up, and the future outlook is uncertain, especially as economics relates to government policies and politics.

      With everything getting tighter, new cars are being postponed. Not only that but what new cars are selling, the buyers think twice about luxury items, like a two seat sports car more often than a more utilitarian vehicle, even just a practical sedan.

      Credit is getting scarcer. Income is flat. Expenses are up, interest and investments are down, and overall employment is decreasing, not increasing. Not great for luxury items, especially for "middle class" luxury items, where budget changes make or break discretionary spending decisions.

      Richer people have much more of a comfort margin built in, and can decide "how much" more often than "yes or no", based on economic factors. But the people who buy corvettes may very well be holding off, keeping what they have, or battening down the hatches for the economics going on right now.

      And if GM wants to sell more cars, Corvettes or otherwise... They might want to not ask good ol' Uncle Sam for 25 Billion of our dollars from the tax man, and maybe sell us good stuff to earn that much money directly.

      I don't work for GM, I don't want my wages going to them, unless I am buying one of their products. If I do my job to feed my family and pay my taxes, I don't want my taxes paying GM outside of my choice. That would mean I am working to pay GM without my consent.

      I am already doing that for Bear Stearns, Fannie, Freddie, and a lot of people who are sitting on the dole. Meanwhile several people I know are struggling a lot, but since they have an income above zero, they can't get government assistance until they quit working entirely. But yet, I pay taxes for those programs, at the expense of my ability to be charitable, and help them myself.

      GM, and everybody else needs to take care of their business. THAT IS ALL, no frakkin' bailouts. And the government needs to deny them, so that they can leave me to MY business.

      I don't get a bail out. I have to pay my growing bills on my not-growing income. GM can do the same, or go out of business. That is that.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You do realize that if GM, or Ford, or Chrysler, could re-pay a 25 billion dollar loan (EACH), that banks would lend to them in order to make some big interest money, and they wouldn't have to stick it to the tax payers, when they almost inevitably default on it, right?

        good loans don't go to the government, they go to private banks. Only bad loans require government guarantees. Have Fannie and Freddie not taught you anything? Bear Stearns? Chrysler's two or three past bail outs that they didn't really have to pay back?

        This is socialization of capital losses. Nothing more.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You do realize it's a loan right?
      doczoomer
      • 7 Years Ago
      What about the greedy unions, no wonder we send all our manufacturing overseas. If you only knew what these people make and the bennies they get, no wonder the car companies are struggling. Greedy
      Ronald K. Johnson
      • 7 Years Ago
      I own a 2002 CORVETTE and average 25 miles per gallon. It is a BASE 6-sp (350). I dont think a bailout or loan should be done. What did GM do with $5000 profit on the thousnds of SUV sold in the last few years?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Vette used to be the poor man's sports car, they probably should have kept to that way of thinking, maybe even offering a smaller engine.
        • 7 Years Ago
        This is probably going to sound weird, but the Camaro is not a sports car. They're all "performance" type vehicles, but the Mustang, Camaro, Challenger, Charger....etc. belong to the "muscle" or "pony" cars, they don't exactly fit the definition of a true sports car.. like models from companies like Ferrari, Porsche, Lotus, TVR, Shelby, McLauren...etc. Corvette performance/configuration was close to that of cars that cost 2-3 times as much, that's why it was known as the "poor man's" sports car.
        This is not any type of hardcore rule, so much advancement as blurred the lines between all these categories anyway. It's just nice to note that cars like the Viper, Corvette, Z4, MX5, GT, Cobras....etc. retain the same qualities that defined what a true sports car was back in the day.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Camaro comes out in a few months. It's always been the true poor-man's sports car (at least from GM), and now with independent rear suspension, it'll be even more so.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Say what you may about GM but I would be very disappointed that the the Zo6, what i consider a world beater is going away. GM did a great job of creating a true super car that us middle class schlubs can afford.

      Corvette = American Tradition

      Please don't sell it to the reds.
        • 7 Years Ago
        No, it's a sports car. Your definition is just wrong.
        Protip: An over priced limited production super car that can only be driven by a handful of people is not the only definition of a sports car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wahhhhh....we need a bail out.
      Wahhhhh.....Toyota is so not fair.
      Wahhhhhh....gas prices are killing us.

      GM deserves what it gets. Dolts.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What does Toyota have to do with GM slowing down Vette production because of a difficult market situation?

        Seriously, Toyota is not much competition for anyone (even Honduh) in the RWD sports car market... and Honduh makes the S2000... LOL
        • 7 Years Ago
        It is true that a bailout would not help or even change this situation.

        Those employees are getting laid off regardless. If the demand is not there on the dealer lots, then there is no reason to maintain production levels.

        Its the same all over the company. Don't anyone pretend that a bailout can keep people from getting laid off. Its a nice thought, but not realistic.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes I'd much rather that v8 RWD sportscar that toyota offer.....
        • 7 Years Ago
        Dolts? Care to explain your theory?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, the LS460 is so totally able to thrash the Vettes around the 'Ring! 9 minutes FTW!

        Actually now I really feel like finding out how fast it laps the 'Ring, just for fun, real fun XD
      VETKID
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'M AN AMERICAN.I'VE OWNED A CORVETTE SENCE I WAS 16 I'M 58 NOW.I'LL NEVER BUY A RICE BURNNER.KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK GM.
      r
      • 7 Years Ago
      another hummer, prices will come dowm tho
      • 7 Years Ago
      My theory: base Corvettes are obtainable by the middle class by stretching the finances. I have been guilty of this in the past regarding the purchase of a new Vette. With economic conditions being what they are, that scenario is totally out. I would assume Porsche and Ferrari would not be so adversely affected as I expect their core customer to be less economically sensitive. I would love to own a 911 or 430, but I know the Vette would be the purchase for me...in a stronger economy anyway. Okay, have at me!
        neil sorenson
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not exactly true, I have a c6 convert and am in the upper middle class as you put it. I also work for a Porsche store and business is really slow at this level. You can purchase right now at near dead cost, and the cheap rich people are taking advantage of it. Most people are buying family cars at the moment until the financial market changes.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Porsche sales tanked in August. Something like 45% down year-on-year.

        http://www.autoblog.com/2008/09/03/by-the-numbers-august-2008-new-digs-edition

        I think the Cayman, Boxter, and Carrera are very similar to what you describe the Corvette as: a stretch for the upper-middle class.

        Ferrari doesn't show up in these reports. Either they're too small or feel they are above reporting on AB (joke).
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ferrari have such a brand that they are above economic changes, and despite all the doom and gloom, they continue to "sell every car they make, and make a profit on every car they sell". And anyways, their waiting list is a couple of years long.
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