• Oct 25, 2008

Tom Wallace, Corvette Chief at GM, will be retiring from the company at the end of the month. The news was delivered during an event at the Peterson Museum honoring Corvette history. While no reasons were given for the November 1st departure, there is speculation that it could be related to the timing of the seventh-generation Corvette. Wallace may be unwilling to commit to the vehicle's extended launch schedule -- the car was originally set for a 2012 model-year release, but it has reportedly been pushed back to 2014. Wallace was known for his keen grasp of performance-car culture and a passion for the marque, and his departure has come as a shock to many.

[Source: Corvette Action Center]



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  • 17 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Shortest tenure for this position ever. Not a good sign for those of us who love the "plastic fantastic".
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is an age & pay thing that has become a corporate America staple. Guys like Wallace make to much $$$ in a bean counter's view.

        GM is obviously in financial Hell... all of the former Big 3 & its suppliers have been giving "packages" to their older employees & that includes the managers & mid level executives. WHY? They want (& can afford) to keep their younger employees.

        How the corporate lawyers don't cross age discrimination laws is beyond me... many of these enhanced deals are offered once & with the hint of "one time only". You almost have to take it because they are hinting you "retire" with a deal or just leave with a pink slip (& nothing) in the next round of layoffs.
      yo, Funk Master
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is it really a surprise to anyone? The ZR1 is his swansong and he is done.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @yo, Funk Master
        He only started at the beginning of 2006, so we're looking at three years. The last chief engineer, Dave Hill, was around from 1993 to 2005 (13 years). Before that, Dave McLellan had the job from 1975 to 1992 (18 years). Than, of course, there was Zora.

        Way too short...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thanks, Tom, for all your work:)

      Moving along I see the immediate future in Corvette land. IMHO there is a hge need to extend Corvette sales and maximise the return to GM for the sake of the future of the brand.
      I expect the next announcement fdrom Corvette to be that a 2009 launch of a 330HP V6 powered Corvette for say $37.5K! Sure the purists will complain but can one imagine how many Corvette would sell and that means extra PROFIT and an ensured future. The V6 car would likely get 0-60 in say 5.2 seconds and be sold in one color only to differentiate the model. It would also drop weight by maybe 100lbs so would have fabulous handling.

      Tom, probably was disheartened that the C7 was delayed and likely upset by the new V6 model. That's life and let's move on and make the brand more stable and profitable.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Using a V6 is pointless! 100 pounds weight savings (estimated) & a HP reduction? IMO not worth bastardizing the brand & 37K is not exactly entry level.

        Plus don't save that much adding complexity (the V6 option) to the Bowling Green plant. I had a friend who priced a Vette with low frills & the Z51 suspension package... used the GM employee discount & the price was about 42K.

        99.9% of potential Corvette buyers would pay 5K for the V8 model (& get the Chevy "halo" car the way it was intended...)
      • 6 Years Ago
      out with the old, in with the new I say

      from 2006 - he barely did anything for the Vette. He didn't have time to get adjusted to the position adn boom he's gone
      • 6 Years Ago
      Your welcome for the tip Autoblog sent this in yesterday morning.
      • 6 Years Ago
      There is no question the Corvette, which I have owned many times, is a one of the finest cars in the world. It is just too bad the current C is so unattractive. I know they could do a lot better job. When I sit in a new one, I get the same feeling I had when I sat in an old 280Z. The interior sucks. Good riddance to anyone who made those decisions.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Agree the interior is far from world class... but the exterior unattractive? The C6 is a refreshed C5. Do you think the C4 is aging well?

        IMO the C6 line up (including the Z06 & the ZR1) are good looking cars & if the economy was better I would be telling my GM friends I want to use their employee discount to buy one.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Maybe he knows something you all don't. Maybe the Corvette's end is on the horizon? Truth be told, cars like this do not have a place in today's and the near future economy. The vette, viper, etc. will have to change with the time's or go away. After all, the v-8 engine will soon be history and CAFE standard's will rise significantly, with the help of a progressive congress, making these cars a memory. It's just time. Move on.
        • 6 Years Ago
        dj,

        GM's pushrod V8's are no more fuel thirsty than many 6 cylinder engines of equivalent (usually less) power. You're just getting hung up on how many cylinders it has.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure he'd have gotten his ZR1 by that date :)

      He's done an awesome job, producing some of the most awesome cars anywhere, well done.
        • 6 Years Ago
        He has done a good job, but i think there's more, he could have tone a tad more to make Corvette a clear winner in affordable super car segment.
        • 6 Years Ago
        He could have done MORE to make the Corvette a clear winner in the "affordable" super car market????

        Are you freakin' NUTS????? Name a less expensive car with Corvette numbers. You can get a Z51 pkg. for about 50K The Z06 is 70K & the ZR1 is 105K... if the dealers jack the ZR1... that's not Wallace's job issue.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Wallace was known for his keen grasp of performance-car culture and a passion for the marque" .... Too much passion for the brand is what killed the careers of many in this industry. Corporate types do not appreciate enthusiasm and faith. To them the auto business is no different than the tampon or toothpaste business.
      Show some passion and knowledge and you will soon find yourself retired or transferred to some industrial toxic waste dump in Eastern China to oversee the production of engine components even if you have no engineering background.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Alright AZZO45b, you got me. Please understand, I love Corvettes. I get weak whenever I see an old one driving by. The new Corvette, excluding the fantastic ZR1, is a car that is driven by either sales men or older men. The headlights do not look right on a Corvette. They need to re-do the Corvette into a car for performance enthusiasts who appreciate the car for the way the engine sounds, rather than how good a sound system it has. It should not be a Caddy, it should be bones bare sports car. When I see an owner of a Corvette, I would rather see a person in a greasy t-shirt than a suit. I want it to be a car that when you see it go by you think, "Wow, I wish I was that guy!" (I have to admit, if I saw a ZR1 go by, I would drool too.) When I notice one now, the first thing I think of is, "it must be a sales man". I want it to regain the time when a young kid dreamed of the day he was going to buy his first Corvette. To answer the C4 question, when the '84 came out, I about puked. They did improve it through the years, and it looked better than any other American car of the mid seventies. As for the posts stating the demise of the Corvette, when I was buying a '72 the dealer told me he heard though his network this was close to the end of the car. Bull!! The Corvette is the heart and soul of Chevrolet, and it will not be discontinued. Enough ranting and raving! I wish a Corvette to the best of you.
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