Affirmation, clarification, smack-down refutation – that was the order of responses when the issue of a right-hand0drive C7 Corvette came up at the Detroit Auto Show. When an Australian news outlet asked General Motors CEO Dan Akerson whether the new Stingray would get an RHD version, he answered "yes" and "soon."

That same question was put to lead Corvette engineer Tadge Juechter, and he began by stating that they've been wanting Corvette to get to Australia and "Our plan is to make this a truly global car." He then clarified Akerson's answer with "It'll be years away rather than soon.

Nevertheless, even after Juechter's curb-your-enthusiasm answer and Holden chief Mike Devereaux's sidestepping the line of fire by offering no comment, the responses led to this headline in Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper: "Finally, iconic American sportscar, the Corvette, set for Australian showrooms."

Cue Tim Lee, GM's vice president of global manufacturing, president of its international operations and "the operating guy in charge." When the same query was put to him the day after it was put to Akerson, Lee said, "I have no idea what [Akerson] said but we have no plan to put a right-hand-drive under that bonnet. The Corvette is a Chevrolet, it's not a Holden, it never will be, next question." He added that there isn't even a plan for it, much less any engineering behind it.

His journalist questioners, sniffing blood in the contradiction, wouldn't let it go. After being led back to the subject of Akerson's "Yes" and Juechter's non-denial again and again, Lee finally said "This is a non-story from my point of view. You can write what you want to write, I really don't give a [expletive]. But it is not in the mainstream plan."

So there you have... something. The Brits and Japanese will get the new Corvette because it's legal to drive left-hand drive cars in those countries. For you Aussies, the 60-year wait continues.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 83 Comments
      icemilkcoffee
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dan Ackerson was a mistake from the beginning. It's time to fire this loser.
        mbukukanyau
        • 2 Years Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        The problem is GM letting folks who have no business talking to the Media run their mouths. What is Chevrolet Marketing and PR thinking?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        • 2 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          Ian
          • 2 Years Ago
          Makes no sense as Australia doesn't get that either.
        Al
        • 2 Years Ago
        Not really.
      SideWayz8
      • 2 Years Ago
      Three guys under the same brand with three different answers.
      m_2012
      • 2 Years Ago
      Talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing! I guess when you have thousands of people "in charge", this is what happens.
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Hi, left hand, I don't know what your doing", said right hand.
        Gorgenapper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        "Hey left foot, do YOU know what you're doing?" said right earlobe, "'cuz I sure as hell don't."
      Spartan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Where I work, you get fired for stuff like that.
      nettsu
      • 2 Years Ago
      Tim Lee comes across as a bit of a jerk... There will be corvettes here - done as private imports/conversions and cost in excess of $250k.
        Brodz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nettsu
        Yeah but who wants those? The conversion costs are ridiculous. Not as ridiculous as the governments Luxury Car Tax that get's slapped on top. At least Ford will be here with the Mustang. But to us Aussies, sports cars have four doors, because they always have and they're more practical. (But those days are changing now thanks to national affluence, everyone can own their own coupe.) Just promise to continue making a performance car here GM, and all is forgiven. (i.e Commodore with LS engine)
      GT
      • 2 Years Ago
      If this is a world car then it should LHD and RHD from the start, no discussion. If every mainstream Ferrari and Lamborghini can be built in RHD then sure as hell so can Corvette (and Camaro). Australian LOVE Corvettes, you see old ones everywhere and even recent model Corvettes and Camaros occasionally that have been converted to RHD and therefore sold with a 100% markup. Why are we still having this conversation? Just do it!
      lazybeans
      • 2 Years Ago
      wow..somebody needs to STFU. This is comical.
      Al
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, Time Lee is a jerk. He should never be allowed to speak in public ever again.
      Karfreek
      • 2 Years Ago
      This article pretty much spells out the lack of leadership, direction and vision at GM. It is because of these lacks that you get things like the 2013 Malibu, 2014 Silverado and that Buick think that looks like something a Pokemon would drive. They still have not figured it out yet at the Ren Center.
      Nowuries
      • 2 Years Ago
      Chevy is an idiot for not making this work. The Aussie market is ripe for a good sportscar, they are willing to pay more for it, and if Chevy is going to make this a global car they need to do just that.
        Ducman69
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nowuries
        Look at the interior. Not only would they have to go through the millions investment in crash testing and emissions testing and all that jazz for the vehicle for the Australian market, they would have to completely redesign the interior. That is a lot of reengineering and a lot of new parts that would have to be reproduced. Seems a lot easier to just get Ozzies to drive on the RIGHT side of the road. Right is synonymous with Correct for a reason.
          johnnythemoney
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ducman69
          Re-engineering? I don't mean that mirrored interior would do just fine, but in all likely it can be done with relative ease. There is no reason to believe what's presently housed on the right can't be moved to the left. Heck, if Ferrari and the likes can for 10 times less cars, why can't GM do it? It would definitely cost something to do it, but it's not like putting the engine on the rear end. Also, they would sell much more cars in all RHD countries, or do you really think all UK enthusiasts are willing to buy a car that offers zero visibility when overtaking, or with all controls on the opposite side of their other cars?!
          rsxvue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ducman69
          @Ducman - are AU standards that strict? I was under the impression that the US had some of the strictest (if not the most) crash standards and that's why we sometimes don't get performance cars that overseas markets do -- such as the M3 GTS. Or are you talking about quality of the interior?
          Neil
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ducman69
          @ducman Here in the UK we drive Right hand drive cars, as opposed to Wrong hand drive ones;) @rsxvue. It's not that the ADR (Australian Design Rules) are more or less strict than the US FMVSS. Its partly that they are different, so unless the car was designed from the start to meet both some parts will have to change. And its partly that a RHD car is a different car to the LHD one legally, so all the crash tests have to be repeated to prove the RHD car is legal. To everyone, remember that the Corvette is a relatively inexpensive supercar. If GM were to build a RHD version, the costs of that version, due to the much lower volumes, would be much higher. That means that the price starts to match the likes of McLaren and Ferrari, rather than BMW and Audi. If the costs were the same, unless you were a die-hard Chevrolet fan (and those are very rare outside North America - remember here in the UK Chevrolet is just the new name for Daewoo), would you buy the Corvette? The business case might stack up, or it might not, but I wouldn't do it unless I was sure it did stack up.
          Ian
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ducman69
          There is a company in Australia who does the conversions on many US cars. And they will do this one. The downside is it is very expensive by the time it's done. I would expect this to cost over $200k in Australia.
        flat l
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nowuries
        No kidding. From what I've seen, many auto brands will just double the US price when they sell to the AU market. If the CEO of a company wants something done, it will usually get done. It won't be that big of a deal to change the interior and make the necessary mechanical changes for RHD. Making sure that it meets all the regulations may be another story.
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