Enthusiasts How GM’s Bankruptcy Saved the Corvette

18:03  06 july  2018
18:03  06 july  2018 Source:   roadandtrack.com

The Early Designs For The C4 Corvette Look Unforgivably Incredible

  The Early Designs For The C4 Corvette Look Unforgivably Incredible When the third-generation Corvette came out in the late ‘60s, it was a huge departure for the kind of car that it was, a major design departure. When it came time to replace that car all the way in the early ‘80s, there was a huge question about how radical that new design would be. And that meant that there were all kinds of weird alternate proposals that never made it. © Photo: Car Styling MagazineThe story of the C4 Corvette, as it debuted in the early 1980s, was a bit of a weird one. The issue I have of Car Styling that goes over its whole design development starts with the Wankel-engine Four Rotor concept of the early ‘70s.

Jay Alix engineered the plan that saved General Motors . Below, he tells his story for the first time. I knew Wagoner believed GM could not survive a bankruptcy . Studies showed consumer confidence would crash. No one would buy a car from a company that was bankrupt .

With the fourth-generation C4 selling poorly and General Motors flirting with bankruptcy , the company’ s brass had reluctantly canceled the next-gen C5 program to Spielman then asked Russ McLean, director of manufacturing for GM in Mexico, to return to the States to “ save the Corvette .”

In 2008, GM cancelled the Corvette in an effort to save money. But the automaker's 2009 bankruptcy actually helped launch the C7, the best Corvette ever.: How GM’s Bankruptcy Saved the Corvette© DW Burnett/Puppyknuckles How GM’s Bankruptcy Saved the Corvette

It's hard to imagine a world without the Chevrolet Corvette, but that almost became a reality as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. In early 2008, GM was buckling down, looking at ways to save money. As Car and Driver explains in this excellent story, development of a new C7-generation Corvette was cancelled at this time, despite the best efforts of then-GM product-chief Bob Lutz. But when GM declared bankruptcy in 2009, the Corvette was saved.

Video: 2020 Chevy Corvette C8 Testing at Racetrack (provided by Autoblog)

Tadge Juechter, chief engineer of the Corvette, told Car and Driverabout a conversation, after GM declared bankruptcy in 2009, that eventually led to the green light for the C7 Corvette program. As Car and Driver's Gary Witzenburg writes:

Corvette chosen to again pace Indy 500

  Corvette chosen to again pace Indy 500 2019 ZR1 to lead 33-car field to green flag in 102nd running of the race 1/8 SLIDES © Provided by Autofile 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Indianapolis 500 Official Pace Car 2/8 SLIDES © Provided by Autofile 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Indianapolis 500 Official Pace Car 3/8 SLIDES © Provided by Autofile 2018 Indianapolis 500 door graphics 4/8 SLIDES © Provided by Autofile 2017 Corvette Grand Sport Indy 500 Pace Car 5/8 SLIDES © N/A 2012 Corvette ZR1 Indy Pace Car 6/8 SLIDES © N/A 2014 Corvette Stingray Indy 500 Pace Car 7/8 SLIDES © Provided by Autofile 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Indianapol

With the fourth-generation C4 selling poorly and General Motors flirting with bankruptcy , the company’ s brass had reluctantly canceled the next-gen C5 program to Spielman then asked Russ McLean, director of manufacturing for GM in Mexico, to return to the States to “ save the Corvette .”

With the fourth-generation C4 selling poorly and General Motors flirting with bankruptcy , the company’ s brass had reluctantly canceled the next-gen C5 program to Spielman then asked Russ McLean, director of manufacturing for GM in Mexico, to return to the States to “ save the Corvette .”

Participating in a conference call one day with the "task force" put together by the U.S. Treasury Department to consolidate GM manufacturing operations, Juechter was planning to advocate passionately for Corvette and its small, special plant: "We went around the room introducing ourselves, and when I introduced myself as Corvette chief engineer, one consultant said, 'What can you tell me about C7'-the same question we were getting from our customers. I thought, 'Wow, this guy knows the lingo and wants to know about C7. He may get it.' They got into our books and saw that Corvette made money, so getting going on a new one was on the to-do list coming out of bankruptcy. It was spared as an extremely valuable brand that is known globally, and the Bowling Green assembly plant was also spared."

Up to this point, Juechter had been preparing for the worst, afraid that the Corvette brand and the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant would be sold for scrap. But with the approval of the Treasury Department, work on the C7 began, and Juechter and his team to go work building the best Corvette ever.

For more amazing, unknown Corvette stories-like how Chevrolet executives secretly borrowed money from other projects to make the C5 Corvette a reality-head over to Car and Driver.

Read more about the Corvette on MSN Autos

The Importance of the World's Only 1983 Corvette .
All C4 Corvettes built in 1983 were preproduction models, used for testing and then destroyed. But this one slipped through the cracks.One important aspect of that enthusiasm is that the NCM, unlike similar museums in Stuttgart and elsewhere, is not owned and operated by the manufacturer being honored within. It was the passion project of various people within the National Corvette Restorers Society, pursued on a bootstrap basis for over a decade before the necessary funding and assistance was secured.

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