Perhaps my biggest concern about the C7 is the cluttered styling and I am not just talking about the rear of the car. I’m talking about the black ?B? pillar, the rear quarter windows and the black intake/vent trim scattered all over the body. All of those black trimmed vents and intakes reminds me of a high style ?rice burner?. It looks to me as if the car has given up some of its ?Corvette? roots to try and be ‘something? it is not. What is that nebulous ‘something? that the C7 is trying to be, that ‘something? which apparently has infringed on the unique Corvette character and personality? It is the attempt by the designers to make the Corvette a ?Global? car. Understand that it is not my contention that the C7 has totally lost its inimitability, its individuality, but rather the stylists of the new generation Corvette have compromised it, under the pressure inside GM to make the Corvette a ?global? product. And that is the crux of the problem ? how do you make the purely American Corvette a Global Car without compromising or giving up some of its purely American characteristics? Characteristics that have made the Corvette so appealing?
Believe me, I understand the importance of competing and doing business in a global economy. I was a business executive for thirty five years and I understand the pressures and the squeeze on profitability. I understand the need to broaden and expand a product’s market. And I understand the importance of the global market for GM. Two out of three products will be sold in other countries. And GM is committed to turning the Corvette into a ?global car?, clearly demonstrated by the unveiling of the C7 convertible at the Geneva Motor Show. But the Corvette is accepted in other markets in its current uniquely American configuration. So the need for GM to compromise its American styling is unnecessary. And realistically the success of GM certainly does not rest on selling a few more Corvettes overseas, it doesn’t flicker the needle.
Already GM has one of the best selections of outstanding global automobiles in the world. And it is with those products, not the Corvette, that GM will succeed or fail, with cars like the Chevy Cruze which sold over 775.000 units last year and the new Cadillac ATS, recently crowned ?North American Car of the Year?. To put it in perspective, Chevrolet built and sold fewer than 14,000 Corvettes in 2012 while Toyota sold more than 65,000 of its ?global? Prius in the state of California alone. But the Corvette is admittedly Chevrolet’s Halo car, formerly the Heartbeat of Chevrolet and America, and it didn’t become the King of the Hill by compromising the styling to satisfy other countries, just to be labeled a ?global car? and sell a few hundred more units, for God’s sake. But the new mantra at GM is ?Global?, even to the point of replacing ?Runs Deep? with ?Finding New Roads?. And in the corporate world you either get on the bandwagon or you’ll be finding new roads.