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Old 03-08-2018, 05:19 PM   #41  
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If you add up the sales for all the competition in the US: 911 (8,500 units), 488 (1,200), NSX (600), 570 & 750 (1050), and Lamborghini (1100), Ford GT (250), R8 (750) and Nissan GT-R (550) you are at 14,000 cars total - if they take 50% of that market, which is beyond doubtful, that is only 7,000 units. If GM's plan is to abandon the current 30,000+ people who buy C7's every year for that 7,000 (or much less) in conquest sales, it is a foolish endeavor.
This theory alone should convince even the most unbelieving that the BG plant is bent on the manufacture of several models!
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:02 AM   #42  
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For which they receive a hand built race car, not that bad a deal if you have the money.

GM will be building a normal, high volume production car. Remember the Fiero economy car. There is no reason why the base C8 has to cost over 90K and it will probably cost much less. Remember, the immediate initial competition, i.e. Boxster and Cayman, list for less.
Ah, that was just a little tongue in cheek about the Blue Oval. The GT is certainly a beautiful and highly advanced machine.

I just see the mid engine car having anything "base" about it. The way I see it is that after all these decades, if they are really, finally, going to actually produce a mid engine Corvette, it had better be something really special. That's why I think it is going be a halo type car, better than the ZR1 and probably priced similar. They're still going to make the "traditional" Corvette as we know it.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:38 AM   #43  
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Ah, that was just a little tongue in cheek about the Blue Oval. The GT is certainly a beautiful and highly advanced machine.

I just see the mid engine car having anything "base" about it. The way I see it is that after all these decades, if they are really, finally, going to actually produce a mid engine Corvette, it had better be something really special. That's why I think it is going be a halo type car, better than the ZR1 and probably priced similar. They're still going to make the "traditional" Corvette as we know it.
Well then perhaps the strategy is to initially introduce the ME on top of the food chain to begin w, leaving the FE as a more entry level and enhanced performance platform for a few years. Although to me that pretty much runs counter to GMs long held tradition w Corvette or many other models, ie rollout out of base car and extend model life thru series of upgrades.
Frankly, I think GM is counting on the fact that there will remain a hardcore population of Vette owners that won’t give up the FE so easily, especially if ZR1 performance trickles down, while the ME brings in another population of buyer interested in a more sophisticated platform, more exotic engine configurations and very likely a younger profile buyer.
GM may pull off what Harley Davidson did not.
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:45 AM   #44  
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I wouldn’t give this mid engine concept to the youthful denizens just yet. Certainly the cost of the beast will be a major determining factor!
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Old 03-09-2018, 10:33 AM   #45  
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I wouldn’t give this mid engine concept to the youthful denizens just yet. Certainly the cost of the beast will be a major determining factor!
I don’t know why u wouldn’t. Go to any 1/2mile event, and the young critters are the ones driving the R8s, Gallardos, and even 458s.
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Old 03-09-2018, 05:38 PM   #46  
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Have any of you guys followed the high end audio disc player / DAC market as of late ? Used to be two markets for CD / Blu-Ray players. One for Everyman and one for the Cogniscenti who wanted nothing but the best. Everyman could walk into Walmart and buy a pretty decent player for a couple hundred bucks. The people who wanted something better bought a custom rig like Ayre or McIntosh and paid $5k+. For the price they got better sound, better quality and more functionality like streaming, USB DAC inputs, etc. Think of the Walmart brand as Ford. Think of the McIntosh brand as Ferrari.

Then along came a bunch of really smart dudes in Silicon Valley with mfg. partners from the computer biz in China. They started Oppo Digital and produced to models which provided McIntosh sound and quality at (close to) Walmart prices. In the space of three years they literally wiped out the high end Blu-ray player market, to the extent that the rest high end audio biz is concentrating on either streaming DACs or analog turntables.

Chevy’s next play in the sports car market is to become Oppo Digital. Oppo’s approach was to challenge a $5K McIntosh machine with a $1300 Oppo UDP-205 which better built has better chips and has more features than McIntosh can even design. Oppo is killing everyone else in this market. Chevy will do the same with a $75K ME sports car that will be better than a Ferrari 488. Capitalism requires a killer instinct, and Juechter and his team have it.
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Old 03-09-2018, 07:30 PM   #47  
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Bowling Green assembly plant didn't increase in size to almost 1.4 million square feet of surface space to build just one line. There will be the existing line for the front engined car and another line for the mid engined cars. As has been speculated, there is a possibility of a mid engined variant of the Zora for Cadillac which has ironically already been indicated by the head of Cadillac. There's a reason why no tours are being allowed at the Corvette plant for the next year. They are getting both FE and ME lines up and running.

http://kyautoindustry.com/general-mo...ssembly-plant/
http://www.automobilemag.com/news/bo...urs-18-months/
Interesting postulations, some totally correct, but others wrong on a couple of critical items, most notably that the capacity of BGA is now limited by its new paint shop. As Plant Manager Kai Spande said (available in videos on this forum thanks to Jag and also on YouTube), we have “rightsized production for an entire generation.” He also told us, that our new BGA capacity as a result of last Fall’s complete wall-to-wall redo, has been reduced from 40,500 units annually to 33,000 units and that is at paint shop ‘firewall’ capacity. Again, the new paint shops are the production limiter — at now just 14.0 units/hour even with total overtime.

Summary: Prior to the 13 week shut down, the Plant was able to produce 17.2 units/hour, yet now typically runs at 11.6 units/hour, and even with overtime, at max paint shop firewall overtime capacity, total capacity is now reduced to 14.0 units/hr.

There will be one assembly line with the capability to run both FE’s and ME’s. Building a second or third or even fourth one does not get increased capacity — again due to the Paint shop. Critical we all hear what Kai said:

”We have rightsized production capacity for an entire Corvette generation!”.

No longer will GM waste millions with massive overtime for too long in the intro years of a new gen, then have massive unsold oversupply the last few years of it.

Paint shop facts:

1) The old paint shop is soon to be disassembled. It’s paint ovens were only 40’ long and as result to cure the paint, the temperature inside was 275 degrees — which as Kai has pointed out, that heat could cause the resins, plastics and other materials which make up our sheet mounded compound (SMC) body panels to contribute to both orange peel and waviness.

2) The new paint shop’s paint ovens are 120’ long — and thus take up three times the floor space as did the old paint shop ovens. As they are much longer, they thus totally cure the paint at approximately 100 degrees less (roughly 165-170 degrees inside them). This lower temperature causes less bubbling of the resins, plastics and other SMC components — leading to straighter panels and less orange peel. [Ask Mike Furman how he feels about the Nov. 1 and since paint jobs. In short, he confirms that body panels are less wavy, and paint jobs are so much better.]

Last edited by elegant; 03-09-2018 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 03-09-2018, 08:27 PM   #48  
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Excellent info Elegant John. I don't remember anything being said about the line being capable to run FE and ME through when I watched that Kai Spande video. It doesn't make sense that they would intermingle the different parts for completely different models on the same line. That seems like that would be a logistical nightmare. I've been to Aston Martin in Gaydon, England, Lamborghini in Santa Agata, And Ferrari in Maranello, and all had dedicated lines for their different models. I enjoyed that video and maybe I'll watch that again. Thanks
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:00 AM   #49  
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I always appreciate tradition and history, so my take is as follows:

The Corvette has always been a front-engine, RWD, two seat GT. It is also very capable at being a sports car, but IMO the size for both passengers and cargo, as well as the power levels have made it more of a GT (compared to an "old fashioned" sports car like a Miata, S2000, RX7, and the small British version some of those were based on).

I hope GM knows that there is a large group who likes the practicality of the Vette and its relatively large rear hatch. I hope the Vette always has a front engine, RWD version.

Porsche was smart enough to never kill off the 911 even when they started making 924, 928, 944, Boxster, Cayman, etc. They are all sports/GT cars of various types, but none were a 911.

Therefore, when GM releases a mid-engined "Vette", I'm not sure how strongly they will attach the Vette name to the car. And even if it is still marketed as a Vette, I believe they will continue to make the traditional front engine, RWD version. IMO, a mid-engine Vette really isn't a Corvette anymore, since you've given up much of the practicality that makes a Vette such a great car and changed the intent of the vehicle into something different. It should therefore have a different name, or at least a designation that distances itself from the traditional version.

That said, since I already have a relatively practical Mustang, I'd totally be wanting to get the mid-engine version, practicality be damned, no matter what it ends up being called.

-T

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Old 03-10-2018, 03:39 AM   #50  
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Unless GM has decided to not give up on the FE Vette, we should expect several different variations of the ME (as traditional for the brand).
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:07 AM   #51  
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THe c8 rear mid engine spy shots we have seen clearly appears to be a standard z51 at most ..

This rear mid engine we have seen just shouts standard corvette.

I'm sure a wider body z06 model will appear with a more aggressive stance in the following years...

Imagine c6 and c7 standard variants and then look at the higher performance z06 versions that roll out the following years.
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Old 03-10-2018, 11:15 AM   #52  
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Excellent info Elegant John. I don't remember anything being said about the line being capable to run FE and ME through when I watched that Kai Spande video. It doesn't make sense that they would intermingle the different parts for completely different models on the same line. That seems like that would be a logistical nightmare.
Your memory is excellent. Kai did not say that, nor has anyone else. However, running a second line takes space. And while the old paint shop, once “removed and cleaned,” has approximately the same square footage as did the old, separate, XLR line, BGA has other intended uses for that space. One specific use is the greater expansion of the Performance Build Center — though I do not know whether the size of that expansion, and thus whether there be enough room for a second line.

Additionally, and most important, running two assembly lines costs a lot more than one just one. Essentially every function in assembly a car would need two workers (one on the FE line and one on the ME line). I am not seeing that in any of the expansion proposals, which include the “number of additional employees” necessary for local and state tax breaks — all of which have been announced, that there is anywhere a statement that the Plan is addition 250+ more employees. True, while almost all sports car factories run separate lines for FE’s and ME’s, I believe GM has figured out how to do the assembly on one line.

As Kai said, before the 13 week shutdown last fall, when all the changes (the complete interior gutting and replacing with new equipment) is done, we will have like other GM facilities, the ability to produce multiple vehicles within the Plant.

Could that include running both the FE and th ME on the same line? There is no definitive answer at this time, but my belief is that GM has figured those out how to do exactly that, especially if the car is going to have an entry cost at the lower end of our guesses (around mid-to-upper $70,000’s).

I could be dead wrong on this one line versus two line issue, but I have yet to see a single fact that requires a second line, and the cost factor strongly leads to “one line if at all possible.”

I worked on an auto assembly line, and catch this, back to back, we ran 4X4’s, sedans (compacts and full sized), and next even medium duty trucks. True, every vehicle was an FE, but I believe it can and will be done — that this is an area in which GM has state-of-the-art expertise.

Does anyone have any facts that proove there will be a second/separate ME assembly line within BGA? If so, I would stand majorly corrected.

Last edited by elegant; 03-10-2018 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:13 PM   #53  
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Elegant John, Do these chassis's when suspended on the carrier have a mounting point or nodule to mate up to? I'm just wondering how that would affect the multiple use flexibility of more than one completely different model on a single line. Your knowledge on this is excellent! Thanks
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:22 PM   #54  
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One of the major changes brought about from last fall’s complete re-org, was that the bodies of vehicles are no longer carried from above, but now will travel with their suspensions compressed — using the wheel lugs as the carrying point. This new piece of equipment is called a skillet, and can be used equally for FE and ME assembly. Here is what it looks like:



Then toward the very end of the process, the body panels get placed on. The advantage, as Kai noted, is that now all body panels are attached with the suspension/chassis in its final, fully-loaded postion. As all chassis flex from unloaded to loaded positions, mounting panels onto a fully loaded, suspension-compressed chassis will allow for more precise, subsequent body panel alignment.

This is so crtical for our Corvettes, for the first panel that is attached to the car is what we used to call decades ago, a rocker panel. GM calls it an “aperture panel.” That panel is laser-porecison located as it is attached/glued into place. It then creates a fixed first point, from which all forward and rearward for further panels are placed/located on each side of the car. [We all remember when we walked down the assembly line, the workers constantly bringing out their small “spacers” which they used to locate each new panel the precise distance from the previous/affixed one.] Since all chassis move in the process of going from their unloaded to their fully-loaded/resting position, it makes so much just plain common sense that body panels are affixed in the new system to a fully compressed chassis. As is also “duh obvious” as Kai also noted, adding the body panels now at the end of the assembly process rather than fairly early on, lowers the risk of any damage to them and of course to their painted surfaces.

In hindsight, these two, major-assembly-process changes should have been made decades ago, but thankfully since the start of the 2nd batch 2018’s (roughly Nov., 1st), we have them in place now.

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Old 03-10-2018, 07:39 PM   #55  
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GM plans its major changes years in advance. Corvette colors for example are selected 3 to 4 years before they appear.

As we all know, GM was set to build a ME Corvette years ago — before its bankruptcy. Thus, they have had around a decade to consider all major forward changes. Do we not think that before every single piece of equpment and every tool was purchased for last fall’s 13 week “gut and replace” everything within the assembly part of the Plant, it was first evaluated not just in terms of how it would work best for the continuation of building FE Corvettes, but also “will that new hardware/system work outstanding well for the upcoming ME integration into the assembly line.”

Last edited by elegant; 03-10-2018 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:20 PM   #56  
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Great information Elegant John. That was a excellent explanation of the skillet. I can see that process could really make a huge difference in keeping tight precise gaps in the body panels. Great stuff!! I'm going to add this manufacturing process technique to the List.

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Old 03-10-2018, 10:38 PM   #57  
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Is there any info-patents on new body panel materials or advancements?


Maybe they should go green and start using the Soy and Hemp based molded panels ?


...would make "overheating" issues much more tolerable!
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Old 03-11-2018, 06:52 PM   #58  
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Great information Elegant John. That was a excellent explanation of the skillet. I can see that process could really make a huge difference in keeping tight precise gaps in the body panels. Great stuff!! I'm going to add this manufacturing process technique to the List.
The advances in painting are extremely good in the automotive business. However, not a lot of manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon in the lower cost end of the business. When one buys a nice vehicle that comes from the standard painting assembly, Esoteric is a good first stop.


I am hoping that the new paint facility at Bowling Green alleviates this necessity. Only time will tell.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:12 AM   #59  
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Well, IMO, the average corvette owner will not be able to afford even the basic coupe model. They say the starting prices would be about $80 plus K. would be out of my league. Plus don't know if it is worth the money. If had the C5 all the way to the C7 and I think I might have to settle for the C7 Stingray model again. The mid engine would be out of range in price. Also, I would be interested how many average owners is going to like the mid engine compared to the front engine. I'm getting to old for this anyways.
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:36 AM   #60  
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Don't listen to the guys who say the c8 is starting at 80 grand.

There is literally no reason to move the base price from 55 grand to 80 grand...for a rear mid engine corvette c8..

Only the trolls are saying that nonsense...

Five grand tops...if that ..

The majority of the research and development was done prior to the 2009/10 GM bankruptcy...cadillac division invested heavily into the rest of the cost as they wanted a 2 seat rear mid engine sports car to compete with JDM s previous employer Audi which he saved...

By the time your done the standard yet amazing c8 will be at most starting at five grand more msrp..

Yes options will probably be more costly if we are talking up models having twin turbo Dohc engines as that equipment costs big bucks to produce...

But a LT1 derived power plant is chump change ..

I believe it's been said in the camaro world the Dohc v6 base engine costs more to produce than the ls3 version..meanwhile GM charged 10 grand more for the v8 version because it was so much better a performer.

Don't believe everything you hear about costs..

As those from Missouri would say "Show Me"

Five grand tops unless GM wants to bend us over and then it ll be a 7500 dollar increase in base msrp but if so we will find some various previous options that we all would have bought anyway are standard.

I'm thinking maybe the MRC shocks and z51 handling option become standard with the c8 ..but who knows what will be ...

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