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View Full Version : December 2013: Chevrolet Corvette to get the Axe as the Sky is About to Fall



Rob
12-28-13, 10:17 AM
Chevrolet Corvette to get the Axe as the Sky is About to Fall

by Rob Loszewski
2013 Rob Loszewski, Corvette Action Center
No use without permission

http://www.corvetteactioncenter.com/images/columns/wheelspin/wheelspin2.gif"I make my living off the Evening News
Just give me something-something I can use
People love it when you lose,
They love dirty laundry"

"We can do "The Innuendo"
We can dance and sing
When it's said and done we haven't told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King
Give us dirty laundry!"

Don Henley's song, "Dirty Laundry" is such a simple song with a great beat, and yet says so much. Especially as it pertains to some of today's media outlets.

The song was released in August 1982, and yet, here we are 31 years later, and the lyrics came singing back to me as I read an article Christmas day entitled: "Exclusive: Chief Corvette Engineer admits 2015 Z06 could be the last new Corvette … ever".

Basically, an automotive "journalist" had an impromptu dinner with Corvette's Chief Engineer, Tadge Juechter, and just like any...."journalist" wanting to see his name in lights, began to fish for information regarding the upcoming 2015 Z06. Why? Because he thinks he's special, and hopes that Chevrolet thinks he's special enough to vomit up all these "EXCLUSIVE" details on the upcoming Z06 like Linda Blair in The Exorcist.

As should have been assumed by this...."journalist", nothing was revealed to him. Big shocker huh!?!? However, Tadge Juechter was comfortable enough to talk about past Corvette sales and the future of Corvette based upon the sales trend over the last several years. The...."journalist"....pressed Juechter one more time about what he could tell him about the upcoming Z06 (...ok, all together now...."DUUUUUHHHH"...). Juechter's response:


"If we don’t get sales back up, there won’t be a next one..."

At that point, Chevrolet Public Relations pulled Juechter away, and the...."journalist" was not able to get any clarification. However, the only brilliant (and I use the term loosely...) deduction this...."journalist" was able to come up with from his conversation with Juechter was that if Corvette sales don't increase over the C7's lifespan - there won't be a next Corvette anything. GASP!!! "You don't say!?"

So I have to ask: is any of this really "EXCLUSIVE", breaking news? NO. In fact, it's absolutely nothing we haven't heard before over the last 20+ years.

How many times have we all heard the stories about how the C5 Corvette almost got axed, and Chevrolet's General Manager, Jim Perkins, funneled money in and around giant balls of red tape in order to continue to see research and development continue on the C5 Corvette platform? How many times did we hear that C7 Corvette development was touch and go for a while because of GM coming out of bankruptcy and the downward slope of C6 Corvette sales?

So for Corvette's Chief Engineer to come out and publicly state that if Corvette sales don't increase, there won't be a next one - is not earth-shattering news. It's nothing we haven't heard before and really should be no surprise to any of us. However, just as I assumed would happen, the media furnace was suddenly stoked red-hot, and the news wire lit up like the national Christmas tree in Washington, DC.

"2015 Corvette Z06 to be Last Ever?"

"Chevrolet says upcoming Corvette Z06 will be the last one if sales don't improve"

And here's my favorite headline:

"Next Corvette Z06 Facing Cancellation"

Really? Are you kidding me!?!? As you read through these various pieces of.....journalistic wonder...you realize that all they do is regurgitate the same stupid article that started the whole thing on Christmas day. Yet, let's give the headline a slight...."spin" to increase excitement, increase site traffic, and help line our pockets with increased advertising revenue from all of the increased traffic that the spun headline attracted.

In this day and age, it seems the news media industry is turning into one giant "Enquirer" that you see at your local grocery store checkout counter with a poorly Photochopped picture of Kirstie Allie weighing 350 lbs eating an ice cream cone in a string bikini at a plush resort somewhere.

The news media industry will do ANYTHING to try and grab little tiny crumbs of information like piranhas in a feeding frenzy and spin it in such a way that the truth gets completely obliterated, or even worse - there was no truth to report upon in the first place.

Because of the Corvette Action Center, and the other automotive web sites I own and operate, I unfortunately have to consider myself part of this news media industry. However, in all the years that I've attended various Corvette events across the country and spoken with Corvette Engineering or GM Powertrain, NEVER ONCE have I had the balls to ask them if they could give me some inside information on what's to come. Why? Because I'm not stupid enough to think that they would tell me anything, and quite honestly, I would feel like a complete ASS doing that.

Yet, some...."journalists", think they can write an article about how they were chewing on steak and washing it down with bourbon while having a conversation with Corvette's Chief Engineer that basically yielded - NOTHING. To that I say: "Congratulations Mr. "Journalist". You just managed to make yourself look like a moron while writing an article that said nada.

On that note, I need to go do some grocery shopping. Can't wait to see what Lindsey Lohan and Justin Bieber are up to this week...

Huskerman
12-28-13, 11:28 AM
Well done Rob! After I read the original article I thought to myself, hell how many times has the Corvette sat on the edge of extinction just to come out with the best thing yet. It is all about sales in any car business and the sales for this type of car will rely on the overall economy of the country to make it or break it. Look at the sales plunge from 2008 to 2009 almost 50% less Corvette sales the lowest since 1961. All the high end sport cars dropped off a lot during those recession years. So once again the Corvette guys have pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the C7 and are catching a good wave as the economy is improving and the cars are selling and the new Z06 should just add good things to those sales numbers. People want to buy cool cars.....always have and always will.......but they got to have the money to do it.

Janet Curran
12-28-13, 12:29 PM
Thanks for writing this Rob. When I first read this so called "exclusive" I almost slurped my coffee all over my keyboard. I was really wondering what kind of Automotive Journalist this was if he really believed he had some kind of exclusive from Tadge. I just could not believe that he had ever spoken to Tadge prior to this "interview". All of us that know Tadge have heard this statement many times because it is the bread & butter, the economics, that makes the auto industry live. Sell or do not build. I just really love the way that you worded it, thanks.

Now, I can hardly wait until the Z06 unveil so that I can make my final decision...is it another Z06 for me? or is it the Z51 Stingray?

Janet

froggy47
12-28-13, 03:21 PM
First I have heard of this one,

"much ado about nothing" William Shakespeare

:)

Mac
12-28-13, 09:50 PM
One of my son's good friends is studying journalism in school. Nice kid so he struggles with some of the ethics involved modern media including this like the "bump" interview... ie: chance occasion to talk with someone noteworthy, bump for information, draw your own conclusion, write up article. In the first year, the profs talked about ethics, the importance of maintaining neutrality, reporting without bias, etc... but the closer he comes to graduation, the less often ethics are mentioned... and if he raises the subject, his concerns are usually dismissed.

Great article, Rob and spot-on, as usual!

Mac

Vettehead Mikey
12-28-13, 10:33 PM
Kirstie Allie weighing 350 lbs eating an ice cream cone in a string bikini at a plush resort somewhere.



Great article. I've never seen an ice cream cone in a string bikini anywhere, never mind at a plush resort. :thumb

froggy47
12-28-13, 11:37 PM
Great article. I've never seen an ice cream cone in a string bikini anywhere, never mind at a plush resort. :thumb



OMG that's funny!!!!!!

I had to read it twice to get it!

You rock!

67vet
12-29-13, 09:58 AM
ethics - we don't need no stinking ethics. :w

Toms007
12-29-13, 10:32 AM
Very well put Rob. I read the article, then said to myself, "I've heard these stories before". I took it with a grain of salt and a pound of doubt.

LLC5
12-29-13, 10:39 AM
It's like evangelism and NASCAR: what ever it takes to sell commercial time and generate revenue......

Hib Halverson
12-29-13, 01:09 PM
Clearly, the headline writer for that story had different goals than did the guy writing the article.

We're just wasting bandwidth going critiques of headline writing.

While he was interviewing Juechter, the Chevy Communications guy stepped in because he figured Juechter's statement would likely be taken out of context and was, perhaps, a bit premature.

More interesting and useful would be a discussion of what Tadge Juechter was talking about and he is correct in saying that the '15 Z06 might be the last "new" product we see with a Corvette nameplate if sales don't improve.

But, before we all buy into the sky-is-falling bullshit, let's remember, MY14 has just gotten going and it will be, by design, a low production year. The first "real" sales year for the new Stingray will be 2015.

We ought to revisit Juechter's statement once some useful sales numbers are available.

motorman
12-29-13, 08:15 PM
Clearly, the headline writer for that story had different goals than did the guy writing the article.

We're just wasting bandwidth going critiques of headline writing.

While he was interviewing Juechter, the Chevy Communications guy stepped in because he figured Juechter's statement would likely be taken out of context and was, perhaps, a bit premature.

More interesting and useful would be a discussion of what Tadge Juechter was talking about and he is correct in saying that the '15 Z06 might be the last "new" product we see with a Corvette nameplate if sales don't improve.

But, before we all buy into the sky-is-falling bullshit, let's remember, MY14 has just gotten going and it will be, by design, a low production year. The first "real" sales year for the new Stingray will be 2015.

We ought to revisit Juechter's statement once some useful sales numbers are available.

the last good sales year was 2008 and what happened in 2008 a lot of peoples 401K took a big hit. as a corvette owner since 1959 corvettes are bought with fun money. my corvette club which has about 300 member and most of the new corvettes are owned by retirees like me who live off of their 401K earnings ,pensions and SS and I am not going to spend $65K till I see what direction the country is going in the 2014 elections and I bet a lot of other feel the same

KANE
11-17-14, 03:53 PM
Journalism is more about sensationalism these days. :eyerole


Tadge is right about the relationship between product and distribution. If the two don't work together, there is no money to be made as nothing moves off the floor. Tadge did his part- the product is PHENOMENAL. But folks still have to sell it- it doesn't sell itself. It needs strong press, a strong value proposition, and folks to create the materials that evoke the emotion needed to part a consumer with tens of thousands of dollars. :upthumbs

A year after this was posted... 2014 production ended with 37,288 working onto the hands of the public. The C7 has been an incredible machine and the public has recognized it with purchases and press articles galore. :thumb


Oh- and GM just had the best year in sales in years in a long time... :)





FWIW... Rob, Kirstie Alley is still beautiful no matter what she weighs because she's Kirstie Alley. ;) :chuckle