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Rob
10-27-05, 10:51 AM
<img src="/images/history/hill.jpg" width="125" height="178" border="2" alt="Profile photo of Dave Hill." hspace="2" vspace="2" align="right" /></pre> FOR RELEASE: 2005-10-27


GM Announces Corvette Chief Engineer David Hill to Retire



Tom Wallace to lead performance car team


DETROIT - General Motors Corp. announced today that David Hill, currently vehicle chief engineer (VCE) of the Chevrolet Corvette and vehicle line executive (VLE) of performance cars, will retire effective Jan. 1, 2006 after more than 41 years of dedicated service.

Tom Wallace will replace Hill as vehicle line executive of performance cars and vehicle chief engineer of the Corvette. Additionally, he will assume responsibilities for compact rear-wheel-drive performance cars including Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. Wallace currently is VLE of small and midsize trucks.

Lori Queen, currently VLE of compact cars and the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky, is appointed VLE of small and midsize trucks, replacing Tom Wallace. The North America compact car team will now report to Peter Mertens, vehicle line executive of global compact cars. Mertens is currently leading the Global Compact Car Development Team located in Germany.

"Dave Hill has taken the Corvette to heights that few of us can imagine. In terms of performance, refinement and value, he has truly helped to make Corvette second to none. He is a true car guy who will take his rightful place among the legends of Corvette lore," said Bob Lutz, General Motors vice chairman, global product development.

"What do you do to replace a guy like Dave? You do your best to get another one. Tom Wallace also is a car guy and racer who will make a perfect choice to lead the Corvette and Performance team. Besides, Tom was Dave's choice too. That should tell you all you need to know," Lutz concluded.

Hill has a rich history with GM since joining Cadillac Motor Car Division in 1964. He moved through various engineering positions and was named an executive in 1979.

In 1982, he was named chief engineer of the Cadillac Allante. Following the introduction of the Northstar engine in 1992 in the two seat luxury roadster, Hill assumed chief engineer responsibilities for the Cadillac Deville and Concours.

Hill was named chief engineer of the Chevrolet Corvette in 1993, only the third chief engineer for the sports car in the vehicle's 53-year history. In 1995, Hill was named vehicle line executive of performance cars and led the development of the fifth-generation Corvette and the introduction of the Cadillac XLR.

Last year, Hill launched the sixth-generation Corvette followed by the introduction of the new 505 bhp Corvette Z06 for 2006.

Hill holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University and a master's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan.

Wallace has been with GM since 1966 when he joined Buick Motor Division in Flint, Mich. He was named to an executive engineering position in 1980 while still with Buick and was later named to the GM Truck Group in 1995. Wallace holds a bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Kettering University (formerly GMI), and was a Sloan Fellow, earning a master's in business administration from Stanford University.

Wallace and his team were responsible for the development and launch of Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Chevrolet SSR. Additionally, he led the highly successful launch of the Saab 9-7X and the HUMMER H3.

An avid performance car enthusiast, Wallace has enjoyed competing in both amateur and professional road racing, rally car and drag racing. He started racing with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) more than 30 years ago and has raced in a variety of Sedan and GT classes with race-prepped Oldsmobile, Buick and Chevrolet models.

Queen received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Kettering University (formerly GMI). She recently led the launches of some of GM's most successful products currently in the market: Chevrolet Cobalt and HHR, Saturn ION, the Pontiac Solstice and the soon to be released Saturn Sky.

Queen has been with GM since 1974 and has held numerous Engineering positions, including vehicle chief and VLE assignments for both cars and trucks.

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader since 1931. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 325,000 people around the world. It has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in 200 countries. In 2004, GM sold nearly 9 million cars and trucks globally, up 4 percent and the second-highest total in the company's history. GM's global headquarters are at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

CONTACT(S):
Vince Muniga
586.575.1928
Vince.Muniga@GM.com

sothpaw
10-27-05, 11:16 AM
No real surprise there. Hill has already presided over the development of 2 vette generations and had some influence on another (namely the C4--LT4 was clearly under his watch and he controlled the resources, meaning kept engineers off of C4). What did you expect him to stick around another 8-10 years to do another design?

paintdaddy
10-27-05, 11:26 AM
I would say that has something to do with it but also GM wanting to rid some of its higher paid execs

doneeboy
10-27-05, 11:42 AM
Last nite on CNN it was rumored that GM was filing for chapter 11 this came out of europe then later denied .probably was the news about Hill

racelance
10-27-05, 11:48 AM
GM Announces Corvette Chief Engineer David Hill to Retire



Tom Wallace to lead performance car team


Dave Hill did wonders for the Corvette - he's a great person as well. He will be missed! I'm sure Tom Wallace will do a wonderful job as well. The future for the Corvette is bright!

Sincerely,

Lance

STANMAN
10-27-05, 12:01 PM
Hopefully the Action Center will provide a mechanism for sending our best wishes to Dave. He gave me the best car I've ever owned and put new excitement in driving for me. I'd like to thank him and wish him the best in his well deserved retirement.

Z06 Tom
10-27-05, 12:14 PM
Hopefully the Action Center will provide a mechanism for sending our best wishes to Dave. He gave me the best car I've ever owned and put new excitement in driving for me. I'd like to thank him and wish him the best in his well deserved retirement.

Well said... Thanks for the great machines Dave!! :w

GerryLP
10-27-05, 12:20 PM
Congratulations, Mr. Hill! Rob, wouldn't it be nice to have him as a guest during the next CruiseFest?

GerryLP:cool

Chrisr
10-27-05, 12:23 PM
Hopefully the Action Center will provide a mechanism for sending our best wishes to Dave. He gave me the best car I've ever owned and put new excitement in driving for me. I'd like to thank him and wish him the best in his well deserved retirement.

I echo Stanman's comments. I've never had so much fun driving a car as I'm having with my C5!!! Thanks Dave and best of luck with your retirement I owe you one!!!! :beer

electronblue02
10-27-05, 02:57 PM
Dave Hill really saved Corvette - Corvette was in serious jeopardy from 1992 - 1994, it is scary how close it came to being killed under the wisdom of GM management at the time. Bringing out C5 in 1997 presented huge internal challenges to Dave and team, which they not only accomplished but returned Corvette to it's status as an icon and one of few GM products that did not require rebates or incentives to sell until the 2002 model year. C5 was a huge success because Dave and team raised the bar and built a great product at the right price.

C6 and XLR, while not quite the shining stars in the marketplace as C5 was in 1997, due to intense competition from abroad, are both outstanding products that GM can br proud of, C6 styling controversies aside.

Beyond the product achievements, Dave is a great guy, I had opportunity to speak with him for a few minutes at Carlyle this year, very approachable and a straight shooter. He was truly proud of the new Z06, justifiably so.

While I wish Dave all the best, Tom Wallace will have huge shoes to fill.

JoeyNigs
10-27-05, 03:08 PM
Dave , All the best on your retirement ! Every time i crank up that Bad Ass Z ...it puts a sly grin on my face man....You did a great job brother...Good Luck Joey

Fuelie
10-27-05, 06:30 PM
Dave Hill has done wonders for the Corvette platform and the hobby as a result. He has always had a great respect for the history of the car and the enthusiasts input from all facets of the Corvette hobby.

It is always good to watch him in a crowd of vette fans, he is truly proud of his product and his team and has the patience of a saint with all the fans questions and autograph requests.

He is a real gentleman and has left a lasting mark on the hobby. I am sure that we all wish him the best in his retirement.
All the best to you Dave!

His recommendation of Tom Wallace is a good sign. We can all look forward to the same progressive thinking that has brought Corvette to where it is today, knowing that Mr. Wallace is a racer. We all look forward to meeting you Mr. Wallace and sharing your visions for the future.

All the best!
Brian

aussiejohn
10-27-05, 08:36 PM
G'day,
I "met" Mr. Hill at the 2003 Birthday Party in Nashville. I was the Aussie who asked Rick Baldick if there were ever any discussions about a Right hand Drive Corvette. After Mr. Baldick's reply, Mr. Hill took the time to thank myself and other "foreigners" who had spent a lot of money to come to Nashville to celebrate the Corvette. I was thrilled that he took the interest in me/us.

Unless the new Chief Engineer makes a broad change to the 100% Left Hand Drive history of the Corvette, people like me will never get to purchase a new Corvette. Although other RHD countries such as Japan and the United Kingdom allow LHD cars to be registered for road use, Australia will not follow suit.

The reason appears to be the "threat" to local manufacturers and importers.
General Motors Holden builds the Holden Commodore in RHD format for local consumption, and LHD Commodores badged as "Chevrolet Luminas" for export to places like Kuwait and Brazil. They also build a LHD two door "Monaro" coupe for sale to the USA as the Pontiac GTO. Ford Australia builds the large rear wheel drive Falcon, while Toyota builds the spectacularly unsuccessful Avalon as well as tens of thousands of Camrys, in LHD for export as well as in RHD for local consumption. Mitsubishi Motors Australia has been building Magnas in the old Chrysler Australia factory in Adelaide, but has just released the make-or-break Mitsubishi 380, a front wheel drive 3.8 litre v6 four door sedan to compaete with Commodore and Falcon. Time will tell.

As well as the wares from these local manufacturers, one can buy Porsche 911's, Boxsters, and Cayennes; Mercedes Benz, BMW, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Audi, Chrysler Jeep, PT Cruisers, Voyagers and now the 300 with a HEMI. All of these cars are manufactured Right Hand Drive for sale in Australia and Federal Law makes it illegal to import a LHD version of these cars unless they are at least 25 years old.

If one can find a RHD version of one of these cars, then there is a 100% import duty plus 10% Goods and Services Tax if the vehicle is under 15 years old. So as I said earlier, I won't be seeing a Corvette in Holden dealer's any time soon.

If, however, the Corvette was built RHD and a deal could be worked out with GM-Holden, then there is a good chance that Corvettes could be offered for sale in Australia. But I'm not holding my breath.

Good Luck, David Hill, in your retirement, and thanks for the great cars that I can only dream of owning.

Regards from Down Under

John Smith aka aussiejohn

Rob
10-28-05, 07:33 AM
Folks, if you'd like to wish Dave Hill best wishes, please continue to do so here. I have forwarded this link to him.

jgetch
10-28-05, 08:23 AM
Dave,

I too would like to offer my congratulations and best wishes on your impending retirement. Although we have never met, as an owner of a 50th Anniversary Coupe I feel that I owe you a great big "Well Done" :)

Good Luck

Jerry Guetschow

DRTH VTR
10-28-05, 08:59 AM
If any of you have not read "All Corvettes Are Red", get a copy. It is a very good read and documents just what Corvette was up against in the 1990's. I feel very fortunate that the Corvette was not discontinued. It was only because many people within GM and Chevrolet were determined to prevent it from happening that it survived. Dave Hill led that parade. He also insisted on first rate engineering. So here is to you, Mr. Hill :beer and I thank you for the two C5's that I have owned. Well Done!

Michael D. Chiteman
10-28-05, 10:56 AM
David:

Thank you for the many " miles of smiles," and years of enjoyment. God Bless and Keep You and Yours.

sothpaw
10-28-05, 11:21 AM
If any of you have not read "All Corvettes Are Red", get a copy. It is a very good read and documents just what Corvette was up against in the 1990's. I feel very fortunate that the Corvette was not discontinued. It was only because many people within GM and Chevrolet were determined to prevent it from happening that it survived. Dave Hill led that parade. He also insisted on first rate engineering. So here is to you, Mr. Hill :beer and I thank you for the two C5's that I have owned. Well Done!

Saving the Corvette was really a team effort, and Dave certainly did great work with the enginnering team, but there were many key battles fought before he was even on scene. My recollection from the book was that Chevrolet President Jim Perkins went way above and way beyond when he grabbed $1 million from the Chevy budget to develop the CERV IV which was the C4 with the C5 backbone. That proved out the advantages of the backbone.

Credit where Credit is due--Jim Perkins, Cardy Davis, Cafaro, Dave Hill.

DRTH VTR
10-28-05, 11:25 AM
Saving the Corvette was really a team effort, and Dave certainly did great work with the enginnering team, but there were many key battles fought before he was even on scene. My recollection from the book was that Chevrolet President Jim Perkins went way above and way beyond when he grabbed $1 million from the Chevy budget to develop the CERV IV which was the C4 with the C5 backbone. That proved out the advantages of the backbone.

Credit where Credit is due--Jim Perkins, Cardy Davis, Cafaro, Dave Hill.

Jim Perkins really put his career on the line. In no way did I mean to slight other people. Joe Spielman was another important person.

But I still want to thank Dave Hill in particular, as this is "his" thread.

wallstAL
10-28-05, 12:56 PM
We wish him well!

bossvette
10-28-05, 01:06 PM
Best Wishes as a retired GM employee I can say I always liked it when the "car guys" were in control. Even as far away from Detroit as the plants I worked at were you could tell the difference when the "car guys" had the upper hand.
I always said Dave Hill had the best job in GM Great job Dave :upthumbs

catbert
10-28-05, 02:15 PM
It should be easier to get Dave Hill to appear at the CruiseFest when he's retired.;)

Pegasus
10-28-05, 03:43 PM
We wish him well!


I couldn't agree more! I finally became a Vette owner in 1999 due specifically to the C5, and have thoroughly enjoyed it ever since. So much so, that it is my daily driver!

So to Dave I say, although I've never had the pleasure of meeting you, I hope you have as much fun in your retirement as you seem to have had being involved with Corvette. I would put many of your accomplishments right up there with Zora!

This one is for you sir!!!!!
:m

Robert

NCR Dave
10-30-05, 12:00 PM
Best Wishes Dave on your retirement!!! :w

I finally had the distinct pleasure of meeting you at the 11th Annual Labor Day show at the Corvette Museum,and I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time several times to sign different items for me that I will keep and treasure forever.
You are a great man, and a great Corvette fan who allowed his love for Corvettes to show through in his job every day!! You truly are a great man who has earned a great retirement with your wife Karen, and I know I will treasure the moments shared with you this year, just as I know you treasure each and every moment you have had in meeting Corvette owners and enthusiasts worldwide!!
I hate to see a great part of Corvette History come to an end, but I am sure you would only let something like this happen only if you are confident in your replacement, Tom Wallace.
We have always believed in you, and in all of the great work you have done for the Corvette world, and we wish you only the best in your life of retirement from GM and from Corvette!! You will be missed greatly!!
I hope you do get some time to still go to Corvette events with your wife Karen, and that you will still continue to support the Corvette hobby in the same great way you have always done.....

.... with that great trademark smile of yours!!!

We love you Dave!!! You are a true inspiration to us all!!!

Will
10-30-05, 11:36 PM
If, however, the Corvette was built RHD and a deal could be worked out with GM-Holden, then there is a good chance that Corvettes could be offered for sale in Australia. But I'm not holding my breath.

[COLOR=black]It would be nice but one thing that they have to make sure is that the Vette is still badged as a Chevrolet. I know that we import the Chevy Suburban over here as the Holden Suburban but I think the idea of a Holden Corvette would cause quite a bit of controversy.

On another note, I would like to thank Dave Hill and his team for bringing up the Corvette above and beyond the standards expected of a sports car these days. Over here you cannot help but be choked by all kids that worship the Skyline or Supra or WRX blah blah blah. Most of which scorning the American V8 as obsolete. The Corvette is a testament to the flaw in their logic, which is great in an argument.

Dakota kid
11-01-05, 05:24 PM
Thanks Dave for the memories, C-4, C5 and the legendary C-6 Z06.



http://www.clubcorvette.se/Corvettefakta/galleri/sh92.jpg

http://www.dannywhitfield.com/images/ITEM-3-M-1.jpg




http://www.chevrolet.com/i/06/pic/corvette/photogallery/ext_gallery12.jpg









Thank you Dave Hill for making the Corvette the greatest American sports carů..Ever.
You will be missed.

Thank you,


Patrick