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Is the Corvette Still Relevant?


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Oct 7, 2006
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Is the Corvette Still Relevant?

Posted: 8:40 PM Nov 18, 2008
Last Updated: 9:36 PM Nov 18, 2008
Reporter: Ryan Dearbone
Email Address: ryan.dearbone@wbko.com

Related Video: VetteTube - Corvette Videos, Corvette Crashes, Corvette Burnouts, Corvette Racing

The Corvette has been a staple of South Central Kentucky since the assembly plant came to our area in 1981.

But is it still a "car of the future"... or has it become a thing of the past?

This year, General Motors released four different types of the 2009 Corvette for customers to buy.

Yet with softer sales from its 2008 models and talk about its "fuel in-efficiency" has the country's "most famous sports car" lost its luster and marketability?

"The Corvette remains relevant cause its the icon of the automobile industry... period," says 2164 Local United Auto Workers president Eldon Renaud.

"When you look at it, its still the premier sports car in the United States, the best sports car for the value. We're leading in fuel economy and quality with this vehicle and its still very relevant," says Bowling Green Assembly Plant manager, Paul Graham.

Graham believes the Corvette is still performing as well as can be expected in the current economy.

"Right now when you look at our market share, our market share in Corvette is actually up 2% this year, in the luxury performance segment which we're in," Graham notes.

Although the Corvette has seen a small rise in its market share, the sports car has also seen a 13% drop in sales over the last year.

Renaud says if people were able to use equity from their second mortgages to purchase cars, that might change.

Fuel efficiency knocks against the Corvette aren't a concern of Graham's because he says it can hold court with anything on the market.

"I can tell you from talking to some of our Corvette enthusiasts that drive back to Bowling Green and the museum, we've had people that can regularly get 30 miles a gallon with the corvette on the freeway," Graham explains.

So by continuing the Corvette, Graham says they are actually expanding their opportunity to work on advanced technologies such as engine advancements and fuel-efficiency.

Renaud feels there is something else that will keep the Corvette important to the car industry many years from now... and thats its heritage.

"People have seen the car since it was first made. They realized as a child 'I'd like to have that car" and they strive and they save. That the American dream," Graham tells WBKO.

Graham says the current ZR1 model corvette is selling well despite reduction in sales from its base models.

He also says so far, there has been no discussions to move either the Corvette or Cadillac XLR out of town.

Graham says they will take whatever steps they have to deal with Congress' decision, whether it's for or against them.

However, right now their main focus is getting the word out and making their voices heard.

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