A report that surfaces every once in a while is inside information that the Corvette will not be made much longer. Well, the report has come out again, but this time the source is said to be the chief engineer. Whaaaaa?
At the launch of the Corvette Stingray Convertible, I had the fortunate chance to spend a lot of time with Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter. That included sitting at his table during a dinner at Frank Sinatra's house that featured appropriate levels of steak and bourbon. The big event the next evening was a preview of the next Corvette Z06 (which we've already shown you). Naturally, we were all trying to get Tadge to divulge details before the reveal.
It was a great dinner, fun and informative. But one tidbit that I have no recollection of is Tadge telling Digital Trends that "if we don't get sales back up, there won't be a next one."
This is something that Digital Trends says means that there won't be anymore Corvettes. None more Corvettes unless sales pick up massively. Zipstein. Zilch. Nonezo. You could also take it, if you're not the type of person that takes everything in extremes, as there will be no more Z06s if this one doesn't go crazy in terms of sales, but I also feel like that is bunk.
Tadge was incredibly coy and sarcastic the whole time, as a good chief engineer is, so a comment like that can't really be taken as a death nail in the entire Corvette lineup.
What I do remember is talking to him before the reveal of the Z06, and I asked if the higher performance variants, like the ZR1, were worth it to them, did they make money. He told me that they did indeed make a profit. That sounds like a solid business case to me.
I asked GM to clarify if there was truth to that statement, and they believe he was misinterpreted:
I think Tadge's comments were taken out of context. How could we speculate on the future of the (not confirmed) next-gen Z06 when we haven't even produced the first 2015 Z06? I assume what Tadge meant (and what I have heard Tadge say several times) is that every product has to have a solid business case. That is true for high volume products like Silverado, and small volume products like Z06.
So, it is feasible that the new Z06 has higher targets to meet this time to continue in the future, but it certainly doesn't mean that all Corvettedom will come crashing down in the next few years.