Corvette a staple for GM despite major lineup overhaul

By GMFOXBusiness

Astronauts Scott Kelly and Mae Jemison help unveil new 2020 Corvette Stingray

Watch: Astronauts Scott Kelly and Mae Jemison help unveil the new 2020 Corvette Stingray, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

General Motors is in the midst of overhauling its lineup but one model at the carmaker remains a constant after over 60 years: the Corvette.

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The Detroit-based carmaker unveiled the 2020 Stringray on Thursday. It’s the first version to use a mid-engine model, which GM says improves responsiveness and control, and can reach 60 miles per hour in under three seconds, also making it the fastest Corvette ever.

“This is the car that changes everything, never stopped improving, more comfortable, more everything,” GM President Mark Reuss said at a press conference. “Once you see it and drive it, you’ll see it’s the best Chevrolet ever, incredible attention to detail.”

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The latest version of the iconic sports car comes as the Detroit-based firm shutters several North American plants and shifts its focus to electric and autonomous vehicles.

The new model is not expected to be a huge moneymaker for GM. But despite the sweeping change in strategy, the Corvette continues to drive jobs.

The carmaker previously increased the workforce at its Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky, which exclusively produces the Corvette, by 400 jobs, bringing the total to 1,300 workers.

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“This is the workforce that can deliver a next-generation Corvette worthy of both its historic past and an equally exciting future,” CEO Mary Barra said in a statement at the time.

GM has ample reason to keep the Corvette around. The vehicle has a loyal fan base and drives excitement in a way the doomed Chevy Cruze, for example, never could, presenting new marketing opportunities.

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“From a business standpoint, there’s a lot of fringe benefits that come with keeping a Corvette in your lineup,” Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds, told FOX Business. “The fact that you can make money on it is certainly a plus.”