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2009 Chicago Auto Show: Complete GM Press Conference Video and Presenter Remarks - Includes New Corvette Sting Ray Concept

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CHICAGO - February 12, 2008: One of the few interesting times during a rather lackluster schedule of Media events on Press Day at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show was GM's unveiling of a new Corvette Sting Ray concept. The concept is a dazzling vehicle that is borrows from the original split-window iconic Corvette Sting Ray. Several modls of the new Camaro were also on display, along with items to help promote the new Transformer movie.

2009 Chicago Auto Show Press Conference Remarks by Ed Peper and Ed Welburn

Speech delivered on: 2009-02-11

2009 Chicago Auto Show Press Conference Remarks by Ed Peper and Ed Welburn

Ed Peper, GM North America Vice Pres., Chevrolet Ed Welburn, GM Vice Pres., Design Chicago, IL


Good morning. Glad you could join us.

2009 marks the beginning of a new era for Chevrolet and General Motors.

We are deeply focused on GM’s future… not only the near term as we restructure to meet our sales and profitability goals… but on our long term product portfolio

as well, the backbone of that future.

As GM’s foundational brand, Chevrolet is taking the lead on delivering great cars and trucks that are fuel efficient… with new advanced propulsion technologies to power them.

And Americans are taking notice.

In fact… during the last six months of 2008, when the fuel and credit crises

hit hard, Chevrolet outsold Toyota by more than 30,000 total cars and trucks for the second half of the year.

Why did those thousands of consumers buy our cars?

Fuel Economy. It’s the #1 reason for buying a Chevy car today.

They’re buying cars like the Chevy Malibu and the Cobalt XFE… each one leading their segment in fuel economy.

We currently have eight models that get at least 30 mpg on the highway.

And when the all-new 2010 Equinox arrives this summer, we’ll have nine.

Plus there are even more gas-friendly Chevrolets on the way.

Like the all-new Chevrolet Cruze… with estimated fuel economy of nearly 40 miles per gallon.

Or the Chevrolet Orlando concept… a fuel-efficient, seven-seat multi-purpose vehicle.

And the lovable Beat concept introduced two years ago will go into production as the Chevy Spark… with 40 MPG highway.

(Short pause)

One future Chevy that’s been getting a lot of attention recently is our extended range, re-chargeable electric vehicle, the Chevy Volt.

In fact, just last week it won the 2009 Green Car Vision Award in Washington D.C.

When fully charged, the Volt can drive up to 40 miles without using a single drop of fuel or producing any tailpipe emissions.

But if you need to drive more than 40 miles, the Volt still has you covered.

A small engine-generator starts-up automatically to create its own electricity and keep the car going for hundreds of additional miles.

Now, as we continue to build our new Chevy showroom, we’re also working hard to build showroom traffic.

To do that, Chevrolet is constantly looking at new ways to connect with customers, especially young customers.

A few years ago we were presented with a unique marketing opportunity that did just that – the original Transformers movie.

[VIDEO ROLL: Camaro clip]

Ed continues...

As you know, the movie was a major hit worldwide, breaking box office records in several countries and becoming one of the top 20 grossing films of all time.

What you might not know is that after the movie, awareness for Camaro,

one of the vehicle stars of the show, jumped 97 percent.

The movie and subsequent DVD sales helped us identify over a half-million people who are interested in buying a Camaro. And when the Bumblebee Camaro made its appearance here at the Chicago Show last year-- it was voted the “Most Favorite Vehicle.”

Most important, 70 percent of the Transformer audience fell within the coveted 13-to-34 age group, providing us with exactly the kind of targeted exposure we’re looking for.

So today I’m happy to announce that we’re building on the success of the first Transformer movie with special Chevrolet vehicle appearances in “Revenge of the Fallen” – the second Transformers movie.

I'd like to acknowledge a guest from Paramount Studios, Lee Ann Stables, Executive Vice President from Marketing Partnerships.

Thanks for being here, Lee Ann

Now, I'd like to introduce some of the stars of that movie.

Well, some might call them movie stars. We call them movie cars.

The big difference being that these cars perform all their own stunts – and they have the bumps and scars to prove it.

First up…reprising his role as Bumblebee, it’s the sports car of the 21 st century… Chevy Camaro.

(Camaro drives to platform. )

The presence of Bumblebee in the movie will give Camaro a huge share of mind just when the all-new 2010 Camaro starts arriving in Chevy showrooms later this spring.

“Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen” also provides us with a new, more effective way to get the news out about a totally new kind of car.

And here it is… making its first appearance in a major motion picture… Chevy Volt.

(Volt drives to platform .)

The Volt takes on the role of a new Autobot character called “Jolt”… which makes me wonder if its electric power will figure into the storyline somehow.

And here are two Chevy concepts we introduced a couple years back… appearing as the twin Autobots, “Skids” and “Mudflap”… it’s Beat and Trax.

(Beat and Trax drive to platforms.)

Remember that the Beat concept will be appearing in Chevy showrooms as the production Spark in 2011.

All of these new movie cars – as well as the Bumblebee robot from the first movie – will be on display throughout the show here at the Chevrolet stand.

We suspect that they will help create interest in the show, drive traffic into the Chevy display – and in turn, into our Chevy dealer showrooms.

And that’s what this is all about.

Now I’d like to introduce a guy who will give you some inside scoop on how all this came to pass… here’s GM’s Vice President for Global Design… Ed Welburn.


Thanks Ed… and good morning everyone!

Just a few short years ago, the renowned Hollywood director and producer,

Michael Bay , was secretly developing the incredible Transformers movie for Dreamworks.

Coincidently, we were developing a little secret of our own… it was the Camaro concept car.

Right about when our concept was taking shape, Michael approached GM about his secret movie project.

I wasn’t about to show him the Camaro until I knew more about his movie.

Well, after some careful negotiations he finally told us what he was up to, and we showed him the Camaro Concept – the car that became Bumblebee.

Now Michael has been a friend of GM’s for nearly a decade.

And since that first visit several years ago, our relationship with Michael and the studio team at Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures has grown.

So it was no surprise that he came back to GM Design for some ideas when he began planning for the Transformers sequel.

Initially, he was searching for one, maybe two new automotive characters . . . but after we toured the studios of GM Design for awhile, he had to stop and ask for a notebook.

It became clear that he discovered several distinct characters that would help build the story he was creating.

(Short pause)

The four cars we’ve shown you so far were all built using existing math data from our design and engineering teams.

This last car is the actual styling mock-up that Michael saw when he came looking for vehicles to use in the new movie.

Of course, there was a working movie version built of this one too, but since no one outside of GM and the movie studio has ever seen this car before, I wanted to bring a version without all the wear and tear and scars of an action movie.

So, now… introducing for the first time ever… a new automotive super-star… the Chevrolet Sting Ray Concept.

(Silk is pulled.)


This futuristic vision of an American performance icon plays the role of “Sideswipe” in Revenge of the Fallen.

And with a name like that, you can begin to understand why we wanted to bring the original model here today.

This vision concept is part of the free exploration of future products that I encourage our creative and talented design teams to develop.

The Corvette has an amazing design lineage and this Sting Ray concept pays homage to the 1959 Sting Ray Racer and 1963 Corvette Sting Ray Split-Window Coupe.

Notice the wide shoulders, sculpted fender forms, side air extractors, piercing nose, and of course, the legendary Split-Window design feature.

There’s even a modern interpretation of the Sting Ray badge and some interesting aircraft-inspired features at the back.


We will have plenty more to say about this car as the movie premier draws closer,

but right now we have one more surprise for you.

Here’s what these movie cars look like in action and on the road – in footage that has never been shown before.

Let’s take a look.



That exciting clip… along with the Sting Ray Concept… and the Transformers movie cars…will all be on display here at the Chevrolet stand throughout the Chicago Auto Show… even the larger-than-life Bumblebee Autobot.

And they all serve as a not-so-subtle metaphor for the transformation going on in Chevy showrooms right now.

Thank you once again for joining us today.

Now I’d like to invite Ed Peper to rejoin me up here and we’ll be glad to take your questions.

Thanks everyone!