Designs Through Time and the C8 Corvette
David Rand is a guy who really knows car design, and not just on a regional basis. The ArtCenter grad spent the better part of his career at General Motors, where he held a variety of positions, including heading up design for the Latin America and Middle East region and he closed out his career at GM as the Executive Director of Global Advanced Design. What’s more, he had a stint as brand director, Design, Changan Automotive in China. So if you look at those places he’s spent time thinking and doing automotive design, you can recognize that he has a sense of the global scene.
But then there’s time, and Rand is a judge at and board member of the Concurs d’Elegance of America, which was held this past weekend at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan, an event that included cars that go back in time to the early days of the auto industry (one of the events was a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Mini—and the 110th anniversary of the Morgan, so yes, this is an extensive period of time) all the way up to modern collectables. Yes, Rand knows both automotive space and time.
On this edition of “Autoline After Hours” Rand discusses the Concurs with Christie Scheweinsberg of WardsAuto.com, Joe DeMatio of Hagerty and me, as well as other things related to design. . .including some of the work that he’d done on earlier versions of the Corvette (he quips that almost every designer who has worked at GM says that at one point or another they’ve worked on a ‘Vette).
Mark Reuss introducing the C8 Corvette on July 18, 2019, in Tustin, California. (Image: Dan MacMedan for GM)
And speaking of the Corvette, Christie, Joe and I spend some time discussing the C8 Corvette and its significance not just to the Corvette faithful, but to General Motors as a whole. Which leads to, of course, a discussion of Tesla (as in: does someone who has just “made it” want to get a Corvette to prove their bona fides, or is it something from Elon’s factory?).
We discuss the prevalence of light trucks in the line ups of the Detroit 3. Consider this: in the first half of 2019 Chevrolet sold 256,777 versions of the Silverado, which is more than the sales of Buick (107,240) and Cadillac (75,734) combined (182,974); FCA sold 299,480 Ram pickups, which is more than Chrysler (64,422), Fiat (5,103) and Alfa Romeo (9,037) combined (78,562) or more than total Dodge brand sales (228,099); and Ford sold 448,398 F Series pickups, which is greater than all Ford cars (196,654) and Lincoln brand (50,915) combined (247,569). Should gasoline prices spike, outside of those who need a pickup for vocational purposes, what becomes of the sales to all o those who like to roll large?
And we talk about autonomous driving, Hagerty’s program to promote driving and a whole lot more, all of which you can see right here.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.
Generally, when OEMs produce aluminum engine blocks (aluminum rather than cast iron because cast iron weighs like cast iron), they insert sleeves into the piston bores—cast iron sleeves.
Honda is an engine company.