2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition

    2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Carbon Limited Edition. General MotorsĀ©

    by: Julie Roehm | AOL Autos

    How would you like to build your own Corvette engine, at the plant? Or maybe you'd like to badge your Subaru the way a Girl Scout might adorn her uniform? Or maybe you'd like to play a version of the old classic “Slug Bug”? These are some of the latest tactics employed by some “old” automotive brands to win the attention of new customers.

    Let’s start with what could be the ultimate badge of Corvette enthusiasm: Building your own engine. GM is offering customers who order a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1 to choose an option that allows them to help assemble their car’s LS7 or LS9 engine at the General Motors Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan. The retail price is a whopping $5,800 -- which is more than a fully assembled 385-horsepower GM Performance ZZ4 crate engine. But that gets you in to build the engine under the supervision of a skilled technician and you will also receive the usual warranty. The customer has to travel to the plant on their own nickel, of course.

    Corvette buyers can also attend driving school in Arizona or Nevada, watch their car being built at the Corvette assembly plant in Kentucky, and even take delivery of their new car at the National Corvette Museum. But these ideas are not at all revolutionary. When I was at Chrysler we had similar programs for Viper owners. I have to admit that I think there are plenty of Corvette fans, not to mention lots of wannabes, who are going to jump at this opportunity. Who wouldn’t love to be able to say that they built their engine and get a badge on the manifold to prove it. If Chevy can charge a little extra for this, as well, more power to it.

    Speaking of badges, Subaru has introduced a novel idea with its Badge of Ownership. In a social network-like fashion where we join groups or "like" various ideas or products, Subaru has found a way to incorporate this personalization on your car without making it look like a Times Square billboard.

    The badges are less vehicle-oriented and more about representing one of your personal interests, while also telling the world how many Subaru’s you’ve owned. You can badge your vehicle with one of many representative icons, from snowboarding to music, animals, the environment, or even to proclaim your sexual orientation (yes, a rainbow for the LGBT community). Subaru is even asking for suggestions for new badges. I wouldn’t doubt if this goes viral among Scooby fans, as the badges are catchy.

    VW was hoping for a viral hit with its Punch-Dub game, a “reboot” of the original “Punch Buggy” game of the 70's. It launched this campaign during this year’s Super Bowl, though we have not yet seen too many people punching the Online you could add this to your social networks, earn points, and win contests. While it is unclear whether this really took off, it was a clever way to try and extend the brand experience. The television commercials were fun, including the one for the VW minivan taking a tour through the neighborhood so the kids can watch the pedestrians sock each other.

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    1 - 20 of 55 Comments
    drgvedgv Oct 24, 2010 8:57 AM
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    teechman531 Aug 23, 2010 5:25 PM
    I can't believe that VW is using that tired Punch buggy routine for the Routan. IT IS A REBADGED DODGE CARAVAN.
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    gelbendorf Aug 17, 2010 10:41 PM
    it's not that hard to get ME excited. Just make it an Alfa Romeo. Now seriously, specials and promotions will not get any car manufacturer anywhere unless they build an exciting car. The design, the feel, the sound, the smell and yes... the performance... A well packaged car, designed by people who know their customers and are tuned to what they LOVE, would be exciting. It could be the new Mini or the Beetle, or the Corvette and the Mustang... oh... and don't forget to let us know it's exciting. BTW- the Routan is so unattractive that every time I see it I feel like I was just punched. How's that for inspiration? Seriously, no marketing could go that far to make the unattractive attractive. Sell it for it's features, value, reliability, etc. Don't try to make us believe it's exciting! It's not.
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    oh2civic Aug 17, 2010 7:38 PM
    My 96 Honda Civic has 538,883 miles as I write this, and it DOESN'T leak, burn any oil. It uses a half a quart every 2,000 or so miles but I can't complain with the mileage. The compression is still at 121. American cars are not bad when new, but overall are weak because they can't put the mileage on a Japanese or German car can. In fact, Even Korean cars are now racking up several hundred thousand miles. American cars are made cheap & junky, full of cheap plastic. I hate to say that but fact is fact.
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    travllinmanjb Aug 17, 2010 7:33 PM
    I guess you could say it is a gimmick to buy cars, just like an advertising slogan, Baseball, Hotdogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet. The bottom line is people have to buy things made in the U.S.A. After all it is your future you are buying into, that is unless you plan on moving to China. For the past 30 years I have owned Chevrolet, and never had a problem with them.
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    andrekaren6177 Aug 17, 2010 7:02 PM
    Y'know, I like Fords. I have 2006 F-150. I'm happy with it, but I don't like the current version ( it looks more like a cousin of toyota). Ford stuck it out and didn't opt for the bailout. No big deal, I'm noticing some really impressive products coming off the line from our other American competitors. My only concern is the "fat cats" that might cut corners. If we build quality vehicles, built to LAST, then we have no need for foreign products.
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    pbihomes Aug 17, 2010 6:59 PM
    i have a corvette, i'm 67 yo its great to pick up chicks,
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    pierrsns Aug 17, 2010 6:54 PM
    support your country ,buy American!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    gnx528 Aug 17, 2010 6:41 PM
    Want a real American car? Go to classic car auction and buy something 1972 or older. They run forever, easy and cheap to repair and most of all fun to drive. New cars don't show me anything. They all look alike so complicated they are impossible to repair.
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    kenz6t7mustang Aug 17, 2010 6:36 PM
    IT'S GENERAL MOTORS...................OR GOVERNMENT MOTORS.glad to see this is the result of tax paye funded bailouts..........a car most of us can't afford....................typical gm junk.
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    cavelle205 Aug 17, 2010 6:30 PM
    I think its a great idea, and I know many Americans will enjoy building a engine at the assembly plant with Grandpa or Dad. Family Fun or the young and old.
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    dmpenguin1 Aug 17, 2010 6:29 PM
    Fkurtin - is Right ! ) "everything now days is a total rip off on price and designed to last not much longer 5-6 years, right when your done paying her off, really sucks" EVERYONE needs to know this... Ill repeat. The new cars (maybe etc.) Is designed (and what a rip/shame) to only last until around the time its paid off, give or take. Thats some bull sh*t too. I say everyone needs to know this, mainly women and non mechanics. Somethin to think about before signin a long payment plan. This added up to me from watchin Diesel trucks being built on a cable channel.. The engine/bearings are designed to last somethin like a million miles... Hmmm.. Why dont they do that with cars? (financial conspiracy : )
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    callahan0566 Aug 17, 2010 6:26 PM
    Hmattfrmchat, They didn't take a bail out loan, they took a bail out, period. A loan is something that will get paid back, GM has no intention of paying anything back. They took a "hand" out of hard earned taxpayers money. I love American cars. I can honestly say that I've only bought American automobiles. People like to justify their lack of national loyalty by saying that the foreign slug they bought was "built" here. Sure it was "assembled" here, with parts made overseas, and the $ still goes to another country. As much as I'd like to see an American car company stay afloat, If you can't stay in business in this country, which is nothing but a car culture (think about it), they deserved to go under. Things would have evened out over time. Ford and Chrysler would have reaped the rewards and provided jobs to the displaced GM workers.
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    lexusdoora Aug 17, 2010 6:13 PM
    I must be out of my mind posting here. Just didn't think . . . so now I've invited a flood of dealer spam to my email screen name In box. Thanks, AOL Autos!
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    lexusdoora Aug 17, 2010 6:06 PM
    nucci064 Aug 17, 2010 5:45 PM THERE'S A FUNNY THING ABOUT FOREIGN CAR BUYERS .......................THEY WILL NEVER TELL YOU IF ITS A LEMON OR NOT ! . . . So true. It's like . . . Remon? . . . Saaey, no speak English!
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    dallasdalpat Aug 17, 2010 6:05 PM
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    rbjb51986 Aug 17, 2010 5:55 PM
    It seems strange to me that GM is trying to come up some gimmick to have people buy their products when all they have to do is give folks what they want in my case a Chevy. Since the bankrupt deal you can no longer order what you want. If you get off road equip. your down to four colors or so and that's black , white and a couple washed out things in between. You can't put together a drive line for economy and work. After that they expect you pay 40 or 50 thousand dollars for some thing you don't really like. When I sent an E-mail to ask why, I was told they couldn't please all the people. some how this sales thing doesn't seem that hard, build what people want to buy. I guess I'll drive my 2004 until they figure it out.
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    lexusdoora Aug 17, 2010 5:54 PM
    Even . . .(?!) . . . proclaim sex-e-u-wal orientation? With Suburu having been the "gay" car of choice for so long, it would seem that no badge is gay badge. So people of logical bent, even some gays, might prefer a badge which proclaims: ". . . Not Gay." Can't you just see it now? Hearing brought before the Ninth Court . . . over "gay car pride" being deprived of a Constitutional "right to choose" to trump "not-gay pride" cars. Or in general, surely someone will sue over some imagined Constitutional insult. So I see this as a very short-lived marketting gimmick. On the other hand, I've always insisted on no, or removal of all, badging except manufacturer logo for many years now - . . . lessens temptation to car thieves - which would be a "gimmick" I would not like to see adopted by the masses . . . even if a car dealer could use it to make more by giving less . . . by charging extra for the effort and cost of not adding extraneous badging.
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    nucci064 Aug 17, 2010 5:45 PM
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    gregroofco Aug 17, 2010 5:38 PM
    Unions, they once stood for something other than protecting overpaid lazy workers. Unions helped build this country but their time has now passed. In the world economy the US cannot be competitive with the union strangelhold around our necks.
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    1 - 20 of 55 Comments
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