Jeff LaMarche gave an excellent presentation at the NCM Bash.
He started his Bash presentation introducing himself, for candidly, very few in the Corvette community knew his name before Feb 12th of this year. First, here's some of his personal background that he shared.
"Was delighted to 'get the call' to become the BGAP Plant Manager. My past GM jobs/experiences, in my 31 years with the company, helped me to come here to Bowling Green, and my hope and plan is to be here for ten more years."
Was GM Quality Control Manager, North America, 2006 +, for a couple of years. Other previous experiences: Plant manager, body shop manager, and more. Owned two Corvettes before "I got the call"; now drive a Z-51 StingRay.
BowlingGreen Daily News said:
“Quality is a big passion of mine. ... (Customers) demand and expect it, and they deserve it,” he said. After the 2014 Stingray received this year’s Car of the Year title, upholding those expectations is important. “We’ve got to build off that award and build the reputation of the car,” Lamarche said.
The Stingray is already a “great car,” Lamarche said, but he wants to continue to improve it.
Likes to meet folks on their Buyers Tour, and as many Museum Delivery participants as possible -- as my schedule allows.
He and his Dad: 60 continuous years as GM plant employees.
Upcoming episode of "How Its Made: Exotic Dream Cars": Their film crews were at the plant four days earlier this month filming. We gave their crew a Z-51 to drive while they were here. Look for it.
BGAP sees orders five weeks out, then locked in three weeks out. Now assembling 3,000+ StingRays per month.
Will be able to do 40,000 units/annually, as on June 1st we are going to assemble 170 StingRays per day. GM corporate agreed to spend, months ago, additional millions for greater parts and GM manufacturing capability, which is how come the production rate is going to increase.
"Global customer audit" (GCA): Sustained GCA rate at 3 per day (worldwide at all plants), but much more intensive at initial model roll out. Cars pulled at random; can not select this for your car. GCA includes 8 mile drive, as well as intensive review of exterior fit and finish, interior fit and finish, testing component operations and a much longer water test. Part of continuous improvement program.
Convertibles now at 30%, never back to back for assembly efficiency reasons. When we start on Z06's, they too will be spread out, not back to back, at least at the beginning.
New technology for eight-speed auto, already been integrated into pre-production mode; no concerns about incorporating it into earliest 2015 StingRay production.
Engine build program, which used to be in Wixom, MI, just starting to be operational at the Plant. Now doing only Z-28 LS7's. LT4's be built here and Tonowanda. Identical equipment, specs, skill level, etc. in both plants. Adding GM skilled engine building employees to BGAP "engine build" program -- mostly transfers from other GM engine plants.
When asked, he characterized current BGAP union potential strike issues as: "In house family disagreements. We will work it out, not worried about a strike." Adding, "I do not lose sleep at night worrying about this."
Elegant's personal impression: Both my wife and I were impressed with Jeff, his demeanor, his humility, and his past relevant experience. I believe that Jeff LaMarche is the right person for the BGAP Plant Manager job at this time. Little known fact: On February 12th, the day of sinkhole, Jeff came over to the Museum and gave a sizable donation to the Museum out of his own pocket.