By Jeff Gilbert

GENEVA — (WWJ) The 2014 Corvette Stingray—which drew big crowds at January’s North American International Auto Show—now has a convertible version, unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show.

“The convertible has been a part of the heart and soul of Corvette since the very beginning in 1953,” said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. “With the all-new Corvette Stingray, we designed and developed the coupe and convertible simultaneously. As a result, the Corvette Stingray offers an open-top driving experience with no compromise in performance, technology or design.”

Interview: Jeff Gilbert talks with Bob Shuman, chairman of the 2014 Auto Show

This comes as GM tries to find a global market for the all-American Corvette. They will also offer left hand drive versions, for markets like the United Kingdom and Japan.

“It’s fitting to introduce the new Stingray convertible on the global stage at Geneva, because Corvette is the face of Chevrolet the world over,” said Susan Docherty, president and managing director of Chevrolet and Cadillac Europe. “It is an icon that has long been recognized and admired even in countries where it’s never officially been offered.”

Press previews for the Geneva Auto Show are being held Tuesday and Wednesday. The Corvette Convertible began drawing crowds as soon as it was unveiled.

“It is a beautiful car,” said Bob Shuman, chair of the 2014 North American International Auto Show. “I really do love the Corvette.”

Shuman is in Geneva planning for the upcoming show, and getting feedback from European carmakers about the 2013 show.

“Once again, our Detroit show is just off the charts in terms of ‘bang for the buck’ for the manufacturers in terms of press coverage.”

The Geneva show is traditionally a launching pad for new luxury cars. This year is no different, with introductions from Porsche, Ferrari and Land Rover, among others.
Ford, meanwhile, is trying to get attention for mass market products, as it works to turn around European operations that stand to lose two billion dollars this year.

They are showing the EcoSport compact SUV and the Tourneo Courier, another small utility product.

It’s part of a plan to refresh more than 40 percent of Ford’s European fleet this year alone.

“This is the most aggressive product rollout Ford of Europe has ever undertaken and we are leveraging our One Ford global strengths to make it a reality,” said Stephen Odell, Ford executive vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We are transforming our business in Europe by increasing product investment in the toughest of economic times.”

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Twitter: @jefferygilbert


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