Monday, July 19, 2010

Build your own engine

GM have come up with a winner. If you're in the market for a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1, they're now offering a unique owner experience; you can help assemble your vehicle's own engine yourself. They call it their Build Your Own Engine program, and it'll set you back a lofty $5,800 for the priveledge. Interesting, because - isn't that their job? I mean when you pay for a new vehicle, you're paying for all of it. Surely if you're getting to do some of their work for them, they ought to discount the price of the car?
The program is possible because the engines for those two models are hand-assembled rather than put together by robots. This means you can get down and dirty with their technicians and get hands on with the engine that will power your own car. You even get a special nameplate.

There is an aspect of this story that hasn't been discussed yet though. Two actually. First - the warranty. If anything goes wrong with the engine, will GM cover it or will they simply say "well you built it - not our problem"?

And second - resale value. Would you buy a Corvette with an engine built by the previous owner? Didn't think so.



Fuzzy said...

Well, it seems like some kind of "visit-our-factory" tourism. I don't believe they will let you do any actual building and put you in situation where you could even possibly compromise the build quality.

Fun for rich bastards.

Paul said...

If I was in the market for Corvette (i.e. be able to afford one... or want one in the first place) I'd think about this.
That's assuming that the warranty would be valid, which I'm guessing it would be. You'd be watched like a hawk by someone qualified.
As for resale, if you can afford one of these, and were willing to pay and extra 6k for the privilege then I don't think losing a few k at resale will be an issue. I'd take the "special" nameplate off and not say a word.