I received this email this morning from our regional manager
All went smoothly today with Mr Hendrick driving off Camaro vin number 1 at Oshawa. He arrived with a total of 17 individuals, including several of his key general managers from his Chevy stores. He also brought Jim Perkins and a few close friends.
The plant warmly welcomed the team and presented an overview on the Camaro launch and the awards they have received. The group took a very brief tour and then Mr H drove vin number 1 off the end of the assembly line as the plant was going on lunch break. This is the unit he purchased at Barrett Jackson for $350,000 with the proceeds going to the American Heart Association.
Dan Hermer, the plant manager welcomed a crowd of several hundred employees with a brief celebratory message surrounding the successful completion of job one. The local CAW President also spoke about the commitment GM and the CAW have made to bring this car to reality. Pete Hill the chief Engineer said a few words and then Mr Hendrick was introduced. Mr H spoke about the positive signs they are seeing with their GM dealerships in this difficult economy and rallied the employees to work as a team to achieve success, similar to teamwork in racing. He also shared the public excitement for the Camaro with his dealerships seeing more ordering activity and excitement than any other vehicle brand or manufacturer's vehicle he sells. He also spoke to the passion of the Chevy brand and the general enthusiasm the public has for our vehicles, from the legendary Corvette, to Camaro and the Impala built right along side of the Camaro. Mr Hendrick closed by saying all he has ever raced has been a Chevy and all he ever will race will be a Chevy!
After the formal remarks, Mr Hendrick signed autographs and posed with plant employees for countless photos. The informal autograph session was at least 45 to 60 minutes long, with employees bringing in die cast race cars, magazines and historic photos for signature.
After the in plant activity, Mr H stepped outside to the main parking lot where Camaro fans had gathered to celebrate the re-birth of the 21 Century Sports Car. He stayed until 2 pm serving as an ambassador for GM and sharing his passion for Chevy with Camaro enthusiasts and local Media.
This was a very successful day at the plant and a nice way to showcase the launch for all of the employees. Jeff Kern and team were on site capturing video file footage to commemorate the event.
Mr Hendrick shipped 100 autographed posters featuring Tom Cruise at Daytona with the Camaro Pace Car. He also presented Dan Hermer, with a race engine valve cover signed by the Hendrick NASCAR drivers as an expression of thanks.
This was a big win for GM, with Mr H honored to have the opportunity to join us for the day, all at his expense. This man is an unsung hero for GM and a one man PR