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News Recap: Surprising Exit From Corvette Museum CEO; C8 Production Update

Why has the National Corvette Museum gone through two CEOs since 2019? Is the Assembly Plant still cranking out over 200 C8s a day?

Better memories for Sharon Brawner/Photo Credit: NCM

I’m on all the notable Corvette forums and social media pages all day, every day, and I’ve done the legwork for you. Here are some compelling stories from the Corvette community, with concise, straight-to-the-point summaries for your busy lifestyle.

1) NCM CEO Sharon Brawner Makes Surprising Exit

Back in June of 2023, I did a feature on Sharon Brawner, and the thing with her that stood out the most (as a self-professed “car-girl”) was her passion for Corvettes.  Ms. Brawner joined the National Corvette Museum as President and CEO in 2021 (replacing Dr. Sean Preston, who took over in July of 2019 when 23-year CEO Wendell Strode retired).

As I noted then, her passion for the Corvette ran deep, as it was her father’s dream car, and the bug was certainly passed on. While she was still in her mother’s belly, trips to the drag strip at Bowling Green’s Beech Bend Park were common, and she recalled as a youngster helping dad in the garage, learning about wrenches, sockets, and the sweet smell of grease.

So, what the heck happened? According to multiple reports, she seemed to be performing well, as the NCM gave her credit for “reimaging our exhibit galleries, growing our collection, and increasing investments in Museum facilities.”

Here is the full NCM statement:

“It is with bittersweet emotions that I am announcing Sharon Brawner has decided to move on from her role as President and CEO of the National Corvette Museum. We thank Sharon for her many contributions over the past two and half years, which include reimaging our exhibit galleries, growing our collection, and increasing investments in Museum facilities. In the short term, the National Corvette Museum Board will assume the duties of President and CEO during this time of transition, with Bryce Burklow serving as interim Chief Operating Officer.

Thank you for your support of the National Corvette Museum.
Kaye Wagner
National Corvette Museum Board Chair”

According to our friends at the Corvette Blogger, “This move comes as a surprise to many and without too much speculation, I would bet that Sharon was surprised as well based on some of the feedback we are receiving. Personally, I found her to be engaging and the level of presentation from the Museum has increased substantially under her leadership. However, we did see an increase of departures from longtime employees so perhaps something was amiss behind the scenes. We’ll probably never know for sure.

As you can see, it’s mostly guessing and speculation as to why she left, but having two CEOs in just over four years is never a good sign (especially after a strong 23-year run from Wendell). If we get any definitive reason(s), we’ll update you in the next news recap!

Better memories for Sharon Brawner/Photo Credit: NCM

2) 2024 Bowling Green Production Update: Are We Still Seeing Over 200 a Day?

When we last reported on production, the plant was working 10-hour shifts (and a Saturday), had multiple days when they cranked out well over 200 C8s, and set a new daily record of 242 on Tuesday, January 30th! Let’s take a quick look at this remarkable streak and then where we are now.

The 200 Club:

  • January 23rd: 222
  • January 26th: 228 (broke the record of 225 set in September 2023)
  • January 29th: 232
  • January 30th: 242 (the NEW daily production record!)
  • January 31st: 207
  • February 1st: 218
  • February 5th: 210

Since our last production report on 1/31, the Assembly Plant has had “only” two days out of eight with numbers above 200. Here is the complete table courtesy of Roger Kiel, our go-to guy from the C8 Corvette Owners (And Friends) Facebook page.

Total 2024 Corvette Production Numbers (as of 2/08/2024):

  • Stingrays: 12,645
  • Z06s: 3,635
  • E-Rays: 78 (up from 48 since 1/31!)
  • TOTAL: 16,358

I hope you have found this short but concise recap informative. We have the fastest-growing Corvette community on our Facebook page, with over 172,000 followers (53,000 since January 2023!). Come join other hardcore enthusiasts and say hello, Douglas B.