Former Chevrolet General Manager Jim Perkins died December 28th in Charlotte, N.C.
After a poor sales year in 1989 the Corvette was in the crosshairs to be axed from Chevrolet’s lineup. Thanks to Perkin’s keen business sense, he saved the ‘Vette from extinction by diverting marketing funds towards development of the C5 Corvette which debuted in 1997. Sales never dipped below 32,000 units/year from 1998 - 2008. Without his intervention the Corvette would not be America's sportscar today.
After retiring from General Motors in 1996 he took on various executive positions with Hendrick Automotive Group. He remained with the Hendrick Automotive Group though 2009. Never to sit still, Perkins took on a new venture restoring classic cars and retired race cars.