Although Rick Baldick has been working with Chevrolet for nearly three decades, its quite possible youve never heard of him. Thats because, up until July, Rick has flown under the Corvette radar, hiding out in Chevys truck division for most of his career. In the last few months, however, Rick has quickly become the man to know at the GM officesince hes now working with Corvettes.
Rick joined Chevrolet as a technical writer in 1972, and served as area service manager in Cleveland and a fleet service manager in Syracuse. In 1983 he became a zone merchandising manager in Memphis; then in 1986, assistant truck merchandising manager in Chevrolets Central Office. He moved to regional marketing manager for the Pacific Coast in 1992 and became assistant brand manager (marketing) for Silverado in 1996. His last position prior to taking on Corvette was assistant brand manager (product responsibility) for Silverado in 1998.
On July 1, Rick was officially appointed Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro brand manager. Well grudgingly admit that trucks are cool in their own way, but what could be better than working with the greatest American car on the road today? We talked to Rick about his new position, and he is very excited about the switch. Because of his years of experience at Chevrolet, Rick knows how to make things happen.
Of course, he is expected to build market presence and brand equity, develop advertising, and establish price positioning for both the Corvette and the Camaro. It sounds interesting enough, but what does that mean to those of us who dont have marketing degrees? We asked Rick (B.A. Marketing, Northwood University) to flesh out the job description. First, he mentioned that the entire process is a team effort. Several people work with him to make it all come together, but its his job to manage what the team comes up with. As for what he and his team does, Rick says, Basically our job is to be the voice of the customer. Well put.
So, he has experience and marketing savvy. Hes a leader, and undoubtedly a good speaker.
But is he a Corvette guy?
We put that question to Rick, and he told us that, while he does not have a Corvette at the moment, hes owned a few in his time. Before he settled into family life, he went through two of them, both 68s. One was a small-block; the other a massive L88. He certainly passes the test. With an L88 on his résumé, hes definitely an enthusiast.
These days, Rick says he tries to spend as much time as he can with his son, but he still enjoys some hobbies of his own. His favorite is dirt-bike racing. That caught us a little off guard. We were guessing maybe golf or sailing would be the sport of choice for this top-notch executive, but that kind of stuff just doesnt do it for our new brand manager. But what else would you expect from a Corvette guy?
We couldnt resist asking him if he could give us some inside details about the future of the Corvette. He had no major announcement right now, but he says there are several things in the works. Theyve begun planning for the big 50th anniversary coming up, and although he couldnt tell us anything specific, he did say that its going to be tremendous. As for Ricks goals as Corvette brand manager, he says, When you take over a car thats this good
One of my goals is to keep the car on the leading edge of performance. Speaking as an enthusiast, he simply said, I just feel privileged to help steer an American historical icon.
We all look forward to meeting you, Rick.