General Motors’ Chevrolet brand is on target to reach sales numbers it hasn't seen in a quarter century, the division's new general manager, Brent Dewar, told the US website The Car Connection (TCC).

"Our goal is to try to get back to three million," [a level Chevy last touched in 1979], Dewar reportedly told TCC at a Nashville, Tennessee celebration marking the Corvette sportscar’s 50th anniversary at the weekend.

"We're looking [at achieving that] in 2005," Dewar added, according to TCC. The website said he acknowledged that today’s US market is significantly larger than in the late 1970s so Chevrolet's share will be markedly lower.

Either way, The Car Connection noted, “it will depend on getting solid hits, if not home runs, with an array of new products, such as the Malibu Maxx”.

Dewar reportedly told TCC that Chevrolet has scheduled nine new model launches for the next nine months, calling the rollout blitz "the modern rebirth of Chevrolet."

In a separate report, The Car Connection noted that one of the most important of those launches will be the next-generation Corvette, known internally as the C6.

TCC said some details of the new model emerged at the 50th anniversary celebrations, including the launch schedule, which will start with a media preview at the Detroit Auto Show next January, while the next-generation coupe will appear in showrooms at the start of the 2005 model year, and the new convertible and an updated Z06 before the end of ‘06.

TCC noted that the original plan was to launch the coupe in autumn 2003 as an '04 model, but spending cutbacks - following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington - put the project on hold.

GM North American operations chief Gary Cowger reportedly told The Car Connection (TCC) that the delay allowed Chevrolet to "put some significant tweaks into the car."

Expect "more of everything," GM 'car czar' Bob Lutz, reportedly told TCC. The website said a base 400-plus horsepower engine appears certain while 500 hp, the new industry benchmark, is expected to be the Z06 starting point.

With these details, and more, sneaking out last weekend, US Corvette fans will surely be salivating.