When the new C7 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray made its world debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, many of the loud mouthed, old school Corvette owners cried foul at the new look – insisting that this car wouldn’t succeed due to the unconventional look – but after the first four months of 2014 the new Corvette is outselling the previous model by almost 200%. Here is how they did it. Patrick Rall reports from TorqueNews.com.
When the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe was introduced with a stunning, angular new look that included taillights that weren’t round for the first time ever, the old school car guys were quick to take to the internet to complain about how much they hated the new look (after their grandkids showed them how to turn the computer on, that is). They insisted that the industry wouldn’t accept a Corvette that looked like this and that a Corvette with rectangular headlights was doomed to fail. Well, much in the same way that these older car guys are unable to answer their cell phone in a timely fashion, they were unable to accurately predict the early success of the C7 Stingray.
As soon as the order banks opened late in 2013, buyers lined up to buy the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray in such massive quantities that the waiting list for Stingrays with the Z51 package quickly grew to the point where buyers might have been waiting almost a year to take delivery. In October 2013 – the first full month of C7 availability – GM recorded almost 4,000 units sold, followed by 2,500 units in November and another 3,000 in December. For comparison, GM sold 1,167 Corvettes in October 2012, 1,104 in November 2012 and 1,291 in December 2012 so when you consider the fact that GM sold more Corvettes in October 2013 than they did in the final three months of 2012, it becomes clear just how popular the new Stingray is throughout the US market.
Those early sales weren’t just a fluke, as the sales numbers for the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray have remained very strong through the first four months of 2014. Even in a particularly harsh winter, GM sold 2,261 Corvettes in January (compared to just 908 the year before) and the numbers have increased in each of the first four months. In February, GM delivered 2,438 Corvettes compared to 980 a year earlier followed by 3,480 in March and 3,514 in April after the company sold “only” 1,053 in March 2013 and 974 in April 2013. Overall, GM has sold 11,693 Corvettes in the first four months of 2014 while they sold just 3,915 Corvettes during that same time period in 2013. That translates to an increase of 198.7% in the C7’s first full year of sales.
Now, it should be noted that the introduction of the C7 Corvette Stingray last January did have a negative impact on sales of the then-current C6 Corvette. While the Corvette had been averaging roughly 1,400 units through 2012 (before the C7 was introduced), those numbers fell into the range of 900-1,000 units once the new model made its big debut. This is due to people deciding to hold off on buying a C6 in the early portion of 2013 as they waited for their chance to purchase a new C7. However, the numbers didn’t drop all that significantly so those folks who were waiting for a 2014 model didn’t skew the numbers all that much. Even compared to the Corvette sales numbers a year or more before the debut of the C7, the numbers for the newest Corvette are very, very strong and we can only expect those numbers to continue to improve as the heat of summer spreads across the entire United States.
While the old guys who still remember when you could buy a brand new Corvette for $5,500 might hate the look of the new Stingray – the consumer market has made it very clear that the design of the C7 was the big hit that GM was hoping for when designing the oldest sports car in the American auto industry.