GM’s (NYSE: GM) Chevy says it is “closeout” time for the 2017 versions of many of its cars. Among the vehicles with the largest discounts is the 2017 Corvette Z06 which is priced $9,107 below MSRP. The decision is ironic. Chevy just introduced, with great fanfare, the new Corvette Z1 which will be available in the Spring. Chevy describes the latest version as one of the world’s greatest supercars. Yet, Chevy is having trouble selling the current Corvette.
Corvette sales have been worse than dismal this year. Chevy sold 1,345 Corvettes in October, down 49% from October last year. Sales are off 20% for the first ten months, from 20,236 to 25,345.
The Z06 is Chevy’s current supercar, based on its own promotion. Chevy describes it as the “supercar they never saw coming” That makes it the supercar before the new supercar ZR1.
The Z06 is expensive. A version of the car with several upgraded features costs $85,000. Some sports car drivers may think that is cheap based on the car’s 630 HP engine which takes it from zero to 60 in under three seconds. Chevy argues that many other cars which go as fast are vastly more expensive. The makes it more puzzling the Chevy is having Corvette sales problems
Many car brands have high end models which most shoppers would never buy. These, the theory goes, bring shoppers into dealerships. People look at the supercar and then buy a $30,000 sedan with a small engine, or a pick-up. The Corvettes are trophies which do not sell well.
Among the most recent trophy cars which lost so many sales that it was discontinued is the Dodge Viper. The base version of the supercar cost $90,000, but some versions of the Viper sold for well over $100,000. Dodge sold 569 Vipers through the first ten months or 2017.
The Corvette may have reached the point at which it is near extinction. If not, it is certainly slipping to a point where it is nothing more than a curiosity. The curiosity is currently on sale at an extraordinary discount