GM Announced that 2019 Corvette Prices Increased Despite Diminished Sales
As happens with every generation that came before it, the year-over-year sales numbers of the seventh-generation Chevy Corvette have been on a continued decline. The reasons for this are often varied, and can dramatically be influenced by fuel prices, the stability of the economy, etc., but the most common reason for the decline in sales of the current-gen Corvettes stems from the belief that the arrival of a next-generation Corvette is imminent.
C8 – To Be Or Not To Be?
However, recent events related to the development of the next-generation Corvette, allegedly a mid-engine model, have caused many owners and enthusiasts to question the future of the Corvette program. Despite countless sightings of a mid-engine Corvette prototype in multiple cities across the country, and just as many sightings of a mid-engine race car variant testing at various racetracks around the globe, there has been virtually no “official” word from GM that a next-generation Corvette is in the works.
There was an announcement earlier this month that the mid-engine Corvette would be absent at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in January. No further word was given if-and/or-when the car would be formally unveiled. Then, a few days ago, a report circulated on several websites – including GM Authority – that “sources familiar with the matter” had stated that engineers working on the mid-engine Corvette had “stumbled upon a problem.”
So what is the nature of this problem?
A major issue with the next-generation Corvette’s electrical system. The report indicates that the current electrical system that was developed for the car cannot cope with the load placed upon it by all of the car’s many-components.
If the reports on the new Corvette’s “electrical issues” are true, then it is also true that this recently discovered issue will push the release of the Corvette back by six months, meaning that the earliest we can realistically expect to see GM’s official unveiling of a mid-engine Corvette will be in early summer, 2019.
And it’s here where the questions begin to get interesting…
Discarding the Law of Diminishing Returns?
We know that year-over-year sales of the seventh-generation Corvette have been on the decline for the past several years. We believe that the mid-engine Corvette is delayed by six months (best case) because of electrical issues. We’ve received no other reports from GM about the existence of a mid-engine Corvette program save for the “leaked data” and considerable speculation of enthusiasts and critics….and it appears that GM has no immediate plans to provide us with any insights into the future of the Corvette – for better or worse.
Instead, Chevrolet has decided to raise prices on the 2019 Corvette. These price increases will range from a bump of $405 dollars on the price of the base model coupe to a $2,500 upcharge on the ZR1 Convertible.
This story was first published by our friends at corvetteblogger.com, who in turn had received documents from Kerbeck Chevrolet which showed the new base pricing for the upcoming model year. The Corvette price increases were apparently shared with dealerships before they were published officially on the GM website. As Kerbeck Chevrolet is one of the largest Corvette dealers in the entire nation, it makes sense that they’d have access to the price creases long before the general public was made aware of it.
The Corvette convertibles (all trim levels) are seeing a similar price-hike from 2018 to 2019. Each increase on the convertible models is an additional $500.00 tacked onto the price of the comparable coupe variant of each model (Base, Grand Sport, etc).
A complete list of all the price increases are posted below.
Stingray Z51 Coupe
Stingray Z51 Convertible
Grand Sport Coupe
Grand Sport Convertible
The price hike on the 2019 Corvette seems out of place given the decline in sales on all models. Then again, with the eighth-generation Corvette being delayed – potentially well into next year – it might be possible that a resurgence in sales of the seventh-generation Corvettes is expected. If this is true, then the sales volume would naturally drive prices up (supply vs. demand). It’s also reasonable to assume that the year-over-year manufacturing costs have increased (raw material, labor rates, transportation fees, etc.) which would translate into a larger price tag at the dealer.
At this point it’s all just speculation as little has been shared about the price increases other than the actual dollar amounts. We just hope that GM isn’t trying to make one last “money grab” with the current-generation Corvette before sending the brand out to pasture.
It should also be noted that all of the prices listed in the table above are listed before any pre-destination fee or gas tax fees. Further, in addition to the increase in the model pricing,GM is increasing the cost of Corvettes equipped with an eight-speed automatic paddle-shift transmission.Automatics are purchased and installed in approximately 80 percent of all Corvettes sold. The price of the optional automatic transmission (instead of the standard seven-speed manual) will increase from $1,725 to $1,995.
These price increases may give buyers the added motivation they need to hold-off a bit longer purchasing a new Corvette in hopes of seeing a mid-engine C8 Corvette in late 2019/early 2020. Time alone will tell.