As the C7 Corvette generation matures, it’s only natural that sales of new Corvettes would start to decline from their highs of 40,689 as we saw in 2016. Since then, we have watched as Corvette sales have dropped with each GM Sales Report and a new low was reached last month with just 800 Corvettes sold in January 2019.
Meanwhile the Bowling Green Assembly Plant continues to build new Corvettes which is leading to a huge supply of new Corvettes available.
We recently came across the website for eInventoryNow.com, a dealer-to-dealer resource that helps dealers manage their new vehicle inventories. They keep track of dealer inventories across the country for all GM models and from that, we get the following snapshot of the current inventory of new Corvettes available.
In the February 2019 report, eInventoryNow.com is showing 9,000 new Corvettes available which is a 232-day supply of America’s favorite sports cars. This is up from 8,000 available Corvettes that were posted in December.
Unfortunately, we don’t see this situation improving anytime soon.
Customers purchase new Corvettes either by ordering a new one from a dealership and having it built to their specs or finding an existing new Corvette for sale at the dealership. Dealers replenish those sales by ordering new Corvettes in popular colors and options for their inventories. In both cases, the cars are paid for either by the customer or by the dealer at the time they are invoiced.
Dealers continue to order new Corvettes for their inventories because they don’t want their allocation numbers to drop. Passing on available allocations now could lead to fewer Corvettes available to them in the future. And for the larger dealers, this is especially important because the C7 Corvette sales that happening right now will contribute to the kind of allocation they can get when the C8 comes available.
Meanwhile, Chevrolet hasn’t shown any support for new Corvette sales in terms of rebates or incentives, or as dealers call it, “cash on the hood” since late last year and they routinely fail to show any discounts on their “Current Offers” page at Chevrolet.com.
With the new C8 Corvette generation approaching, we had expected Chevrolet to find a way to keep customers coming back either through incentives or a new model or special edition. For example, the final year of C6 brought out the unique 427 Convertible and the 60th Anniversary package available across the line-up, the C4 Corvette offered both a Collector Edition and a limited Grand Sport model, and the end of the C3 sale the first Collectors Editions offered. So they have been through this rodeo before.
Since production of the C7 Stingray which began in the summer of 2013, a total of 177,000+ C7s have been produced over the six model years through January 2019. Many Corvette enthusiasts already own one of the four distinct models and without anything really new being offered by Chevrolet, they are holding on to their current cars.
Chevolet did reveal the four new 2019 Corvette Grand Sport Drivers Series models last month which may pull in a some passionate Corvette Racing fans, but we don’t anticipate the new cars setting any sales records. Meanwhile, the C8 Corvette is dominating the news which gives owners even more incentive to hold off on any new Corvette purchases until the new car is revealed.
If nothing else, this situation with 9,000 Corvettes available across the country should nix any further talk of the C7 and C8 Corvette being produced together in the future. When the new mid-engine Corvettes arrive (hopefully later this year as has been the plan), those existing C7s on dealer lots will help to fill the void for those customers who want the traditional front-engine configuration with copious storage space, or maybe a manual transmission Corvette so they can row their own gears!
Maybe GM is going pedal to the metal with production because they know they will need inventory in the case of a plant shutdown to retool and prepare for the C8s. But with this much inventory available and a new Corvette on the way, we don’t see this ending very well for Chevrolet and its dealers. But for those consumers wanting to buy a C7 in the age of the C8, it will be a buyers market for sure!