General Motors Design Chief Michael Simcoe sure made some headlines this week following his presentation at the Concours d’Elegance America in Plymouth, MI.
During that presentation, AutoBlog reported that Michael said, “I think the orders have already hit the first year of production numbers” and upon further questioning, Simcoe said “It’s nearly sold out. It’s so close that it’s bound to be sold out soon”.
Those statements from the design chief lit the up the phones of Corvette dealers across the country who took calls from those worried they had already missed out on the opportunity to purchase the car for the 2020 model year.
Although I am sure that Michael is proud of the response the next generation Corvette has received, the car is actually far from being sold out and here is why.
Most dealers have been keeping a list of interested buyers which up until this week was just a list and not actual sold orders. Those customers may have put down a “refundable deposit” for their place in line. Dealers can now enter those orders into the system, but no one is guaranteed a new Corvette just yet.
Dealers are expected to get pricing on August 15th in which they will then go back to the buyers with reservations and present them with the price of the car that was ordered. We know from previous years that a number of those buyers will then elect not to move forward with placing deposits on the car, thereby freeing up that allocation for another buyer.
Other factors will also cause some potential buyers to back out or hold off include not being able to order the exact car they want because of order constraints on selected colors, options and equipment.
Some customers will attempt to “dealer shop”, meaning they may have several initial refundable deposits at different dealerships and will only accept the one that offers them the fastest opportunity to get a car. Many buyers won’t get their cars until at least a year from now and for some of those, their financial circumstances may have changed from when the order was initially placed.
Since Simcoe’s statement, we’ve seen or heard from some of the largest Corvette dealers who are saying they still have plenty of allocations available for the car. We know that the top three Corvette dealers in the USA (Kerbeck, MacMulkin and Criswell) all have plenty of allocations available for the 2020 Corvette and we are sure this extends down the list of dealers as well.
No doubt that Chevrolet has a hit on its hands, which is why they elected to announce the addition of a second shift at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant back in April to handle the additional demand for the car.
Will the C8 Corvette eventually sell out? The old joke about Corvette sales goes something like this: “How many Corvettes do they sell each year? All of them.”
Over the course of the next year, Chevrolet will indeed sell all the 2020 Corvettes. But to say they are sold out now is just not a correct statement to make at this time.
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