GM CEO Mary Barra Talks C8 Corvette Pricing and Spinning Off Corvette as a Brand


GM CEO Mary Barra Talks C8 Corvette Pricing and Spinning Off Corvette as a Brand

If you ever doubted the faith General Motors has in the future of the Chevrolet Corvette, listen to Chairman and CEO Mary Barra in this exclusive wide-ranging interview with MotorTrend.

It was time for Corvette to make the move to a mid-engine architecture, she said, “and it was a huge investment, but it was something we really believed in. We believed it was important for the Chevrolet brand, for the Corvette franchise itself.”

And, speaking of brands, Barra says GM would never rush into a decision amid internet speculation that the company is considering spinning off the Corvette into its own brand.

“I think you have to be really careful,” she warns, “because you have to understand what makes the brand the brand. So I’m not going to say never, but I think if General Motors were to ever do anything, we would assess it very, very carefully. Corvette means something so special to so many people.”

GM CEO Mary Barra Talks C8 Corvette Pricing and Spinning Off Corvette as a Brand

We get the feeling that Chevrolet is the place the company wants the Corvette to remain.

Just listen to Barra’s comments: “What I think is really important is Chevrolet is a home for Corvette and Chevrolet is American, and it’s value, it’s ingenuity. I think all of that is captured.”

She says Corvette “represents all that Chevrolet means, and part of that is, I think, that it is obtainable. So I think we will work really hard to make sure that we always live true to the Chevrolet brand, which is American, it’s value, it’s ingenuity.”

And, speaking of value, Barra wouldn’t say yes or no when asked by MotorTrend if the base price of the 2021 Corvette would increase, amid recent reports that the company is losing bundles of money at the current $59,995 starting point for the 2020 model.

“It’ll depend on how people content it,” she said.

We assume that means GM is hoping the low entry price will draw in customers, who will then proceed to check off enough option boxes for the company to make a profit. For example, the Z51 3LT model tested by MotorTrend listed for $88,305.

Barra said GM never considered keeping a front-engine Corvette as an entry-level model, alongside a more expensive mid-engine model.

“I think as we looked at it, we stepped back, and I think Tadge (Juechter, Corvette chief engineer) probably said it best when he said we had really taken the C7, that architecture style, as far as we could go without going to mid-engine. So it was time….”

GM CEO Mary Barra Talks C8 Corvette Pricing and Spinning Off Corvette as a Brand

Barra says it’s also time to begin seeing C8s on dealer lots, with the production of the car delayed a couple of months because of the UAW strike. Longtime salesman Mike Furman said in an email to customers this week that he guesses the first deliveries could be made beginning at the end of February.

In sum, Barra believes in the future of the Corvette, saying that it “pulls together and represents what the product development and marketing teams are capable of, truly understanding the customer and creating a leading vehicle that’s still affordable. I can’t wait until they’re in customer hands.”


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  1. To bad g.m. workers are cheated out of this car. Call me mary barra and find out how your dealerships are staling allotments and sending vette customers elsewhere. My number is in g.m. complaint,corvette concierge and paradise chevrolet in ca. You are already destroying the attainable status of this car.
    David solis

  2. If someone thinks that GM is going to lose money on the base C8, they don’t know that the Corvette has the highest profit margin of all the cars GM makes. They are second only to the trucks in profit. The C8 is less expensive to build than the C7 too.

  3. All the talk about discontinuing the Camaro! I have a better idea! Why not make a mid engine camaro. A new body design, new engine or use the 6.2. I really think we need the Camaro. It’s an Icon, and GM has shown that they can design a world class Corvette! Now build a mid engine Camaro! Keep it dead until it’s finished .And instead of dropping the Camaro in 2023 introduce it and now you have your 2nd world class vehicle. Quit reacting to others start leading others. I’m a Die Hard , lifetime Chevy guy! But although I work up to 14 hrs a day 7 days a week I can only dream of buying a new vehicle. But seeing what is possible brings hope to what Chevy guys dream of is Bad assed cars and the Camaro needs to stay. We need to quit abandoning the Camaro and Wake up the Beast! Build a mid engine Camaro redesign it . Do it right no short cuts.

  4. So…… who is the recipient of the first 60 k Corvette ? Buy a lottery ticket and hope for the best. GM will ride the full option buyer list for months till the demand slows. Mean while dealers have deposits on ” hope ” offering excuses of some type or other. The UAW will be the blame. Truth to be known, they have more robots than workers and more coming on line.
    Why would anyone believe they would separate Corvette from the GM family ? Its been the center of their advertising campaign for decades. C7s are rising in value, plenty of dealer stock , and being careful not to flood the market with cheap 60 k examples is the plan. Mary Berra is not calling any shots. Just someone to take the flack better than an aging corporate male. Also like the Harley game plan they are enticing the foreign market getting a better foot hold in Europe.
    Mean while Joe Lunchbox will be waiting for what seems a lifetime to step up and receive the base MSRP example. Driving schools will get them with strict resale controls and engineering feed back.

  5. I bought a C7 Grand Sport Ragtop this year. I’m old school I just love the design, handling and the superb performance of the Corvette. Not really into the new design, however I am so happy that GM has made this car a little more affordable for the younger generation and I hope they sell a ton of them. Nice to keep Zora’s
    dream alive, the Vette has an amazing history. It’s an amazing American made sports car. I’ve had a few of these collector cars and have always loved each and everyone of them!

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