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I Can See Why Corvette Sales Trail Off So Much During the End of a Model Run

Old 10-13-2018, 04:31 PM
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Michael A
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Default I Can See Why Corvette Sales Trail Off So Much During the End of a Model Run

C7 sales have been dropping by 5000 units a year over the past two years. The argument could be made that everyone who wanted a C7 already has one. However, I believe that's only part of the story. After the Grand Sport, Z06 and ZR1 models are out, the models are essentially feature frozen until the next model run. They do almost no updating. It's not zero, but close to it.

I was looking at the Camaro, and I was blown away by how much it has been updated compared to the Corvette over the same period of time..

* LED headlights
* Phone wireless charging
* Gen 3 infotainment system with HD touch screen
* HD backup camera
* Blind spot monitoring
* Cross traffic alert
* Forward collision avoidance
* Electronic rear view mirror camera

One could argue that it's a sports car, and no one needs this technology. However, I keep hearing GM say they want younger buyers for the Corvette. Young people like new tech. They demand new tech in their cars. Some older buyers do, too. The more cars that get this technology, the more outdated the Corvette looks.

If you look at the Mustang, that car gets engine horsepower updates every year or two. The Corvette gets none.

When you buy a 2019 base Stingray, you are essentially buying a 2014 car. It's like sitting in a time capsule. You have to give people a reason to trade in their car for a new one. Corvette is not doing that, and the sales numbers reflect it.
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Old 10-13-2018, 04:56 PM
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I'm actually glad that the horsepower on the LT1 hasn't changed over the years, because I DON'T want to feel obligated to have to go buy a new C7 every few years to have the latest and greatest HP...just think of all the mustang owners that went out and bought the latest/greatest high horsepower GT offering then only to find that a few months later, with the new model brings a power increase. It would downright **** me off. Also, it's pretty amazing that while the LT1 has retained the same horsepower throughout its run, it's still a force to be reckoned with.

One could also argue that your a bit wrong about the 2019 being the same as the 2014...for example many of the features on the 19 did not exist on the 14 like D shaped steering wheel, 8 speed auto, front cameras, pull down rear hatch, apple car play, and probably a host of other gizmos that escape me. With that said, I do agree with you that those additions are not significant enough for me to ditch my antiquated 2015 for a newer model. I chalk it up to GM simply getting the C7 pretty damn right out of the gate.

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Old 10-13-2018, 05:14 PM
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My biggest complaint with GM is the FACT that they do not do software updates to their cars during a models run. They do this purposely cause they want customers to just buy the same body style car but newer for a few new features they threw in. I think it's bs myself. They probably could offer it, they just won't.

Appearance stuff I don't care about. Those parts are interchangeable. I have a 2015 but I have a 2016 steering wheel, a 2017 headliner etc.

Last edited by ssidekickbp; 10-13-2018 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 10-13-2018, 05:39 PM
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It's a heavy cross to bear being stuck with a C7. GM must realize this and leave off a lot of goodies, knowing the cult buyers will buy anything labeled: Corvette.
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Old 10-13-2018, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by lakemg View Post
I'm actually glad that the horsepower on the LT1 hasn't changed over the years, because I DON'T want to feel obligated to have to go buy a new C7 every few years to have the latest and greatest HP...just think of all the mustang owners that went out and bought the latest/greatest high horsepower GT offering then only to find that a few months later, with the new model brings a power increase. It would downright **** me off. Also, it's pretty amazing that while the LT1 has retained the same horsepower throughout its run, it's still a force to be reckoned with.

One could also argue that your a bit wrong about the 2019 being the same as the 2014...for example many of the features on the 19 did not exist on the 14 like D shaped steering wheel, 8 speed auto, front cameras, pull down rear hatch, apple car play, and probably a host of other gizmos that escape me. With that said, I do agree with you that those additions are not significant enough for me to ditch my antiquated 2015 for a newer model. I chalk it up to GM simply getting the C7 pretty damn right out of the gate.
Great feeling not having an outdated model after one year, the features listed by the op for the Mustang I certainly can do without.
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:01 PM
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All high volume cars are regularily refreshed like Camaro/Mustang/Camry etc. — the
competition and numbers dictate refresh. Low volume cars like the Vette it doesn’t make economic sense...look at the cycles for Lexus LS/LX even
longer than Vettes.
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael A View Post
One could argue that it's a sports car, and no one needs this technology. However, I keep hearing GM say they want younger buyers for the Corvette. Young people like new tech. They demand new tech in their cars. Some older buyers do, too. The more cars that get this technology, the more outdated the Corvette looks.
FWIW the update to Android Auto and Apple Carplay were huge, and done within the first few years. (My son the computer engineer age 27 drove my 2017 C7 for several hundred miles and said that the smart phone integration was excellent.)
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Old 10-13-2018, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael A View Post
You have to give people a reason to trade in their car for a new one. Corvette is not doing that, and the sales numbers reflect it.
Exactly. Most people get a new car every 4-5 years so if nothing's changed in 5+ years you're going to lose customers...

Except for me, the irony is that my current car model has stagnated and that is the reason I'm getting a Vette. I currently have a 2016 Charger SRT 392. They've done nothing to entice me to upgrade to a new one because it would be the same exact car I already have and there is nothing new on the horizon. So I'm buying a Vette.

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Old 10-13-2018, 07:50 PM
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Yeah, the Camaro has even been "upgraded" with a hideous new front grill.
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael A View Post
C7 sales have been dropping by 5000 units a year over the past two years. The argument could be made that everyone who wanted a C7 already has one. However, I believe that's only part of the story. After the Grand Sport, Z06 and ZR1 models are out, the models are essentially feature frozen until the next model run. They do almost no updating. It's not zero, but close to it.

I was looking at the Camaro, and I was blown away by how much it has been updated compared to the Corvette over the same period of time..

* LED headlights
* Phone wireless charging
* Gen 3 infotainment system with HD touch screen
* HD backup camera
* Blind spot monitoring
* Cross traffic alert
* Forward collision avoidance
* Electronic rear view mirror camera

One could argue that it's a sports car, and no one needs this technology. However, I keep hearing GM say they want younger buyers for the Corvette. Young people like new tech. They demand new tech in their cars. Some older buyers do, too. The more cars that get this technology, the more outdated the Corvette looks.

If you look at the Mustang, that car gets engine horsepower updates every year or two. The Corvette gets none.

When you buy a 2019 base Stingray, you are essentially buying a 2014 car. It's like sitting in a time capsule. You have to give people a reason to trade in their car for a new one. Corvette is not doing that, and the sales numbers reflect it.
Since 2014, Camaro sales have been declining. More tech does not seem to be helping.

http://gmauthority.com/blog/gm/chevr...sales-numbers/

I am going to drive my 2017 time capsule for another 6 or 7 years just like I did my C6.



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Old 10-13-2018, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ssidekickbp View Post
My biggest complaint with GM is the FACT that they do not do software updates to their cars during a models run. They do this purposely cause they want customers to just buy the same body style car but newer for a few new features they threw in. I think it's bs myself. They probably could offer it, they just won't.

Appearance stuff I don't care about. Those parts are interchangeable. I have a 2015 but I have a 2016 steering wheel, a 2017 headliner etc.
Not always true, the Mag Ride suspension got much-improved calibrations for 2019, and previous years can buy the upgrade for $350.
Having done the upgrade, I think it's worth every penny and am very glad GM made it available for our 2017 instead of us having to buy a new car.
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Old 10-13-2018, 08:39 PM
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That's really the only one they have done though. There's no reason why they couldn't do others.

The 2014 car is still essentially the same as the 2019's coming off the line today. I think that's the main point the OP was trying to make.
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:12 PM
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Yes, this pisses me off, too. I have a 2016 that didn't come with Android Auto installed, but capable. It was offered as a free upgrade but that expired after a year. I have a work iPhone so didn't get around to it during the free period so I just got the update and it cost $140. Then there was the MSRC "upgrade" (not update). OK, so it was an upgrade. Another $350. The I got the GM maps update for the onboard Nav... not really necessary with CarPlay and AA but once in awhile it is handy. $99 on sale. Nickel, dime, and hundred $ing us to death for simple software updates. Other mfgs do similar, but making stuff like ths free would be a simple and big way to earn some good will.

Originally Posted by ssidekickbp View Post
My biggest complaint with GM is the FACT that they do not do software updates to their cars during a models run. They do this purposely cause they want customers to just buy the same body style car but newer for a few new features they threw in. I think it's bs myself. They probably could offer it, they just won't.

Appearance stuff I don't care about. Those parts are interchangeable. I have a 2015 but I have a 2016 steering wheel, a 2017 headliner etc.
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Old 10-13-2018, 09:27 PM
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The c8 is rumored to be getting over the air updates. In this new world where tesla gets new features pushed to their avionics periodically, the younger generations will demand updates like their smart phones.

This is why you are seeing ecu encryption on the zr1 which is "unhackable". The electric and automated car work is also a push in this direction. It's about time.
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Old 10-13-2018, 10:26 PM
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Ditto.....
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Old 10-13-2018, 11:19 PM
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Porsche does quite well with minimal updates during a generational run.

Of course unit sales are somewhat less yet many would suggest its higher price has some effect on unit sales in the USA.

to many of us porsche design changes even between generations is minimal.

The upcoming 992 does seem an interesting departure.

my neighbor this week who has owned 3porsches...the 997, 991 and 992 911s convertible stick shifts is now discussing this december of selling his 991.2 for a new mclaren 720.

i suggested he wait for the january release at the detroit show to consider a c8...

porsches losong customers i think to mclaren...

the rumored rear mid engine corvette is 40 years in the making ...

that probably has a lot to do with the sharp falloff of the c7
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:24 AM
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um, ok. But Camaro guy admits 'ros are falling off the cliff, saleswise. what i would hate, if i was a ZL1 buyer, is to see the planned Camaro push as the "economy alternative" sports car to Mustang, with tens of thousand of economy camaro's pushed out the door at $19,995, (plus 20% off MSRP, like chevy is advertising the Silverado in commercials now) for a car i paid 70k for.

Through July, Ford has sold nearly 20,000 more Mustangs.Sales of American sports cars is falling; however, the Chevy Camaro is seeing sales decline faster than its competitors, prompting the automaker to cut the car’s starting price to $25,995, including destination. It also cut the price on the refreshed 2019 1LT and 2LT trims. The company hopes the lower price will help the model claw back to being sales king over the Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, which has clobbered the Camaro in sales since 2015.

"Frankly, they've been eating our lunch," said Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer of the Camaro, said of the Mustang, in particular, speaking with Automotive News. "The low [transaction prices] of a four-cylinder ... that's where the bulk of the sales are and that's where our pricing strategy needed improvement. We plan to go head to head — and win.”

According to the publication, Camaro sales are down 28 percent so far this year, selling just 29,551 examples through July. Ford sold 48,362 Mustangs during the same period. From 2010 to 2014, Camaro sales dominated the Mustang. However, since 2015, when Ford introduced an all-new Mustang, the Camaro has struggled to beat Mustang sales. In 2015, Ford sold 122,349 Mustangs – up nearly 40,000 over 2014 – compared to just 77,502 Camaros the same year.

Steve Majoros, Chevy's marketing director for cars and crossovers, told Automotive News. "We do a phenomenal job with our loaded SS's, and it's great business for us, but the reality is there's an awful lot of people who just want a great looking sports car somewhere in that $30,000 range, and that's what we're going to deliver."

Price isn’t the Camaro’s only issue. Poor outward visibility and polarizing styling could be factors in it’s declining sales, and a lower price may not instantly rejuvenate sales as the automaker hopes.
Camro Cliff Diving

Last edited by SilverGhost; 10-14-2018 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by FLEXjs View Post
Exactly. Most people get a new car every 4-5 years so if nothing's changed in 5+ years you're going to lose customers...

Except for me, the irony is that my current car model has stagnated and that is the reason I'm getting a Vette. I currently have a 2016 Charger SRT 392. They've done nothing to entice me to upgrade to a new one because it would be the same exact car I already have and there is nothing new on the horizon. So I'm buying a Vette.
What about the Hellcat Charger?
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Michael A View Post
C7 sales have been dropping by 5000 units a year over the past two years. The argument could be made that everyone who wanted a C7 already has one. However, I believe that's only part of the story. After the Grand Sport, Z06 and ZR1 models are out, the models are essentially feature frozen until the next model run. They do almost no updating. It's not zero, but close to it.

I was looking at the Camaro, and I was blown away by how much it has been updated compared to the Corvette over the same period of time..

* LED headlights
* Phone wireless charging
* Gen 3 infotainment system with HD touch screen
* HD backup camera
* Blind spot monitoring
* Cross traffic alert
* Forward collision avoidance
* Electronic rear view mirror camera

One could argue that it's a sports car, and no one needs this technology. However, I keep hearing GM say they want younger buyers for the Corvette. Young people like new tech. They demand new tech in their cars. Some older buyers do, too. The more cars that get this technology, the more outdated the Corvette looks.

If you look at the Mustang, that car gets engine horsepower updates every year or two. The Corvette gets none.

When you buy a 2019 base Stingray, you are essentially buying a 2014 car. It's like sitting in a time capsule. You have to give people a reason to trade in their car for a new one. Corvette is not doing that, and the sales numbers reflect it.
You think that is bad, look at a GMC or Chevy truck. Not only know technology updates but years behind the competition.

Traded my 06 GMC Crew Cab dually, SLT, every option for 06 in April of 17. The GMC Denali was a Joke. Basically the same tech as my 06, same tiny sun roof, same key fob and ignition. Very disappointed to add insult, GMC dealer offered way less for my trade which was bought and serviced there. Also would take little off the new truck. No way was I spending 60K for a truck that I had to take the key out of my pocket, with tech.

My 2014 Stingray had key less entry and ignition, as does my wifes 2012 Range rover and my Harley. Not buying something I need to get a key out for unless its a collector car...

F-150 Platinum has way more tech then the Denali. Much better seats, sound system, Nav system, Key less ingnition, and entry. Much better sunroof, better mirrors. Better camera system. Get this for less money than the Denali. And Ford gave me 5K more for my truck and Took 6K more off their truck.

GM's lack of updating is the only reason I'm in a Ford. I wanted a GMC as I have aways had one. This is my First non GMC truck in 35 years
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave80C3 View Post

My 2014 Stingray had key less entry and ignition, as does my wifes 2012 Range rover and my Harley. Not buying something I need to get a key out for unless its a collector car...
Agree. Some stuff is absolutely necessary in an upscale vehicle, and keyless entry is on my list.

C7 should have blind spot monitoring, though when doing the design a decade ago they chose not to include as the ducting in rear panels would have occupied the same space. Bad decision as it turned out, as this is standard in many lesser vehicles, and using the underbody ducting as in convertibles might have freed up the space. Still, you can't expect a lot of retooling during a model run.

The video rear view mirror as in some Cadillacs should have been phased in as an alternative. I suspect it will show up on C8.

Adaptive driving aids like auto braking, smart cruise control, and lane keeping also would be useful, not that you need these for ultimate performance but that they are available as standard on many Hondas and Subarus and are useful on the road. As with blind spot monitoring these likely required tooling changes to include on C7--and space in the front end much easier to free up in a redesign. Again, I would expect these on C8, and they should be standard..
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