Mark Reuss, President of General Motors Co. (GM), speaking during a revealing event for GM 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray sports car in Tustin, California, USA, Thursday, July 18, 2019.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
DETROIT – General Motors presented Chevrolet's white whale for Corvette enthusiasts on Thursday, a new mid-engine model of the famous American sports car, which many have been expecting decades for the automaker to produce.
But the biggest surprise For industry officials was not the car's 495 horsepower or 0-60 times in under 3 seconds, that was the price. GM President Mark Reuss said that "supercar" will start at under $ 60,000 ̵
"I was hoping for a starting price of under $ 80,000, and maybe even under $ 70,000," said Karl Brauer, publisher of Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book in an email. "For GM to offer the new Corvette for under $ 60,000 is incredibly impressive given the advanced nature of the new car."
Chevrolet presents its new 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray in red, white and blue in Tustin, California, Thursday, July 18, 2019.
Meghan Reeder | CNBC
Although some high-performance models are expected to be over $ 100,000 – the current completed 2019 Corvette ZR1 starts at $ 123,000 – officials say the entry price ensures that Corvette will keep its reputation as "achievable performance" and an "every-man's sports car. "Leaders hope competitive price and high performance will be enough to lure drivers away from European rivals and boost Corvette slogans sales.
"The mid-engine has always been part of Corvette's destiny, and that's something we've seen for a very long time," Reuss said during the revelation in Tustin, California. "All in all, it has been very important that we keep Corvette true to its roots of achievable performance. The mid-engine has historically challenged this mission. Not so long."
Can it compete?
Jessica Caldwell, chief executive of the Edmunds auto search site, described the award as "being true" to Corvette DNA, but warned that it did not guarantee that the car would succeed in attracting buyers from already established competitors in the segment. 19659002] "Although Corvette can compete on medium-sized European sports cars, people buy Porsches and BMWs for reasons beyond price and performance. So I don't see many Boxster buyers suddenly decide to get a Corvette instead," she said. .
Brauer agrees: "As with previous corvettes, this will stick to exotic cars that cost several times the price. But as has been true with former Corvettes, comparable performance does not guarantee the conversion of Ferrari or Porsche buyers to Chevy camp. "
Corvette enthusiasts stand up to see the new 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray unveiled in Tustin, California, Thursday, July 18, 2019.
Meghan Reeder | CNBC
The fuel truck will be the Chevrolet's LT2 small-block 6.2 liter V-8 engine rated at 495 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. There are 40 more horsepower and more pound-feet with torque than the 2019 model.
Despite similar engine performance, there is also concern for the mid-engine design that promotes traditional Corvette purchases – especially baby boomers and older generations who may not be returning to buy the new car.
"I think some of these Detroit 3 vehicles, muscle cars and such, their time runs out," said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst with Cox Automotive. "I look at Harley-Davidson as an example. The buyer base for these vehicles is aging."
Edmunds reports that 30% of Corvette buyers were 65 years of age or older in 2018, up from 28% in 2013. Nearly 60% of buyers were 55 years of age or older during the first four months of this year, according to Edmunds.
GM needed to do something new to do business issues for the car. Whether the mid-engine Corvette can redefine the supercar segment and compete against pricier competitors will be determined when it appears in showrooms early next year.
Corvette sales in the United States have continued to decline each year more than doubling the introduction of the current generation car in 2014. Corvette sales were reduced by 5% during the first half of this year. It puts GM at a pace to sell less than 20,000 units in the second consecutive year, marking five-year sales declines.
The car's performance and ability to compete with the competition have never been the problem. The company has continued to use capital on variants of the car that achieved new levels of performance in recent years.
"I'm not aware of the business case," Krebs said. "They are upgrading their production quite significantly, and I don't know how many sales will result, the jury is still out on it."
GM, which has significantly reduced the production of low-priced passenger cars, announced in April it will add a second shift and more than 400 hours of work at its Bowling Green, Ky, installation facility to support next-generation production, the Corvette mid-engine.
To help with the sale of the Corvette engine, GM launched an online reservation program. It's a first for the company, but a practice recently used by Ford, Tesla and others to drum up expectations and sales.