The new Corvette is a loss leader.
If like many of us, you thought the $59,995 starting price for the new completely redesigned mid-engine C8 generation Corvette sounds low, you're probably right. We already knew the price would rise after the first year, but the structure behind pricing has remained a mystery, at least, until now. The C7 did the same thing by a couple of thousand dollars, but, according to Motortrend, a senior GM official says that the C8 price "would have to go through the roof in order to cover GM's cost."
MotorTrend's source also says that the original budget for the C8 project assumed a starting price of $79,995. That was around what most of us expected the new car to cost until Bob Lutz said otherwise. We're talking about an entirely new chassis design here, and a mid-engined platform is inherently more costly to design to build from scratch. If $79,995 was the number Chevy had in mind designing the C8 Corvette, that means the brand could be eating anything up to twenty grand per base model car it sells next year.
There could be a range of reasons why Chevy is prepared to send the C8 Corvette into the wild as such a loss leader. The automaker knew the change to a mid-engined layout would upset many long term fans of the car, and delivering it at such a competitive price would make it more palatable. It should also ensure that Chevy will sell every single new Corvette that rolls off the line with little, if any, delay for the first year. It has also created an incredible buzz, and if it performs as well as is promised, it'll keep stealing headlines for some time.