Tribune News Service published a list of the 10 least popular cars in America. The list contained cars that weren’t selling and had the largest dealer inventory backlogs. There were the normal Buicks and Fiats. One surprising appearance was from the C7 Corvette. Chevy dealers have a 232-day supply at dealerships, which is about 9,000 vehicles. Sales dipped to just 800 in January.
Much of this is just timing. The C7 Corvette is getting on in years. Vette enthusiasts are doubtless waiting for the rumored to be mid-engined C8 model that will be announced shortly. Winter isn’t ideal Corvette buying time. Still, that’s a large number of Corvettes sitting around on dealer lots.
Reason would suggest this is an outstanding time to buy a Corvette. Dealers don’t have much leverage while desperate to clear inventory. The longer cars sit, the less leverage dealers have. From some quick searching, there are deals to be had.
I started near my home in Suburban Detroit, home of the muscle car. I searched the five closest Chevy dealers geographically. Three of the dealers had no 2019 Corvettes listed in their inventory. The other two had 18 2019 Corvettes combined. The listed sale prices averaged more than a 10 percent discount off MSRP. The closest to MSRP was a Stingray Coupe 1LT selling for $53,533, a $5,902 discount. More expensive Z06 trims were going for $10,000-$11,000 below MSRP.
National searches found similar deals, but not at every dealership. Geography mattered a little bit. Atlanta showed discounts in the 10 percent range. New York City dealerships offered little if any Corvette inventory and no discounts. John Elway’s dealership in Denver was offering about $1500 off new models. But, geography was not always relevant. In Orange County, one dealership was offering near 10 percent discounts as a teaser for even better rates. Another five miles away dropped the price $500 below MSRP as though that were a steal.
The best route is to find dealers that specialize in Corvettes with a lot of inventory. This dealer in Duluth, GA with 76 Corvettes is offering well over 10 percent and potentially more if you inquire.
One caveat to the great deals, however, is the ZR1. The range-topper, starting at $123,000 MSRP, is in a different niche. You are unlikely to find a ZR1 discounted by $20,000. The most I saw it lowered, if a dealership even had one, was $500 below MSRP. Many in that rarified realm will be ordering a customized one anyway.
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