Corvette Convertibles Now Account for 41 Percent of C8 Production
We’ve had a love affair with the new C8 Corvette Convertible model ever since we first saw the unveiling of the new model at the Kennedy Space Center in October 2019. With its exotic looks and no trade-offs when compared to the C8 Coupe, the C8 Convertible brings a whole new level of performance and excitement to the drop-top model.
Apparently I am not alone in thinking this. During the National Corvette Museum’s Bash Event this week, we got the first preliminary production numbers for the 2021 model year and convertible sales haven’t been this strong since the 1969 model year!
Corvette Product Manager Harlan Charles shared the 2021 order numbers that are based on a total of 19,362 Corvettes in GM’s Order Bank. These include both Corvettes that have already been produced, as well as those that are still awaiting production. We know that this number isn’t final for 2021 and we expect to see another couple of thousand cars added to that total before the model year officially concludes this summer.
Currently, the Convertible models are now accounting for 41% of all 2021 orders while the coupes make up 59% of production. In terms of raw numbers, that’s approximately 7,938 Convertibles vs 11,423 Coupes.
The Convertibles are also proving to be profit centers for the model as 52% of shoppers are choosing the 3LT model vs 40% ordering 2LT and only 8% going with the base 1LT model. While a majority of 2020 Corvette Coupe orders selected the 3LT trim package, for 2021 it’s the 2LT leading all Coupe orders at 47% vs 33% for 3LT and 20% choosing the base 1LT.
The unique options for convertible buyers can customize are the roof and nacelles. The Carbon Flash Roof/Nacelles option (D84) represents 35% of all Convertibles while the Carbon Flash Nacelles-only option (D86) accounts for just 9% of orders. That leaves a majority of 2021 Convertibles (56%) being ordered in body color without the enhancements.
As mentioned earlier, we haven’t seen sales numbers look this good for the Convertible model since 1969 when 43% of buyers choose the ’69 Stingray Convertible vs the 57% that purchased the T-Top Coupe model. A quick review of the Corvette Black Book appears to confirm this. As a quick refresher, other significant model years for the convertible like the re-introduction of the convertible in 1986 only accounted for 21% of orders while the all-new C5 convertible released in 1998 was 38%. In 2014 with the introduction of the C7 Corvette, the convertible model was 29% of production.
We’re thinking that 40% does sound like the sweet spot for the mix of Convertible vs Coupe production and it will be interesting to see how that holds up with the introduction of future models. While not scientific to say the least, I have three friends who originally purchased 2020 Coupes and all of them have said their next C8 Corvette will be a convertible version should Chevy choose to offer convertibles on the upper-performance models.
Source: Keith Cornett for Corvette Blogger