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Is Chevrolet Camaro cannibalizing sales of the Corvette?

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Filed under: Car Buying, Coupe, Performance, Chevrolet, GM

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Last year was brutal for the auto industry, with sales down by 21 percent versus 2008. Sports cars were hit even harder, as many customers shied away from spending big dollars on what typically amounts to a second or third vehicle. The Chevrolet Corvette was no different, as America's sports car saw sales plummet 48 percent versus 2008 - the worst year for Vette sales in nearly 50 years. But was the drop in Corvette sales because of the economy, or its new pony car stablemate, the Camaro?

Wards Automotive
claims that web data shows the number one competitor to the Vette isn't something like the Nissan GT-R or Porsche 911 - it's the reborn Camaro. But who in their right mind would cross-shop a track-ready thoroughbred with near supercar performance and a relative bargain price tag against the heavier, less agile, less exclusive Camaro? Apparently a lot of people. The Camaro had a rather remarkable 2009, with 61,648 units sold in its first year back. The new Bowtie coupe even managed to beat out the Mustang the last seven months of the year and came within 5,000 sales of besting Ford's iconic steed despite the fact that the Camaro didn't go on sale until spring.

With the economy still on the rocks, we're thinking there may have been some customers who noticed that the Camaro has the same V8 engine as a base model Corvette, seating for four and a price of entry that starts some $18,000 lower than Chevy's halo car. The Camaro is also a fresh face for the 2010 model year after an eight-year hiatus from the market, while the C6 Vette is now on its sixth year of production, and despite frankly incredible variants like the Grand Sport, ZR1 and just-announced Z06 Carbon, Chevy's top dog is getting a little long-in-the-tooth.

Either way, it's hard to argue with the fact that having two high performance, rear-wheel-drive vehicles in the same showroom is going to mean that there will be some cross-shopping. We're not complaining, though, because choice is a good thing, especially when the options are as nice as these two.

[source: Wards Automotive | Image: Joe Raedle/Getty]

Is Chevrolet Camaro cannibalizing sales of the Corvette? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Mar 2010 12:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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EH, all the pricey cars are hurting, so I'm thinking the Camaro really didn't hurt it.

The reason the Camaro is doing so well is beacuse 1) It's new. and 2) People have been waiting a while for one!

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Considering the C6 is in it's 6th year w/ no significant changes (at least in the regular model), it's not surprising the sales are down, even considering the economy.

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It's funny because I am going to talk about this in the Camaro SS review I'm writing.

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It has to a limited extent.

The Camaro is new and hold more than 2 people. This could and has taken a few sales with people I know with the SS.

The Vette will take another hit with the Z28 coming too.

But the C7 will spur sales again as with the Vette after each new C intro always peeks in the first year or two and then dies off each and every year till the new plat form arrives. It is the cycle of life for a C car.

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Considering the C6 is in it's 6th year w/ no significant changes (at least in the regular model), it's not surprising the sales are down, even considering the economy.

+1

And it's still a halo car, so I'm not worried....

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The corvette has too many trim levels and not enough standard features. The interior needs a major redo and interior comforts should be standard. The Corvette brand should focus on performance to distinguish the trim levels and not comfort/appearance.

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The corvette has too many trim levels and not enough standard features. The interior needs a major redo and interior comforts should be standard. The Corvette brand should focus on performance to distinguish the trim levels and not comfort/appearance.

Performance does distinguish the major trim levels--base, Grand Sport, Z06, ZR1. All distinguished by performance differences (and appearance).

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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The corvette has too many trim levels and not enough standard features. The interior needs a major redo and interior comforts should be standard. The Corvette brand should focus on performance to distinguish the trim levels and not comfort/appearance.

I thought they have. The base Vette and Grand Sport are the only ones that have the same engine but even the GS still gets added performance features. The Z06 has more Engine suspension, tire, fenders, etc.

The ZR1 has even more performance, brakes and even more tire.

If you fix the base interior you fix them all.

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depends on if you want to be seen or you want to use the car. camaro is instant street cred for the moment because its in, take it to the track however and its a different story. stock it isnt going to impress, but even the Z51 vettes could do well on the track off the lot.

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