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2010 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Grand Sport – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to Automotive News, General Motors has seen Corvette sales increase slightly after months of decline. The General's sports car saw sales jump by 13 percent in both January and February compared to the same months one year ago. All told, Chevrolet saw 955 Corvette models slip off of dealer lots in the first two months of 2011. That's good news for General Motors. Well, maybe good is too strong of a word.

See, Corvette sales haven't exactly been breaking any records as of late. Automotive News reports that, since 2006, the vehicle's sales have been in a steady state of freefall. In fact, back then Corvette models were selling at a rate of roughly 3,000 units per month for a total of 36,518 vehicles. Last year, that figure was just 12,624.

So, why the slump? It's no secret that C6 Corvette is growing long in the tooth. The latest generation of the baddest Bow Tie was introduced in 2006, and muscle cars like the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang are now flexing similar power figures for significantly less cash. While it's true that neither of those offerings can deliver the kind of handling that the still-wicked Corvette serves up, the majority of the population simply doesn't care.



Photos copyright ©2009 Sam Abuelsamid / AOL

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req.]


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  • 65 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      "I was born the year after you and own an 06 Mustang and I don't feel "trapped in the 60s". Let's face it, after the early 70s, American cars became very boring for the most part."

      I just hate statements like this. There were lots of wonderfully designed an innovative American cars produced in the 80s and 90s. The original Taurus LX, the late Pontiac Grand Prix models from 87 - 95, the Fiero GT, the Ford Probe GT, TransAm, the Dodge Stealth GT, Viper GTS, to name just a few. Not all of them were 13 second drag strip kings, but that doesn't make them boring.

      Just because they weren't shaped like the chrome plated bricks of the 60s doesn't make them "boring".
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's why I said "for the most part". For every interesting car in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, there was ten boring ones. Remember the first 3rd gen Trans Am? You thought the Taurus was interesting? Seriously?

        Enough about styling, let's talk about performance. Remember all of the pollution restrictions and gas hikes of the early 70s? I was not around then, but have a clear understanding on the effect it had on all those exciting cars you mention from the 70s and 80s.

        In the 60s, it was about raw power, after that, it was about a bunch of other crap that slowed cars down, so yeah, in comparison, they were boring!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes I thought the Taurus was interesting. So much so that I bought a 1987 Taurus LX. Motor Trend thought it was interesting enough to name it the 1985 Car of the Year.

        You have to remember that when the Taurus debuted, there was nothing else like it on American car lots. I was in outside sales at the time and made a call on a Chysler dealer. Parked among all those boxy LeBarons and Imperials it stood out as much as a Corvette in a sea of Catalinas. It was radically different.

        It also had great handling due to it independent rear suspension.
        It had enough torque from its 3.0L V-6 to squeal the front tires on a hard launch. And it up-shifted hard enough to throw me back in the seat when I mashed the throttle.
        It also had a fantastic six speaker audio system. A friend of mine was a hard core audiophile who had a high end stereo system upon which he'd spent lots of time and money. He told a friend of ours that the sound in my Taurus was better.

        So yes, I thought it was a very interesting and innovative car in terms of its styling, handling, and performance. Its only drawback is that it was built long before Ford got serious about quality, so there were lots of aggravating problems.
      • 4 Years Ago
      and it has nothing to do with a personal gratification vehicle that only has two seats, has a relatively high MSRP for a "toy", in a Recession.....?....its basically a car for those with expendable income...and right now thats a rare beast....
        • 4 Years Ago
        The economy has not recovered until Corvette sells 30,000 copies a year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Mazdamia

        "And the middle class is probably at a proportional decline equal to Corvette sales."

        If that is the case, then why are the sales of luxury cars on the rise? With this "decline of the middle class", all car companies should be concerned. It also, does not explain why our standard of living is higher than it has ever been.

        It has more to do with an economy in the dumps and an old body style that has not even been refreshed since its debut in 2005.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Boxster has better head and shoulder room and is a much nicer car for less money than a vette. You must live in the MidWest somewhere if young people are driving vettes - the young people in Silicon Valley are driving Porsches and M3s.. maybe it plays well on the farm?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Made my contribution to March sales...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Simply priced itself out of the mkt.
      Belonged to a 35/40 member club in Alabama for 10 years , put on some great cruises, but they didn't talk Vettes at the meetings , just who,s got the newest thing ?
      • 4 Years Ago
      You can tell the car guys from the fan boys and haters very easily by there comments on here. It is easy to understand why sales are down if you even have the slightest clue about expendable income and the effect the economy has had on it combined with a life cycle that has gone on to long (partly caused by the company d-mn near going belly up). I guarantee that if any of the naysayers on here wer loaned a nice base coupe for the weekend they would have a complete different perspective on this car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Uh, the C6 was introduced as a 2005 model, not an 06.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Only 'vette I would consider would be a black Gran Sport convertible. Then, put a Magnacharger on it.

      Otherwise...they're just too common.

      If you're going to spend $75k plus, best to get something a bit more unique IMHO. Maybe a used Aston Martin or Ferrari 550.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What they should do now:

      Dump all the extras, and bring the weight down as low as possible (without adding unnecessary "lightening" parts)
      No worries about the drivetrain - it's pretty good as it is.
      Sell it for around $5 to $10K cheaper than the current price.

      They'll have an instant sales hit, with a faster car that was cheap to improve.

      It won't address the larger problem of how the car is pretty much only targeted towards baby boomers, but it will keep this car going a little longer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's targeted towards baby boomers because they are the only ones who can afford it. Remember, there was a time when the Corvette was a "kids car". Of course the insurance companies, EPA, and all of the safety nuts like Ralph Nader stomped that fire out.

        As a result, such cars are becoming less and less attainable.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I owned a 2007 Z06, and while the car was phenomenal, even though the interior sucked, the car was a lovely thing to own. I think this shape has been around for too long, and like the post said, the muscle cars that have been released recently offer similar performance for less money.

      The next gen couldnt come soon enough for my likes. Im hoping they go with the 1637-1967 Stingray body type, the retro look has been a huge hit for Camaro, and Challenger, and even the Mustang to a certain extent. Also, as they have been doing with performance end of things, GM needs to offer a version of the Corvette with an interior to compete with Porsche. Even if the mark up is high, there is more than enough people out there willing to pay for a really nice cabin, i know im one of them. Its nice to have the Z cars, but go way out of your way to make that interior something as awesome as the rest of the car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The Mustang started this whole retro pony war."

        Maybe the pony war, but Chrysler started the retro craze LONG before either Ford OR GM even considered anything retro. And THAT is reality.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @jsmeagle5

        Was it the PT Cruiser, or the Prowler? I know they came out around the same time. Hell, some would even argue that the 1994 Mustang kicked off the craze, as it was intended to be somewhat of a "retro" interpretation of the original. At least that's how it was marketed then.

        That said, I was referring to restoring American icons and renewing interest in "muscle/pony cars. When the 2005 Mustang came out, Chrysler had been out of that game since the mid 70s, and GM had decided that everyone wanted SUVs and trucks, not rear wheel drive coupes in 2002. Ford proved that they could not have been more wrong by doing what GM should have done with the Camaro and Firebird, taking old designs and replacing them with modern head-turners that people actually wanted.

        Let's just say that they hit the ball out of the park because we now have 3 such cars to choose from in a segment everyone else left for dead.

        Now, if only GM could update the styling of the Corvette with some Stingray cues and make the Impala a viable rwd Charger competitor, they will be in good shape.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "the retro look has been a huge hit for Camaro, and Challenger, and even the Mustang to a certain extent."

        Are you kidding? To what extent? The one to which neither the Camaro and Challenger would not exist were it not all the attention the 2005 Mustang got? That is the reality. The Mustang started this whole retro pony war.

        As for the Corvette having the interior of a Porsche? Not if it means a Porsche price tag!! No thanks!! I will take the Corvette with the cheaper interior that has the performance to hang with, and in some cases put any Porsche to shame at a bargain price.

        As if the Corvette hasn't become enough of a "yuppie car" as it is.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @LUST-STANG S-197

        I think what Ghost was referring to by the "to an extent" comment is that the Mustang is the least overly retro of the three, and has the most modern elements, and it's doing well.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't forget the New Beetle in helping to usher in the retro craze. The concept was shown in 1994 and started production in 1997. Outside of US/Europe, Nissan showed the Nissan Figaro concept in 1989 and produced in 1991. It was a neo-retro design of the old Datsun Fairlady roadsters.

        That said, I'm tired of retro. Automakers: please stop re-using old designs. Let's see new, fresh, bold designs that push the envelope of automobile styling. Automakers used to make radical style changes. Now, everything is incremental (either forward or backward in the case of retro).

        Think of the radical change in design between cars of the 40's versus cars of the 50's. Cars in the 40's still had tall, narrow engine compartments and discrete fenders. The 50's ushered in the monoblock shape, and fins and chrome everywhere. Then the 60's brought sleek, straight styling inspired by aerospace designs. These were radical changes in design language and car form. Now everything is practically in stasis. I want to see radical new designs on the road.

        The next Corvette should keep the quad tail lights, but radically change the form. Something crisp, cutting edge and like nothing else on the road. Something like the BMW EfficientDynamics concept (aka i8).
        • 4 Years Ago
        "The Mustang was redesigned to its current look in 2009, the same year the Camaro was due to come out."

        The current Mustang came out in 2005. The 2010, which came out in 2009 was a refresh.

        The 2005 Mustang is the reason GM finally pulled their heads out of their backsides and brought back the Camaro, and Chrysler the Challenger.

        That said, I like some elements of the Corvette concept, except for that horrid rear end. I say give it the 4 circular tail lights that have made Vettes distinctive for decades and call it a day.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lust - I acknowledged what you said as true. But I also say that Chrysler made retro chic in the first place and no, the 1994 Mustang would not qualify as "retro," not even close. I checked Wiki and they say the Prowler concept came along in 1993. Production started in 1997 and production of the PT Cruiser, which would be probably the one car that mainstreamed retro in the US, started production in 1999. I'm not taking anything from any model of Mustang, save for the horrid four cylinder monstrosities of the mid 70s through much of the 80s. But I am saying that retro was started by Chrysler and I offer the proof. Ford followed suit and ran with it and that's what brought us retro muscle. So it was Chrysler bringing the Challenger, following Ford's lead, following Chrysler's lead. GM was just sort of over there somewhere with it. But don't get me wrong on that either, because I love the Camaro. I love them all.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's sad that only 12k vettes were sold. I would never buy one new but as a used car, what a fantastic deal for a weekend driver/semi-daily driver. Pretty quick, fun, reliable (relatively), easy repairs.

      Keep a Toyotappliance for the usual daily grind and a vette for the weekend.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My C6 is great, but for daily use I drive VOLVOS.
        • 4 Years Ago
        FYI Autoblog.......The C6 was introduced in late 2004 as a 2005 model. Your stats are incorrect that you list in the article.

        Year Production
        2005 37,372
        2006 34,021
        2007 40,561
        2008 35,310
        2009 16,956
        2010 12,194

        Also, Vette sales fell off a cliff when the economy tanked. For further proof check out Porsche 911 sales during the same period.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Having a Toyotappliance in the same driveway as a Vette is a sin. How about you just get a Solara and call it a day.
        • 4 Years Ago
        umm.. I have 3 Toyotas in my driveway now and I'm looking to add a Corvette :)

        I wish I could get a Z06 with a removable roof, but I'll probably settle for a C6 and an aftermarket supercharger on it.

        I wish it could be all engine 500+ hp.. owell... we all have to settle.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Just forget Toyota. Which should be easy, as they're all pretty forgettable anyway.
        • 4 Years Ago
        kax02, I've driven worse in gridlock. The clutch on my '78 Pontiac was far heavier than today's Corvette.

        I've driven autos in gridlock and manuals in gridlock, and frankly I somewhat prefer a manual.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hella fast...and gets better (hwy) mileage than my SUV. I wish I could fit the whole family inside. It would be the daily commuter.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @greens

        A stick shift Corvette in bumper to bumper gridlock? Maybe if I hated life.
        • 4 Years Ago
        On unfortunate days I would have to go into the office, traffic to LA is about 120-150mins. Include zones of poor drivers that are too busy chatting to focus and I'd rather let another car take the beating instead. Having been tapped about 9 times last year from people who thought they had room to cut in I'd rather punish an import through the day to day and leave a vette protected in the garage for local / weekend use.
        • 4 Years Ago
        knax, I don't think it would be bad, since it should be able to get going from a stop at idle with little to no throttle (I haven't driven one but can only imagine). Compared to my Ranger with 1/4 the power and 200 lb more weight (which is usually fine in town if you don't pop the clutch), the vette should be a dream.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Even selling 12,000 Corvettes a year is a BIG business. If GM's getting $50,000 a copy on average, it's a $600,000,000 business. Just Corvette.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If this Vette is looking "LONG IN THE TOOTH", Ill still take it over the spy pics Ive seen of the FUGLY proposed new vette
        • 4 Years Ago
        This model is still pure sexiness. I say keep the design, rework the suspension, then give it some new engines and call it a mid-cycle refresh.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Remember how long the C3 soldiered on?
        • 4 Years Ago
        GM needs to do something with the Corvette. The Corvette is the very best sports car you can buy considering all points, price , performance ect.
        The Corvette style wise is stale.
        I havent seen any pics of a proposed Vette.
        I think the new JAG xk8, something along those lines is where Corvette Styling should go.
        Above all the Corvette should remain affordable to the common Man.
        The Corvette gives the Porsche guys something to scratch their ass about at a far better price.
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