Jan 13, 2013 - Detroit, MI - Chevrolet hosted a launch event to introduce the new Corvette Stingray. Photo by Joe Nuxoll.Enlarge Photo
When an automaker launches a new car, particularly one as iconic as the Chevrolet Corvette, it takes a risk. Will people actually buy it? Will customers be turned off by the new styling? Or has the market simply moved on to something new? If General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] had any concerns beforehand it certainly won't now, as first-year C7 Corvette production already gets close to the last three years of C6 production combined.
According to Corvette Blogger, a graphic shown by GM reveals that 37,288 Corvettes were built in the 2014 model year alone. That's the third-best number in the modern era (since 1985's 39,729 sales) after 2005 (37,372) and 2007 (40,561). Both of those totals were C6 Corvettes, obviously, but shows initial demand for the C7 is right on the money, given its similarity to the 2005 Corvette's sales. Additionally, 35 percent of buyers went for the car's seven-speed manual, and white has shot up as the second most popular color choice—behind red.
Car sales naturally decline over time, though the C6 was hugely affected by the financial crisis of 2008-2009 and never really recovered. Sales ticked over in the teens since then, so GM will be glad to see a resurgence with the latest C7. It also shows that buyers have responded warmly to the latest Corvette's styling, whose angular lines and square-shaped rear lights caused some consternation when initially revealed.
That the Corvette has become even more of a performance bargain compared to previous generations—providing 460 horsepower for $53,995—certainly helps, as do innovations like cylinder deactivation to save gas and a hugely improved interior over the C6. It's comfortably the best-selling sports car in the segment too, with January to July deliveries over three times greater than that of Porsche's 911. With a 650-horsepower Z06 on the way, a new eight-speed automatic, and production in full swing, the C7 certainly has a bright few years ahead of it.