Is Corvette Taking Baby Steps Toward Brand Autonomy?

Yesterday the Detroit News broke the internet with news that God’s Corvette, the C8, would be here for 2019.

While the news is tantalizing, if we take it at face value, could foreshadow a far larger development–Corvette taking the first steps toward brand autonomy.

Sources close to the project claim the current C7 Z06 and Grand Sport will soldier on until 2021–allowing the C7 to live a proper lifespan–consequentially meaning Bowling Green will produce 2 distinct models concurrently.

Why not continue evolution on the Y-body Corvette (again assuming the C8 will be all new) it’s already a proven performer and almost more importantly, it allows the Corvette brand to keep its current entry point.

What’s the point in ditching the current formula which is already raking in cash hand over fist? Power train updates, new body, suspension tweaks, interior touch points, maybe even a retro vibe.

An added benefit of spinning Corvette off into its own brand is harmonization with Cadillac, in terms of both sales channels and engineering.

Corvette and Cadillac as the upscale GM brands would allow them to share dealership space with products complimenting each other. Corvette would benefit from the upscale showroom experience Cadillac is working to build, far more appealing to potential Corvette shoppers than parsing wheel options in the room next to a college student haggling on a used Sonic.

The added brand prestige would open Corvette to a new breed of buyers, while simultaneously exposing this new breed of Corvette buyers to Cadillac.

Think of a guy who walks into the Ferrari or Lamborghini store, what are the chances he ever wanders into a Cadillac showroom? I don’t know either, but I do know if he walks into the Corvette showroom to buy whatever exquisite creation the C8 turns out to he will have to walk past the CT6, the Escalade and whatever other future product Cadillac won’t tell us about is hanging around.

In terms of engineering, we could see increased viability of projects thanks to not only volume splitting, but also the capability of both brands to sell the products.

Think about a RWD performance SUV from Cadillac, in the same vein as Jaguar’s F-Pace and its escalating variations. A product like that could equally live under the Corvette banner, analogous to the symbiotic, yet competitive relationship between Audi and Porsche.

However complications could arise in terms of fuel economy standards, with Corvette as its own brand it would have to stand on its own two feet. Conversely, to combat the regulatory environment Corvette could be the perfect home for high-end electric and hybrid projects. But now were getting ahead of ourselves…

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