Let’s try a little Economics 101: if you have a product with high inventory and low demand, and you want to sell down the existing inventory, would you raise the price or lower the price? The correct answer is “lower the price,” but the folks at General Motors apparently skipped that particular Econ lecture. Despite sluggish sales and dealers willing to sell below invoice to move inventory, the Corvette product line is getting a price hike for the 2012 model year. Base prices will be increasing by $480 to $1,150, depending upon the model. The sole exception will be the Corvette ZR1, which actually gets a price decrease this year – from $111,600 to $111,525. When you’re dropping $112,000 on a car, $75 isn’t a decrease, it’s a rounding error.
It’s bad enough that the base price is going up, but package prices are rising at an alarming rate. Adding a 2LT package (which includes Bluetooth phone connectivity, a cargo net, a luggage shade, sport seats, power lumbar support and side bolsters and a power-adjustable passenger seat) to a base Corvette Coupe, and the pice jumps by $900, which makes the car some $1,380 more expensive than last year. Want the deluxe 4LT package (which includes about every interior option you could add to a Corvette)? The package alone will cost you $1,790 more than it did last year.
Of course you could probably find plenty of new 2011 Corvettes on dealer lots, and I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about new-stock 2010 or 2009 models, either. I’m not an auto industry executive (although I am available for hire if anyone’s interested), but it seems to me that charging more money for a product that already has declining sales and excess inventory isn’t the most sound business decision you could make.