Wally Haley, a attorney from Howell, checks out his new 2014 Stingray. (Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News)
For the nearly 950 Chevrolet dealers across the country that have received initial shipments of the all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray, sales are as quick off the line as — well, a Corvette.
Car-shopping website Edmunds.com says Corvettes are being sold within an average of five days of when they hit dealer lots. That’s a very quick turn time.
But the seventh-generation ’Vette, known as the C7, isn’t making its way into every Chevy dealership.
GM said Chevy dealers that sold at least four Corvettes in 2012 would qualify for the initial shipments if they agreed to meet salesperson and service training requirements. How many cars they get depends on how many Corvettes they sold last year.
GM in mid-September began shipping the first Corvette Stingrays to a select 950 dealers in that first wave from its Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky. The initial wave is expected to last about six to nine months, said Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran. The remaining 2,000-plus Chevrolet dealers should be able to order cars next month, but those Corvettes won’t arrive in their showrooms until late this year or early next year, Doran said.
Les Stanford Chevrolet in Dearborn is one of the first dealers to receive the C7, as it is one of the largest Corvette dealers in the country. And sales have been strong. Scott Montgomery, general sales manager, said he delivered about 40 2014 Corvettes last month and will likely match that this month. Shipments are going across the country, as far away as Seattle.
“We get several truckloads a week that are very quickly delivered,” Montgomery said. “They don’t last long at all. The public is going nuts for this car.”
Ken Lingenfelter, 60, of Brighton received his 2014 C7, a “drop-dead gorgeous” cyber-gray metallic Stingray with red interior, about three weeks ago. The Corvette enthusiast put his order in months ago with Les Stanford Chevrolet.
“This is just an absolutely incredible car,” he said.
Lingenfelter owns Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, which enhances vehicles for more performance and power. Lingenfelter said he also bought two other 2014 Stingrays from Les Stanford for his business that had been ordered originally for other Les Stanford customers. Lingenfelter has a private car collection that includes Corvettes dating back to 1953.
“It’s a winner,” he said of the seventh-generation Corvette. “It’s got style, comfort, a lot of new electronics. The interior is much upgraded from what it was. The way it handles on the race track is very, very good.”
GM said 495 of its 831 Corvette sales in September were the 2014 Stingray. The Bowling Green plant is building about 130 new Corvettes a day.
“We have a big bank of orders that we’re trying to fulfill as quickly as possible,” Doran said.
But reports that there are six-month waiting lists for the new Corvette aren’t accurate, Doran said. GM doesn’t have a centralized waiting list for the Corvette; dealers handle their own waiting lists.
Les Stanford does have a waiting list for people who want to custom-build a Corvette. Montgomery said some customers ordered several years ago.
Stanford has sold more than 200 Corvettes this year and expects to sell a total of 375 to 400 this year.
Montgomery said 2013 Corvettes also are hot sellers now, as discounts and deals are knocking as much as $20,000 of the price of the sports car. Chevrolet, on its website, lists $2,000 cash-back offers on the 2013 Corvette.
“People have ordered ’14s and took the ’13s because there’s such a good deal on them,” Montgomery said.
The 2014 Stingray coupe begins at $51,995; the convertible, coming later this year, starts at $56,995.