General Motors CEO Mary Barra has addressed speculation that the automaker may be interested in spinning the Corvette nameplate off into its own sub-brand, pouring some cold water on the recent rumors.
When asked by Motor Trend if GM would consider separating the Corvette from Chevrolet, Barra said the two brands fit well together as they are both iconic American brands and they both place an emphasis on value relative to the competition.
“What I think is really important is Chevrolet is a home for Corvette and Chevrolet is American, and it’s value, it’s ingenuity,” Barra told MT. “I think all of that is captured (in the two brands).”
She also said that Corvette “represents all that Chevrolet means, and part of that is, I think, that it is obtainable. So I think we will work really hard to make sure that we always live true to the Chevrolet brand, which is American, it’s value, it’s ingenuity.”
Automotive analyst Adam Jonas recently said he believed a Corvette sub-brand could be worth between $7 and $12 billion. He envisioned GM releasing a powerful, content-rich version of the Corvette that would be priced around $150,000, along with a Corvette-branded crossover. Barra had danced around the idea previously, saying GM will “look at a variety of things as we go forward,” and that the automaker recognizes “the strength of the Corvette brand,” but she sounded more apprehensive about it when speaking to MT.
“I think you have to be really careful because you have to understand what makes the brand the brand,” Barra said. “So I’m not going to say never, but I think if General Motors were to ever do anything, we would assess it very, very carefully.”
“Corvette means something so special to so many people,” she added.
GM may be smart to follow the consumer reaction to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, along with its sales performance. The fully electric crossover represents an expansion of the Mustang brand into new territory, which, much like the Corvette, is an iconic American performance nameplate with a dedicated enthusiast following. Pre-orders for the Mach-E have been strong out the gate, with Ford selling out of the First Edition model for 2021, but its marketplace performance when the initial hype dies down will be more telling.
Source: Motor Trend