Anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention to the C8 Corvette will have undoubtedly notice the substantial amount of demand and attention behind the vehicle. Sales are dominating the segment, and most C8 buyers are new to the Chevrolet brand. But another key datapoint is that the sports car is selling to an entirely different audience.
C8 Corvette sales to Generation X buyers have doubled compared to the C7 according to Chevrolet chief Steve Hill, who shared the insight during a recent conference call attention by GM Authority.
Generation X refers to the demographic cohort sandwiched between the baby boomers and millennials. 1965 and 1980 are the birth years that are typically used as bookends for Gen X, placing its roughly 65 million American members somewhere between 41 and 56 years of age. This is in stark contrast to a 2019 report that pegged the average Corvette customer at 61 years old, a number that had been steadily creeping upwards throughout the decade.
We’ve all heard the theory: Chevrolet saw a limited future with its core Corvette buyers and decided that a change needed to be made if it were going to ensure the future of the Crossed Flags. As Gen Xers reach their prime earning years, the fact that twice as many of them are setting aside their hard-earned dollars for the C8 Corvette suggests that the future of America’s sports car is secure and Chevrolet’s gamble on the C8 is already paying off.
It’s also worth noting that the C8 is selling to wealthier customers: as first reported by GM Authority, the median annual household income of a C8 buyer is $76,000 higher than the equivalent figure for customers who bought the C7.
The eighth-generation Corvette just capped off its launch model year marred by multiple delays and work stoppages, with a very solid 8,992 deliveries in the fourth-quarter for a dominant 60 percent segment share on a total production run of 20,368 units.
2020 is a down year for the Corvette plant in Bowling Green after pumping out 34,822 examples of the 2019 C7. But when considering the delays in 2020, the extended nature of the final year on the front-engine chassis (after an abbreviated 2018 that only saw 9,686 C7s completed), the number of models on sale, and the late availability of the C8 Convertible, surpassing 20,000 units produced seems like a monumental achievement.
The mid-mounted V8 and exotic looks of the C8 Corvette didn’t gain the attention of the famously skeptical Generation X on their own. Even with only the base model C8 Stingray on the market, C8s and their 490-495 horsepower have proven to be the quickest ‘Vettes in history, even eclipsing the 755 horse C7 ZR1’s sprint to 60 mph. Couple that face-flattening performance with the finest interior ever fitted to any product from The Bowtie, and Chevy has a recipe that even the Breakfast Club can’t resist.