Even in a down year, cars like the Corvette Convertible came out ahead.
Folks seem to be taking well to the latest Chevy Corvette Stingray. Sales picked up a remarkable 20.2 percent in 2020, to 21,626 examples. Sure, that success came thanks in no small part to the massive hype surrounding the C8’s shift to a mid-engine design. But considering the spate of coronavirus shutdowns curtailing GM’s production window, it’s still a noteworthy feat to improve sales that dramatically.
What’s even more impressive, as our friends over at CarBuzz point out, is how well the convertible model fared. Their report notes that the take rate on open-top Corvettes hovered around 20% in a five-year period from 2014 to 2019. Not so in 2020, according to Corvette’s Product Marketing Manager Harlan Charles. In its new generation, the Corvette Convertible comprised between 35 and 40% of the sales total. One of the remarkable sales trends from the past year centered around convertibles, as models like the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Mercedes-Benz SL/SLC also ticked upward.
Perhaps that trend comes down to a greater desire for wind-in-the-hair driving, to distract from all the madness that was 2020. In the Corvette Convertible’s case, the new model uses an hardtop mechanism rather than an old-fashioned soft-top. You don’t lose much on the performance front — the convertible gains about 80 pounds — but you gain all the appeal of top-down driving. And let’s face it, lowering the roof means you can hear the 6.2-liter V8 thunder even more clearly. To a widening range of buyers, that definitely seems to be worth the premium over the coupe.