Why Your Local Chevy Dealer Might Not Have The Corvette Stingray

Want the 2014 Corvette Stingray? You may not be able to just pop into your neighborhood Chevy dealer and buy one. Allocation of the new 'Vette will be extremely limited at first, and that has some dealers a bit upset.

Starting in late summer, only 900 of the more than 3,000 Chevrolet dealers nationwide will get the 2014 Corvette when it goes on sale at the end of summer, according to Corvette Blogger. In order to qualify, dealers had to have sold at least four C6 Corvettes in 2012.

The reasoning for this, the blog noted in a later post, is "The belief is that initial demand will outstrip supply and so Chevrolet wants to get the Corvettes to the dealers who can move them quickly."

But that decision has a few dealers rankled and wondering why allocations weren't done on numbers of orders placed. (The ordering process began last month.)

In a recent Q&A with Automotive News, GM North America boss Mark Reuss was given a question from one Kansas dealer, who said "When the new Stingray comes out, I'm going to have to tell a customer who has bought multiple Corvettes from me that he'll have to buy from another dealer... Why can't GM allocate Stingrays to dealers who have sold orders from customers in our area?"

Reuss had this to say in response:

“Again, we can only make a certain amount of cars in a certain amount of time, and so the first allocations are based on where we have the biggest density of Corvettes. I don’t think that selling four Corvettes in the prior year is a tall order, because we’re gonna take away customers from dealerships that have really performed in Corvette markets. And so that’s the trade-off there. We’d like to make more cars faster earlier but we got to launch this with high quality and that’s our launch cadence and it’s a very good one. We ramp up pretty quick, but I don’t think that’s unfair at all, so… sell four Corvettes and you’re gonna get great allocation.”

Emphasis mine. GM says it's merely a production issue, and since the Stingray is all new, they want to make sure they get it right, and that's completely understandable. Plus, the last thing GM wants is for these cars to languish on dealer lots, though I think that's unlikely.

It also rewards dealers who have been successful at moving lots of Corvettes. That's been tough, as sales of the C6 'Vette have dropped off pretty dramatically since its launch. They have moved about 13,000 in the last three years as opposed to 36,500 in 2006. And while they are very different cars, the Corvette has faced stiff in-house sales competition from the Camaro, which have similar customer bases.

What do you think? Should GM allocate the cars based on orders or prior sales?