The C8 Corvette has become its own study of supply and demand. Just about any reason to limit production has been experienced – strike, supply-chain issues for parts, computer chip shortages, tornadoes! But what’s more, it’s also ubiquitous how this also affects the final cost of things at a more localized level.
A case in point is this right-hand drive 2022 C8 Corvette that was recently sold during a Lloyds Auction in Australia. Those down under rejoiced at the news that Aussie-spec Corvettes would begin appearing in Australia without the need for any expensive conversions. The C8 Corvette is the first generation of the sportscar to receive the necessary treatments from the factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Creating The Perfect Pent-up Demand
GM Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) was created as a streamlined way of importing Bowties into Australia and New Zealand. Coupling the newly created supply chain with news that the Corvette would become available ready-made for Aussies and New Zealanders made the mid-engine supercar a realizable dream for so many enthusiasts. GMSV promised an initial shipment of around 240 Corvettes to its dealer network with another shipment (possibly 100 more) sometime within the first year. Many enthusiasts lined up and put their names on the list for a C8. Some have been waiting to see their Corvette for two years or more!
We know all too well how the recent events have slowed the number of Corvettes rolling out onto American soil. Now imagine how much more those events will affect Corvettes that need to be spec’d for another country, and then shipped halfway around the globe. Reports stated that of the 240 Corvettes promised, only 93 have been delivered in the first five months of 2022. That created an even more perfect storm to create the pent-up demand in the land down under. It is reported that shipments through GMSV for the year may not even reach the proposed initial shipment number. That has Corvette enthusiasts and “investors” looking hard at the asking price of every C8 Corvette in the market in Australia.
Dealers sought to make hay on the pent-up demand and began asking exorbitant delivery fees for any C8 they could get their hands on. Nothing new there, right? To say it was a seller’s market would be like saying the Titanic had a “water intrusion problem.” Customers who had early orders began selling their C8s for a hefty profit, but no one but the buyer and seller really knew what the final selling price actually worked out to be.
Putting A Number On The Pent-up-ness
We have a much better idea of exactly how much a car is worth once it goes across the auction block. As those numbers are seen and reported openly, they give a good indicator of the pent-up demand by what someone is willing to pay. There are a few unknowns, such as buyer’s and seller’s fees to the auction house, but the initial bid puts a solid number as to the car’s value. Queensland-based Lloyds Auctioneers and Valuers recently had a right-hand drive C8 Corvette cross their auction block for the world to see and the price would make any U.S.-based dealership green with envy. The sale of the car also includes a three-year factory GM special vehicles warranty plus an additional three years for any work done at the originating dealership.
The Lloyds auction ended with the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette 3LT Coupe, which originated from Llewellyn Motors near Brisbane, setting a record at more than a quarter-million dollars in Australia! The car sold for $255,000 (amounting to approximately $170,885 in U.S. dollars) which is $94,000 above its original advertised price of $160,000, not including tax, tag, title, and whatever other fees Aussies still need to make the car legal. Reports state the car could ultimately cost $290,000 when you include the buyer’s fee as well.
Long-time Corvette historians may remember how GM initially wanted the sportscar to go to very notable personalities to lift the car’s stature from the get-go. Shortly thereafter, Chevy abandoned that marketing and made the Corvette mainstream for the common man. Due to the current conditions, we’re seeing Corvette move back into being the play-thing of those only with the means to do so. Sure, Corvettes have always been expensive but has its “supercar” status changed the playing field? GM’s Steve Carlisle sure doesn’t want it to, but by the looks of this recent auction, the market is still white-hot, especially in certain markets!