Last month, General Motors held the world premiere of the new generation Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
The new generation of Chevrolet's ultimate halo model (AKA: C8) promised the superb performance that can rival much more expensive marques like Ferrari, but at much more affordable prices. Powering it is a 496 PS, 6.2-liter V8 that has no turbos, is mated to an 8-speed dual clutch gearbox, and can slingshot the C8 from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 3 seconds. And unlike before, the engine is now in the middle of the car just behind the driver; yes, just like a Ferrari.
Two questions still had to be answered though; the first being its launch price. During the premiere which was livestreamed worldwide, GM said that the mid-engined 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will start at less than $60,000, and yesterday they made good on that promise with just 5 bucks to spare.
Chevrolet announced that the C8's pricing will start at $59,995 for the U.S. market; a price that includes the destination charge, but won't include taxes, dealer fees, title, license and others.
That variant is the 1LT which is the base variant of the line which includes a 10-speaker Bose audio unit, Brembo brake calipers, an 8-inch touchscreen, power seats, and more safety features. The mid-grade 2LT will start at $67,295 and comes with a 14-speaker Bose system, a heads-up display, a performance data recorder, and more. The range-topping 3LT variant will have GT2 seats and a custom interior upholstery package that includes nicer leather and suede, and starts at $71,945.
The other question, however, is this: what could pricing be like for the Philippines when or if the local importer/distributor, The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI), decides to bring the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray into the market?
We can't answer that question with certainty, but we can look at how Chevrolet Philippines had priced the front-engine, rear-wheel drive Corvette C7 that they launched in November of 2018 compare it to the U.S. pricing at the time to get an idea.
Before we get to that, we need to talk about a disclaimer: we will be using suggested retail prices to compare as the pricing structure for importers (meaning the price that they pay to acquire the unit abroad) is a closely guarded secret. And not having that importer's price (AKA: NMISP) means our guess could be inaccurate when they do because we cannot accurately compute taxes, import duties, and all the other numbers that make cars in the Philippines so very expensive. So here goes nothing.
When Chevrolet Philippines launched the 2018 Corvette C7 Stingray 3LT, it had an SRP of PhP 8,546,888. At the time, reports indicate that the similar model in the U.S. was priced at $66,335. Using the exchange rate at the time (November 21, 2018: $1 = PhP 52.19) that directly converts to PhP 3,462,023.65.
Once computed, the SRP in the Philippines for the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray 3LT is 247% of the SRP of the counterpart in the U.S. market. Now, by that logic, if we get the U.S. pricing for the 2020 Corvette C8 and factor in the percentage difference (U.S. price x 2.47) and current exchange rates (August 16, 2019: $1 = PhP 52.52), we can guess what the SRPs could be.
Using the price of the 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray 1LT ($59,995 x 2.47 x 52.52), the price could be somewhere around PhP 7,782,815.378.
For the 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray 2LT ($67,295 x 2.47 x 52.52) the price could be in the region of PhP 8,729,803.498.
For the 2020 Corvette C8 Stingray 3LT ($71,945 x 2.47 x 52.52) we may be looking at the ballpark of PhP 9,333,021.958.
Now some may wonder why the pricing can get so high, and we think there could be two primary reasons. The first is the corporate situation. Some would also wonder why Chevrolet's pricing isn't competitive like Ford's; case in point, the Camaro versus the Mustang. In the Philippines, the 2019 Camaro 2.0L Turbo 3LT RS Php 3,298,888 while the similar Ford model, the 2019 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium is at PhP 2,838,000. One reason we can point to is the fact that the local Ford distributor is a subsidiary of Ford itself, and it is likely that they get a better deal when it comes to import pricing.
The second one is that there is no free trade agreement between the U.S. and the Philippines regarding to cars that can result in tax breaks. There are Japanese sportscars like the Nissan GT-R and Lexus LC500, for instance, that qualify for the tax breaks mandated JPEPA (a trade agreement between Philippines and Japan), which is why the pricing is comparable to the U.S. market.
These computations are, of course, only hypothetical. Nothing in our computations are to be construed as actual or binding in any way. There is one thing that we can say with a fair degree of certainty though: since Chevrolet Philippines has a tradition of rounding the last 3 digits of their prices to 888, we expect them to do the same for the Corvette C8.