A Corvette Z06 order at $90,000 over sticker

Here’s a new car being sold for $90,000 over sticker. In other words, the dealer gets $100,000 in profit while General Motors accepts perhaps $15,000 in profit.

I still can’t figure out Why aren’t cars (and pinball machines) auctioned as they come out of the factory?

At least the above consumer who signed the deal accepted that vehicle prices are dynamic. Why keep pretending that they’re not?

Separately, who else would love to have a Z06 for trips to Publix?


28 thoughts on “A Corvette Z06 order at $90,000 over sticker

  1. “Separately, who else would love to have a Z06 for trips to Publix?

    I would wait until Chevy gets around to dropping that dual overhead cam V8 engine and dual clutch transmission into a Chevy Equinox and then it will be more efficient for making trips to Publix.

  2. “Separately, who else would love to have a Z06 for trips to Publix?”

    Not me. I got over that kind of “hot *hit” stuff driving a ’68 Vette Convertible (red on red, white soft top, 4-speed, a/c, aftermarket stereo 500W) when I was a man who was far too young to be driving that car. Loved every minute of it and got it out of my system at the right time.

    More to the point, the Z06 is such a tightly-focused “track car” that I’d much rather have a civilized, ‘boring’ 3LT Convertible, fully optioned-out, for the drive to Publix and keep the Z06 in the garage for the track days :).

    I hope this helps in some way to make some sense of my thought process here and assist with your decisionmaking.

    Go as big as you can. There won’t be many more of them.

    • BTW I should add that I think the enormous price gouging is despicable. Your auction-based world notwithstanding, this isn’t the system we have now. I don’t think it’s a bad idea, in other words, but this isn’t what we’re doing right now.

      Actually I think Chevrolet should use it as proof positive they need to make a C9 with internal combustion engines. “Look: people want them so much that we HAVE to do it. Look at the demand! Are you telling us we should ignore that? This is a tiny number of cars in the scheme of things.”

      Anyway my skills as a lobbyist are near zero but that’s what I would say. In the meantime, I’d find a dealership that doesn’t mark them up as much and buy two, if I had the means. Have fun and I’m breathlessly awaiting your performance driving school report.

    • I am not sure what the hullabaloo is about. If someone is willing to pay a hundred million for the car it’s only reasonable for the dealer to grasp the opportunity with both hands. Why should ‘Mac Haik’ be “shamed” into selling for a lower price ? There was, apparently, meeting of minds as they say, everybody is happy, no ? If savages covet beads, why not sell them to them ? What am I missing ?

    • It is interesting to see that few on the internet were able to shame and force this dealership to “flip” on this markup but yet the general public is OK with Apple charging over $1000 for an iPhone. Same goes for when Uncle Sam raises our taxes.

    • @Ivan, @George: There have probably been instances of similar price gouging in the past by dealerships, especially with Corvettes. I object to it as a matter of principle. I think it’s un-American.

      If Chevy has to raise the base prices or “as delivered” because of inflation, that’s one thing and I’d accept that. But they billed this C8 Corvette as being an “attainable exotic” not a Ferrari or a Porsche. Those people can do whatever they want, but the value proposition here was supposed to be a world-class sportscar at an attainable price, without another $90 grand tacked on at the end, out of the Blue.

      At least in my addled mind, America is still supposed to be a place where you know what to expect, even when making a semi-irrational purchase.

      I know, there are plenty of Harvard Business School grads who think I’m full of s**t, but even at full MSRP the dealer is still making very good money on these cars. GM should prohibit them from selling them at more than 10% over sticker.

      Once you purchase the car, if you want to drive it three miles home and then flip it to make yourself the profit, you should be able to. I have no problem with that, if you can find a buyer. The warranty will transfer, and you will make the profit instead of the dealership.

    • Tongue in Cheek: This “We’ll limit the distribution only to Carefully Selected Special People and charge them exorbitant amounts of money while throwing in a special package of leather key fobs and a couple of hookers” is for Ferraris and Lamborghinis. If you want to play that Euroskeev game, buy one.

      Keep my ‘Vette limited to MSRP + 10% MAX and they should build more and employ more people in production if they have to. That’s the Heartbeat of America!

    • Alex, still I do not get it. What’s “un-American” about free market in cars (I readily admit need for regulations in certain circumstances covered in Economy 101) ? Why is it “price-gouging” ? You do not like the price – you do not buy the car, no ? Is a Ferrari also price-gouged ?

    • @Ivan: It’s an American car company and this car was billed as an affordable exotic, which it is at the MSRP. It’s a social contract in my mind. It’s saying: “Chevrolet is going to build this awesome car and give (at least relatively) ordinary people the chance to own one in their lifetime.” Like I said, I don’t mind new owners buying the car at MSRP+10, flatbedding it to their home, rubbing it with a diaper and then flipping it if they want. Chevrolet should just build more of them.

      The problem is that it’s a terrible incentive for the subcontractors, who should say: “Hey, if some dealer is going to mark this car up by 80% and pocket the money, we should just raise all our prices for the subcomponents too.” It’s not just un-American, it’s inflationary and I deeply disagree with it.

    • @Ivan: Also, one other comment: I think that when dealerships charge exorbitant markups on “halo” cars like the C8, it gives the entire dealership system an indirect black eye in the mind of average people. Wealthy people may not mind tithing the money for the exclusivity, but to the average person, it says: “Any time a dealership has something in heavy demand, they’ll screw us.”

      This feeds directly into the plans of people who want to further disintermediate the dealership experience and eliminate it with software, robots and websites. I disagree with that, also. People don’t realize how important car dealerships are to many local communities and their associated Chambers of Commerce. With a little training, most functional and presentable people can get a job at a dealership selling cars. They’re more important than the strictly rational analysis often suggests. And good dealerships help the brand.

      I had a good example recently when a relative’s 2011 Subaru Outback had a transmission problem. We took it to a highly-recommended dealer here in MA. We had not purhcased the car from them. Nevertheless, their Service Manager looked up the VIN and said: “Wow, this car is eligible under the service recall for a full transmission refurbishment at no cost.”

      We wouldn’t have gotten that anywhere else and it saved us thousands of dollars.

      In other words, there’s “fair” and there’s “ludicrous and destructive” when it comes to dealer markup. I don’t want to see car dealerships get such a bad reputation that they all get sucked into the online car buying abyss.

    • @Alex, I don’t see anything un-American about this. All that the dealer did was asked $X for the car and there is a sucker out there who is willing to pay $X to get this car. Both parties are happy. Why should anyone of them give-in to those trolling about this deal? If trollers are not happy about this deal, they are doing so out of jealousy.

      Price inflation of luxury items happens all the time. There are many examples of so called especial and limited editions products that companies make such as iPhone that get sold well over the asking price on eBay. No one seems to troll about those!

      Also, your point that this adds to inflation is not correct. Luxury items such as this car is out of reach of 80% of Americans. For those who can afford such cars inflation doesn’t impact them much.

    • @George A: I respect your opinion and your reasoning, and I wouldn’t join an online crusade to stop a dealership from doing it. It’s just not personally something I think is a good practice, and I would let the dealer know that and try to find another one. I’m a little idealistic here, maybe too much.

    • @DP: OooooOooohoooh. Lol. If we’d been in the right place at the right time together, that would have been a fun race! Cheers. The best part about these cars from the late ’60s and early ’70s is that you could go, have some fun on a dragstrip, then sit in the parking lot with the stereo on, drink a beverage while listening to the stereo and the exhaust “ticking” and then drive them home with the AC on. Fun days!

      It’s rumored that I once was pulled over by a Florida State Trooper at around 100 MPH very late at night near Fort Lauderdale, on an almost deserted interstate highway. At was around 2 a.m. and I was on my way to visit a friend who lived there. He flashed the lights, I pulled over and stopped. He walked up to the car…agonizing wait:

      “Give me your license, registration and insurance. Do you know how fast you were going?”
      “I’m sorry, Sir. Not exactly. I know I was speeding. It’s a beautiful night. The car just kind of did its thing. There’s no traffic here. I’m on my way to my friend’s house from NJ.”

      He looked me over really carefully, I was completely sober. He went back to his cruiser and checked my stuff, came back and said: “I’m issuing a warning. Don’t do this again around here, do you understand?”

      “Yes, Sir. I will not.”
      “Nice car, by the way.”
      “Thank you, Sir.”
      [End of Incident]

    • @George A.: I have one small gripe with your analysis: “Luxury items such as this car is out of reach of 80% of Americans.”

      Corvettes have always been expensive, but even the most expensive and exotic ones in the 60’s and 70’s were attainable for people who had good jobs and knew how to save. My father could have bought several of them – brand new – off the showroom floor and he’s not (and wasn’t then) a rich man. The technology and engineering that goes into the C8 has pushed the price *almost* to the unattainable level and I don’t think dealerships should exacerbate that by tacking on exorbitant markups. Instead, GM should build more of them and bring the prices *down*. The company and the dealers can still make a nice, plump, fat margin but let’s try to drive that “out of reach of 80% of Americans” lower.

      I’m old-fashioned. I still cling to the belief that America should be a place where “ordinary” people can aspire to own something great. Once we lose that ethos, it’s gone forever and we’re living in an elitist world where much less than eight ounces of steak, some cheap vegetables and a fried mollusk costs $270. Everybody can watch on YouTube but only an increasingly rarified echelon of society can actually afford to partake. That’s un-American bull***t in my view.

  3. In the very early ’80s, when I was 17 y/o, I found a ’69 Corvette w/ a 457 big block motor for sale for $3500 in the “Bargain Hunters” magazine. I called the seller and my best friend and I drove 40 miles to Rochester, NH to check it out. I was knowledgeable about cars and this ‘vette was in decent condition. I had the cash with me and was ready to make the purchase but the seller advised he couldn’t sell it to me because my Mom had called while I was en route and told him that I was only 17 y/o. I drove home all pissed off, but got over it quickly. It’d be nice to have the car today.

    • @DP: Ugh! That’s too bad, a missed opportunity. They are gorgeous.


      The big block cars from the C3 generation are heavy in the front (all of them are), hence the higher spring rates and bigger anti-roll bars. You can spend a lot of money restoring them. Pay particular attention to the cooling: it’s better to ditch the water-pump+belt driven fan and substitute electric fans with a heavy-duty radiator, particularly if the car has AC.

      My car was a 327/350 horsepower small block, the L79 hydraulic lifter car with the Muncie 4-speed, positraction differential and and….amazingly….one of the very few small-block cars that year (according to the build sheet) equipped from the factory with the J56 heavy duty brake option, which included huge 4-piston calipers at each corner and front/rear brake balance adjuster. I had all the parts including the calipers rebuilt professionally. The suspension was modified and the car had Koni adjustable shocks and lots of other modifications including a Guldstrand Engineering anti-bump-steer kit and adjustable rear suspension.

      It sat near the stock ride height so it looked “normal” but it handled MUCH better than factory. It was a very fast car. However, under pressure, it was a body-on-frame convertible, which meant that the frame flexed, so 8.5/10 was the limit. If you didn’t push all the way to the limit it was very fast and safe. The engine was rebuilt by a local speed shop to “just a little better” than factory with 11:1 compression, mildly ported heads, a slightly hotter cam, and I had different intake manifold with a 650 CFM Holley carb on it (I saved the original parts.)

      It was a mind blowing car to drive, you could blip the gas and watch the tach go to 6500 instantly, and it STOPPED when you needed it to. Bang on the brakes at 100+ and it would suck your eyeballs out. Hurst short-throw shifter and McLeod clutch, I wasn’t kidding around.

      I wanted balanced power, braking and handling, without a “beat you up” harsh ride, and not a show car. A car for drivers. There are so many things you can do with a C3, they’re just so much fun.

      I’d still rather have two new ones, though. 🙂 Enough of my rambling…..


    • @Alex: At 15 y/o, I completely rebuilt my first hot rod: a ’69 Camaro, 327 ci/350 hp small block v8, racing cam shaft, Edelbrock manifold, Muncie 4-speed w/ Hurst shifter, Hush Thrush dual exhaust, candle apple lacquered red w/ black racing stripes. I ran it Wednesday nights at New England Dragway at 14.0 sec.

    • @DP, those were the days when you could take care of your car in front of your home. I used to do my own oil change, tune up, replace breaks, replace radio, switch tires, et. We were far more capable then today’s smart-phone generation.

      I cringe my teeth when I see today’s generation needing a GPS to go places!

    • @George A.: My teen nephews and coworkers sons don’t even care about getting their driver licenses. And wouldn’t know how which way to turn a wrench to tighten/loosen a nut.

  4. If you’re OK with paying under list price for new cars in normal times, then you should be fine with paying over list price in abnormal times.

    What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    • The times are “abnormal” because colluded oligopolies colluded with governments to go with “green” agenda and f-ck customers. That’s why carmakers not auctioning the cars, because the scarcity of them seems to be mandated. As @philg noted before, there is no scarcity of chips for coffeemakers, which are about dame chips that are used in vehicles. In Soviet Russia, customers either paid bribes under the table to buy a vehicle or waited in queues 5-10 years or both.

    • Tom: The question raised by the original post is not whether it is okay to pay over or under list, but whether it wouldn’t make more sense for the manufacturer to get the $90k in extra profit rather than a dealer or a flipper. Alternatively, the question of the original post is “Why is there a list price to begin with?”

  5. Lolz Corvette mark ups AKA Boomer tax. No worries the boomers can’t take their money with them and they aren’t going to leave it to their kids.

  6. I can’t vouch for how true these are, since I’ve never tried to buy a Ferrari and never will, but here are the Rules. It seems that you don’t own a Ferrari as much as it owns you. Which is why, in my mind, the more diffferent Chevrolet dealers can be from Ferrari dealers, the better.

    Rules to Follow When Driving A Ferrari:

    “In many ways, you don’t choose to buy a new Ferrari, rather Ferrari chooses you as a potential buyer. And, even if you’re selected to buy one, owners who do something wrong can be quickly removed from the brand’s approval list.”


    1) Make friends with your local dealer
    2) Maintenance is key
    3) Don’t lose it
    4) Always pay on time
    5) Modifications are a No-No
    6) Don’t use the car for personal gain
    7) Don’t flip the car
    8) Make sure to attend Ferrari events
    9) Drive it regularly
    10) Accept that sometimes, Ferrrari just don’t like you

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