GM may expand Corvette lineup to include a crossover SUV

A mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette on the ground of the Los Angeles Auto Show on Nov. 21, 2019.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

DETROIT – General Motors is evaluating whether or not to expand its Corvette lineup – presently a two-seat sports activities automobile – to add its first-ever crossover SUV, a particular person aware of the discussions confirmed to CNBC.

Expanding certainly one of GM’s most-prized nameplates to a completely different physique fashion, if not a household of fashions, has been an on-again, off-again dialogue contained in the Detroit automaker for a while. In late 2019, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas mentioned a Corvette sub-brand may very well be price $7 billion to $12 billion for the automaker.

Bloomberg reported Thursday afternoon that GM has designers engaged on a number of Corvette-brand idea automobiles that concentrate on a wider vary of patrons, doubtless as an all-electric crossover SUV as early as 2025.

A supply aware of Corvette’s operations, who requested not to be named as a result of the plans aren’t public, confirmed to CNBC that GM is discussing such an growth however pressured nothing has been finalized and comparable discussions earlier than haven’t resulted in any new merchandise.

A GM spokesman declined to remark.

If GM decides to expand Corvette to a crossover SUV, it could doubtless be electrical, analysts say. The firm has dedicated to launching 30 new EVs by 2025 beneath a $27 billion plan to develop electrical and autonomous automobiles throughout that point interval. The next-generation EVs shall be underpinned and powered by GM’s new Ultium battery cells and platform, which the automaker spotlighted earlier this week throughout the CES expertise convention.

“The Ultium platform will allow Chevrolet to further expand its range of electric vehicles to full-size pickup trucks, compact crossovers and even high-performance vehicles,” Michael Simcoe, GM’s vp of world design, mentioned throughout a Tuesday presentation for CES, which was streamed on-line this yr.

The greatest hesitation in increasing the Corvette line up to now has been the danger of diluting the model and diminishing the repute of the sports activities automobile, which launched in 1953. But GM not too long ago radically redesigned the automobile from a front-engine to mid-engine format to nice fanfare. And such considering has been debunked in recent times as client demand has moved away from automobiles to crossovers and SUVs.

Exterior of the 2019 Lamborghini Urus with a base retail worth beginning at $200,000.

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Several efficiency and luxurious automobile manufacturers resembling Lamborghini, Maserati, Bentley and Aston Martin have all grown their manufacturers by including crossovers or SUVs. Porsche, which launched its first non-sports automobile practically 20 years in the past, now sells extra crossovers yearly than its conventional sports activities automobiles.

GM’s largest crosstown rival, Ford Motor, additionally expanded its Mustang lineup with a new all-electric crossover final yr referred to as the Mustang Mach-E, which has largely obtained constructive evaluations from critics.

In 2019, Morgan Stanley’s Jonas mentioned Corvette was “undervalued and underappreciated by the market” in a be aware to buyers. An growth, he mentioned, might help in funding the automaker’s pivot to all-electric automobiles.

When Jonas introduced up a Corvette SUV to GM CEO Mary Barra in 2019, she did not kill the thought: “Well, I appreciate that you think our Corvette franchise is very strong. I’m not going to talk about future,” she mentioned throughout a quarterly earnings name in October.

Barra later added that GM would look “at a variety of things as we move forward. She said that the company recognizes “the power of the Corvette model.”

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