I’ll Make The Case Again

I was going to title this post “Great Minds Think Alike.” Yesterday, I was originally going to write about how, despite the damn virus, Bentley sales actually showed a slight increase in 2020 compared to 2019. I was also going to tie this news to my case about the potential success for an American-made ultra-luxury car.

Nobody knew about my idea for yesterday’s post until David Banner (not his real name) texted me with the Bentley news AND that it was more evidence that an American-made luxury car could succeed. I replied that I came very close to writing a post about that topic. Great Minds Think Alike…

Not only did Bentley sales increase in 2020 compared to the year before, but their sales hit an all-time high for a company that is 100+ years old. Yes, they are owned by the Shitlermobile company, Volkswagen. The point is that ultra-luxury makes exist in a different world and that it is foolish that no American car company (are you listening, Cadillac?) makes a car in that market segment. What is Bentley’s biggest market? The United States…

 

Cadillac has a long history of producing breathtaking concept cars, especially over the last 20 years

 

This is a picture of Cadillac’s Escala concept car. For a time, the company committed to putting this car into production, but I guess those plans have been shelved. As I have written here before, Cadillac has developed a number of amazing concept cars. My favorite is actually this one, the Elmiraj:

 

Cadillac has a long history of producing breathtaking concept cars, especially over the last 20 years

 

Sorry, but I remain convinced that a well-executed American-made ultra-luxury car would have a great chance of success. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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From this piece in Corvette Blogger comes the news that Chevrolet/General Motors delivered almost 9,000 new Corvettes in the fourth quarter of 2020. The company now reports quarterly and not monthly numbers. Here is a chart from the same article:

 

Archived Corvette Delivery Statistics
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Total
2020 — 3,820 — — 2,459 — — 6,355 — — 8,992 — 21,626
2019 — 3,943 — — 5,788 — — 4,766 — — 3,491 — 17,988
2018 1,005 1,351 2,101 — 5,758 — — 4,639 — — 3,910 — 18,791
2017 1,263 2,081 2,460 2,756 2,535 2,612 1,930 1,748 1,506 1,345 2,565 2,278 25,079
2016 1,501 2,116 2,753 3,142 2,673 2,483 2,159 3,063 2,829 2,626 1,941 2,709 29,995
2015 2,127 2,605 3,785 3,469 3,514 2,807 2,794 2,725 2,572 2,526 1,952 2,453 33,329
2014 2,261 2,438 3,480 3,514 3,328 2,723 3,060 2,679 2,467 2,959 2,378 3,552 34,839
2013 908 980 1,053 974 905 853 671 655 831 3,929 2,527 3,005 17,291
2012 629 927 1,376 1,396 1,219 1,475 987 1,210 1,351 1,167 1,104 1,291  14,132
2011 721 955 1,163 1,454 1,304 1,299 1,291 936 1,147 946 910 1,038 13,164
2010 854 624 955 1,089 1,428 1,405 1,199 1,135 1,109 1,011 836 979 12,624
2009 842 1,027 1,183 1,407 1,643 1,396 966 746 1,585 1,154 952 1,033 13,934
2008 2,015 2,071 2,692 3,190 2,904 2,082 1,870 4,242 2,318 1,170 1,093 1,324 26,971
2007 2,234 2,784 3,158 3,227 3,300 2,377 2,377 2,877 2,837 2,484 2,438 2,914 33,685
2006 2,579 3,058 3,655 3,516 3,317 2,938 2,794 2,990 3,056 2,761 2,773 3,081 36,518

 

By my quick calculation, it looks like the fourth quarter of 2020 was the best for Corvette deliveries since the second quarter of 2015. From Trending Motors a picture of what I hope is a 2021 Corvette:

 

See the source image

 

It seems as though the C8 is a success. Let’s see how sales progress through what is, hopefully, an uninterrupted model year in 2021.

 

#I’llMakeTheCaseAgain

#GreatMindsThinkAlike

#AmericanSuper-LuxuryCar

#CadillacEscala

#CadillacElmiraj

#C8Corvette

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wave Goodbye To Half The Year

At the end of the day today 2020 will be half over. Sometimes it’s OK to be Captain Obvious, or Capitaine Évident, because sometimes the obvious is a point worth making. Even with all of the bad things that have occurred and are occurring, this has easily and scarily been the fastest year ever, by far. Is that simply inevitable given I am older? I don’t know, but I hope, somehow, things slow down even just a little, especially after the virus situation calms down. I will offer my opinion that the coronavirus will never go away completely, that just like we (should) receive an annual flu shot, we will receive an annual (or biennial, every other year) coronavirus shot.

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While I know that much of the substantial increase in views/visitors since early April is due to current circumstances keeping people at home, I want to thank the readers of Disaffected Musings for visiting. The monthly average for views for April-June of 2020 was about 40% higher than the previous high for one month. That’s quite a quantum leap in readership and I appreciate it. All that being said, I will continue to ask for the sale. Please feel free to tell your friends about the blog and to pass along the URL (https://disaffectedmusings.com), please feel free to click on any (or all) of the related posts at the bottom of each post, please feel free to “Like” any post and to submit thoughtful comments, and please feel free to click on any ad in which you have genuine interest.

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This post is the most recent one in which I wrote about the potential market for an American-made super-luxury car. Also remembering that it is the automobile business I floated the idea of such a car sharing some components with other models, but not too many, so that initial development and tooling are not prohibitively expensive. From The Pontiac Solstice Book by Gary Witzenburg here is a partial list of components the Solstice shared with other cars to which GM had access:

 

Ecotec engine: Pontiac G6, Chevrolet HHR/Cobalt, Saturn Ion; yes, I realize that these models and even makes no longer exist, but that’s not relevant to the point

Manual transmission: Hummer H3, GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado

Automatic transmission: Cadillac SRX/STS/CTS

Driveshaft, differential, rear axles: Cadillac CTS

Steering wheel: Pontiac Torrent

Steering column: Chevrolet Cobalt

Interior storage bin: Cadillac XLR

Seat frames: Opel Corsa

 

Obviously, I realize that a super-luxury car could not share too many components because that would diminish its status. Maybe the engine would have to be exclusive to this car, but could still be based on existing architecture. Here is a picture of a car, from machinespider.com, of one of the most beautiful cars I have ever seen, and a car that could be the basis for a super-luxury car, the Cadillac Elmiraj concept:

 

See the source image

 

I stubbornly cling to the belief that such a car, even priced at $300,000-$500,000, could sell 5,000-7,000 units a year, especially if it had any success abroad. Let’s say my range is 1,000 units too high. At the midpoint of the suggested price range, annual gross revenue would be between $1.6 billion and $2.4 billion. At the bottom of both ranges, that figure is $1.2 billion. Even at half of the latter figure ($600 million), couldn’t GM recoup its development costs quickly and make a profit? Remember that Ferrari’s average profit per car is $80,000. At half that margin and at the bottom of my lower production range, GM would earn $160 million in profit annually from a super-luxury car.

OK, maybe I don’t really know what I am talking about. Maybe tooling and production costs would be higher, maybe sales would be lower and maybe the price would have to be lower. I still think the car would be profitable AND it would be a halo car that would give GM some positive publicity, if executed properly. Of course, no one at GM will ever read this and this car will almost certainly never be built. That doesn’t mean I can’t think outside the box. What box?!

 

#WaveGoodbyeToHalfTheYear

#AmericanSuperLuxuryCar

#CadillacElmiraj

#somanycarsjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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