GM to begin selling Chevrolet Corvette in South Korea
Sales of the Chevrolet Corvette in the US are down (with the rest of the gas-guzzling performance car segment) and in an effort to both improve sales and promote the high performance nature of the Chevrolet brand, GM is introducing the Corvette to showrooms around South Korea effective May 1st, 2012. The Corvette joins the current Chevrolet lineup in South Korea, which now offers nine vehicles for the 4th largest auto market in Asia, as General Motors has worked to capitalize on the free trade agreement that took effect between the US and South Korea in March. Upon it’s introduction to the South Korean market, the Corvette will join familiar name plates like the Camaro and the Cruze.
The 2013 Chevrolet Corvette headed for the South Korean market will only be available in standard coupe form, which means that the hard topped American sports car will be powered by the 6.2L V8 that churns out 430 horsepower and 424lb-ft of torque. It is unclear whether Corvette buyers in Korea will get to select from the standard 6-speed manual transmission or the optional 6-speed automatic but in either case - Korean buyers are sure to enjoy the high performance driving experience offered by the Corvette.
While some people might be questioning the fact that the great American sports car is being sold in South Korea,. The bigger controversy surrounds the pricing of the Chevrolet Corvette for the Korean market. The free trade agreement between the United States and South Korea is intended to lower the price of imported goods (in this case, vehicles) but the 2013 Corvette Coupe - which costs just $49,600 in the US - will cost an astonishing $76,300 (86.4 million won) in Korea. While the Corvette is a higher end performance car and you would expect to see some markup in a new, foreign market; the current price represents an increase of roughly 53%. This price hike in South Korean dealerships is due mainly in part to the high taxation of the car, which leads many to wonder how the General Motors is benefiting from the new free trade agreement. Based on that markup, it appears as though the Korean companies are receiving a much bigger benefit than are the American companies but in the long run - the 2013 Corvette priced at $76k is still less expensive in the South Korean market than other comparable sports cars so to Korean consumers, the Corvette is somewhat a bargain performance car.