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To Sell the Stingray, Chevy Targets Porsche

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"Our No. 1 [target] will be Porsche," said John Fitzpatrick, Corvette's marketing manager. "We think we have a car that's comparable."

Porsche declined to comment on the Corvette marketing plan.

Corvette and Porsche, which have each had an impact on pop culture far beyond their actual sales, celebrate their 60th anniversaries this year.

Chevy and Commonwealth don't want to drive consumers to showrooms until the new Stingray arrives this fall. So they're in the middle of a three-part, yearlong strategy to launch the first Corvette deemed hot enough to bear the Stingray name since 1976.

Porsche owners are super loyal to their brand.

Wouldn't it be better to target Americans who have never owned a sports car but want to buy Anerican?

To my way of thinking, yes, but their strategy tells me the rate of success must be higher for stealing market share than for creating new markets.

Especially for the sports car market in a down economy.

But Porsche seems particularly irreplaceable. Most Porsche people I know are Porsche for life.

There is one very good reason why European performance cars are superior to American performance cars (As explained to me by my late grandpa, who was a senior-ish level exec at GM): Metallurgy.

Basically, US Steel infrastructure dates from the 1870s while Europe's (and Japan's) dates from the 1950s. This means they can tune the chemical makeup in their forges to a finer detail than we can, particularly for large ingots destined to become blocks and heads.

(This is only true for production at scale, however. We have a plethora of truly advanced boutique steel mills that have sprung up in recent years, but at such a small scale that each block would essentially be a one-off)

That's amazing.  I had no idea.

Me neither, but the explanation makes a lot of sense to me.

No wonder Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, etc, are at an advantage.

I also read that the american car industry has squeezed it's suppliers so much that they are in turn producing worse products to try and stay competitive in the market. In Germany quality is first and price is secondary. That's one of the reasons the American car industry is taking a hit. 

One of many reasons.

Where American cars do best is the "ok price ok performance" middle of the road sedans and minis.

That's the bread and butter of Ford and GM.

And Tesla appears to be doing well. They kind of created their own category.

Also makes me think like Trucks and Industrial Vehicles are top notch for Ford / GM. And there's really no other company like John Deer or Caterpillar. Is that a category electronic vehicles would make a difference?

Not sure. Right now the economics of electric cars is worse than gas, but that might flip in the near future.

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