I don't think its a fair assessment to compare the Midnight Edition to a ZR2. Midnight is simply a cosmetic package that people can do mostly on their own. The ZR2 is a performance package with options that can't be added via aftermarket. If you will, the Raptor can't stay on the lots and its 20-30K more than a regular F150. I would say that's a closer comparison, while the Raptor is certainly proven and supported which helps but it is a closer comparison none-the-less.
I think you under estimate the program here.
#1 GM is building and selling these like the Z71. It is a regular production model and will be build in as many as dealers and people want. So it is not going go be hard to get if you want one. The marketing manager stated that they will make as many as the public wants and he said they estimate it will be around 5% of production. That would be based on last years numbers to be 7,000-10,000 models.
#2 The comparison is it is going to be like the Midnight edition as in price. The price is high on both trucks and will limit the number of people buying them. I have already been called crazy and told I should buy a full size even though there is no equivalent. Even now the Midnight Edition is limited in sales mostly due to price. If it were Cheaper it would be seen everywhere.
#3 These numbers and marketing sounds about right as the original ZR2 was sold the same way and has a special chassis under it. They too often could be found in one or two models at the larger dealers.
#4 My HHR SS was the same back in the day as a will build what ever demand is and many dealers would hold on or two in stock at all times. They were expensive but they sold about 5% of total production too.
#5 The Raptor also is hard to draw from as it is in a different class of truck. The TRD Pro is a better comp and it is new yet too so it is hard to measure.
Ford is tight on production numbers but it was shown estimates had 2013-14 sales were around 1000 a month. I am not sure either if Ford limits the numbers built or not or if the demand settles it. As for dealers the larger dealers can have one or two around or can get one in a trade with another dealer.
As for the after market it is the chicken and the egg. I work in the performance aftermarket and if the ZR numbers are good you will see a ton of parts for them to support them in the next 1-2 years. MFG will watch the sales first as the cost to get in will be high on some products. Suspension companies will be all in as much of their stuff will also be adapted from Z71 items with the needed different parts. If there is money to be made they will come. But till the truck is here they will play wait and see just how many are out there.
The TRD enjoys the greatest aftermarket support as they are sold globally and really are very close to the standard truck. I sell parts for them from Shanghai to Dubai.
So right now everyone will be watching and learning even Chevy.
I have seen many models come and go and how the markets react. I have owned many of the special models and seen the support or lack of.
I do not know but I hope GM has farmed out the Z to the aftermarket companies to let them get a head start on products. As it is it takes time to bring this stuff out and the later the start the longer it takes. They did farm out the Camaro and my suppliers generally got a day with it before they came out. It did help.
The bottom line is this is a Regular production models. Dealers will not keep a ton of them but I expect you will see one or two at large dealers.
As of the 6 dealers I have talked to I was the first one to come in. Most had little clue about the truck and most were large dealers as I expected them to have the best info. I was disapointed when I had to tell them about the truck and tell them what it was in more than one case.
Right now I want an extended cab and they have tried to sell me the Crew. Also I will not pay MSRP that some are asking. One came down a bit but I do not trust the salesman.
I expect the Extended cab in 2008 and by then the major rush will be over and I may be able to speak on price a little I do not see major discounts but a small discount with my GM card money and supplier discount will give me a good price.
As for dealer stock this is a no brainer on this truck. I would wager they did so few options to make it easier to stock because of the price. Also more options make it more profitable at the price point it is at. Or so my marketing friends at GM have told me on other Chevy products.