My Car Quest

September 28, 2020

2020 Corvette Future Development Put On Hold As Virus Lays Low Automakers

by Wallace Wyss –

GM temporarily stopped building the 2020 mid-engined Corvette, the car they had 45,000 orders for. They first stopped March 21st to clean the plant and planned to start up again in April but this writer hasn’t ascertained if they stared up again because meanwhile the virus infection rate picked up speed at the same time as unemployment rose past 20%, evaporating their customer base.

But already the coronavirus has caused suppliers to put off work and development of mid-cycle updates for GM vehicle models until 2021. It affects the new versions of the C8 Corvette and Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra models, the GMC Terrain, the Chevy Equinox and Transverse, the Bolt EV, and the Chevy Camaro.

So anyone who was waiting for the fancier, or faster versions, say seeing a Z06, ZR1 or hybrid version of the C8 will have to wait until after 2022.

The decision was made after the coronavirus pandemic led to GM switching over to producing medical equipment for front line health care workers doing battle with the COVID-19 virus.

Chevrolet originally said they could make 40,000 new Corvettes a year but also said they had 45,000 orders. They lost three weeks of production on a strike and then the coronavirus blind-sided the world auto industry. They haven’t said how many of those ordering dropped out considering the pandemic.

A website called Mid-Engine Corvette Forum said in early April that 3820 have been built. Depending on when the virus threat dissipates, GM will go to two shifts again to fill out the orders but it could be only a small portion of the 2020s will be built compared to those ordered before it’s time for the 2021.

Corvette 2020 - art by Wallace Wyss

2020 Corvette – art by Wallace Wyss

A possibility is continuing to build out the orders for 2020 Corvettes in one part of the plant but building 2021s on the main line. It’s been done before, back in ’62 they were building a pilot run of ’63 Corvette Stingray coupes while the ’62s were still being built on the main assembly line. Collector car-wise, long range the first year of any model is sometimes worth more than the second year but considering the second and later years will have more power and new features maybe collectors 10 years from now might figure a later version is worth more than a 2020. With the old Corvettes there’s the same conundrum–a ’63 Stingray coupe is prized because it’s the first year model but in truth, a ’67 L88 is worth more to someone who puts performance above history.

Then you have another problem with a grossly shortened production time for 2020 models. It is usual in Detroit for next year’s new models to be built in September of the preceding year, thus before the strike, and before the pandemic, 2021’s were scheduled to begin production in September. If the plant re-opens in June or July they could build 2020’s until September.

But what do you do when 2021 models were supposed to start down the line in September 2020? I say allow some buyers of 2020 models who have a deposit down to switch over to a 2021 but there might be a line already so it would mean getting in the back of the line again. A tough pill to swallow but, hey, if there’s more little things that need to be redesigned/fixed, that will give the factory a chance to get in the fixes in the 2021 models.

All this should lead to you carving into your arm the slogan “Never pre-order a brand new generation of any car.”

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss, the author of 18 car histories, is a consultant copywriter to ad agencies with automotive accounts. He can be reached at photojournalistpro2@gmail.com.

 
 
 
 
 

Summary
2020 Corvette Future Development Put On Hold As Virus Lays Low Automakers
Article Name
2020 Corvette Future Development Put On Hold As Virus Lays Low Automakers
Description
Already the coronavirus has caused suppliers to put off work and development of mid-cycle updates for GM vehicle models until 2021.
Author

Comments

  1. wallace wyss says

    Update from Mike Fuhrman newsletter, Mike being a super salesman of Corvette: “We know that around 2,741 C8’s have been produced and delivered to customers. My guess is May 4th we will see the plant start production again but it’s a moving target right now.
    We also know that GM wants to make and delivery as many C8’s as is possible as soon as is safely possible. Unfortunately for the reasons BGA Plant Manager Kai Spande told us in his NCM telephone interview last week, with the plant relaying on hundreds different vendors to make the many thousands of parts, and each supplier and BGA committed to their employees practicing safe assembly techniques during the virus, it is not a simple decision nor process to get that to occur. “

Speak Your Mind

*