Will the Plant Shutdown Create A Disparity Between ‘Early’ and ‘Late’ 2018 Corvettes?


Will the Plant Shutdown Create A Disparity Between 'Early' and 'Late' 2018 Corvettes?

One of the aspects of the Corvette hobby we like to follow are the sales trends of new, classic and pre-owned Corvettes.

Our Assembly Plant update from last week brought a few more questions and concerns from Corvette enthusiasts to light. One comment was that the three-month production hiatus is going to essentially create two versions (early and late) of the 2018 model year Corvettes.

Here’s the major differences between the two versions of the 2018 Corvette:

Early 2018 Corvettes were assembled using panels that were painted in the old paint shop and then assembled on the old assembly line that was running at 18 Corvettes per hour. No big deal, Chevrolet has been building Corvettes like that since 1997. However, the later 2018s will feature panels that were slow baked in the new paint shop created specifically for Corvette’s composite panels, and the assembly line that will run two minutes slower per car (12 Corvettes per hour vs 18 per hour) so workers will have more time for their required tasks. When these cars are completed, they will undergo a range of quality assurance checks before being shipped to dealers.

So it’s next year and your Chevrolet dealer has an “early” and “late” 2018 Corvette remaining in inventory. Which one as a buyer would you want?

In discussions regarding the new paint facility at the plant, the plan moving forward is to do running changes with the colors once the plant restarts later this year. White and Yellow are expected first but the other exterior colors will restart in the old paint shop before being transferred to the new paint shop. It’s more than likely that consumers will not know where the break occurred between the two.

My personal thoughts are that I don’t think this will be too much of an issue for new Corvette sales. After all, Chevrolet has been building C7 Corvettes on the “old assembly line” since 2013 and any new early Corvettes they have trouble moving can be dealt with through rebates and incentives. But in the secondary used market, it just may be the savvy buyers who know the difference.

I am very interested to know what you think about this. Will buyers prefer the “later” 2018s or is this much ado about nothing?

Final Corvette Rolls Off the Old Assembly Line as Retooling Begins
[VIDEO] Corvette Assembly Plant Update with Kai Spande from the 2017 NCM Bash
The Corvette Assembly Plant’s Three Month Shutdown to Begin July 28th



  1. I watched the McClaren plant visit tv show: a $395 million (US) complete car assembly line. What did McClaren get for their money? The highest quality CAD/CAM car manufacturing line in existance. It brought the Stuttgart engineers to sobbing on their knees as they begged mcClaren to assemble the best Mercedes sports cars that “Mercedes” makes. On the mcclaren paint and assembly line QC lasers, QC computer evaluation equipment and rolling measurement equipment to ensure every panel was perfect, both in fit and finish.

    Chevy has reportedly spent $439 million us just on a new Corvette paint line alone. What did Chevy spend it on?
    $250 million Bonus to m. Barra, just cause she’s the boss
    $150 million in Bonuses to the Chevy division brain trust
    $ 38 million on private offering car price reductions from july 1 to August 31, 2017 to those customers GM considers First Class customers, zilch for the rest of their car buying customers.
    $1 million on new rattle can holders and a slowdown on the new paint line so the good old boys working there won’t file Workmens comp and union grievances complaining of carpal tunnel paint fingers and not having enough time to even put a rub of snuff in their mouth while they are working.

  2. Sumgai is misinformed and unnecessarily sarcastic. The $439 million is also going in to a new assembly line, new robotic lines for a new frame. New updated conveyors throughout the plant. A large portion of the building that is described as a paint plant will house a new delivery system for panels and part of the new assembly lines too. There are also changes coming that can’t be discussed at the present.

  3. The big issue with me is will the orange peal paint be gone. I hear not. If gone that would be a game changer for me.

  4. Well I wanted Black Rose Metallic for my dream Corvette—didn’t have any choice—I have a 2018 Grand Sport in Black rose Metallic. Needless to say, I love it! Further more, everyone that looks at loves it–never seen one like it–so few out there. Proud to know that I will have one of the very limited production of a 2018 in this color.

  5. Aside from Sumgai’s unnecessary sarcasm, he is correct re: McClaren’s (and Harley-Davidson’s) state of the art paint colors which really “pop.” Corvette which used to have a wonderful paint palette, is now producing bland, monochromatic colors. Where are the Lime Rock Greens, Cyber Greys or even the Sunfire Yellows of yore? Metallics can be spectacular, and if the color palette is expanded in the new paint shop, there will indeed be a difference in value between “early” and “late” 2018’s.

  6. David Stegmaier The orange peel has been blamed on supplier parts. Although the parts painted on a horizontal plane are fine, it’s the vertical part of the fenders/doors where the orange peel is. Figure that out. I too blame it on the process at the plant. The “cure” will be robot sanded parts prior to painting and a new drying process in the new paint plant. I have heard that management (GM higher ups in Body & White) like orange peel because it hides defects in the painted parts. IMO there is no excuse for orange peel. I blame it on the water based paints.

  7. I agree with Kenneth’s remark, the new paint shop will have a better colour palette to choose from (Metallic) and thus will enhance the car’s appeal and make a difference in the early 2018 versus the late 2018. Plus I believe the quality of paint will be better.

  8. I see some complaints about the exterior color offerings. We have to remember that some colors just don’t look good on some cars. A friend just bought a Toyota Prius Hybrid painted what I would call Green Pea Soup. I really don’t see this color looking good on ANY car, but I think you see my point.

Comments are closed.