This guest post was contributed by Kerbeck Corvette’s Dave Salvatore.
You are custom ordering a 2020 C8 Corvette and you think you’re ready to go. You’ve given your deposit to the dealer, you have selected all of your colors and options, and your dealer has entered the order and given you an order number. Now you just have to sit back and wait for the car to show up. Not quite…
Let’s talk about the entire order process and we’ll figure out if you’ve really got a car on the way.
“The dealer gave me an order number and told me the order was accepted by GM so I must have a car on the way”. I’m afraid this isn’t true. Any Chevy dealer in the country has the ability to enter an order into the system. As the order moves through the build process, it goes through a series of “event codes” letting you know what is going on with your car. Those codes range from 1100 (Order Accepted by GM) to 6000 (Vehicle Delivered to Customer). Your order could currently be at 1100 and stay there until your dealer has an available allocation, if ever.
Before we talk about allocation, let’s talk about consensus. Twice a month, usually on a Thursday, GM sends out to each dealer his 2-week consensus. This consensus shows every vehicle that GM makes, how many that dealer has in stock or inbound for each vehicle and how many GM thinks the dealer needs of each vehicle.
The dealer has a few days (till the following Monday) to study this and decide what he thinks he needs. The dealer has three choices for each vehicle. He can agree with GM and take what they suggested, he can decide he doesn’t need that many and take less (all the way down to zero) or he can decide he needs more and request a number higher than GM suggested.
Requesting more is not a guarantee of getting more. Also, when a car is new and/or hot (like the new Corvette) GM works with what is called a controlled allocation. That is a set number you will get during a designated period and you can not request more or less.
Once the dealer and GM hash out how many cars they are going to get, the dealer then gets that amount over the next two weeks with his allocation. Allocations come out on Thursday, must be filled by Saturday and can be edited on Tuesday.
The weekly allocation tells the dealer how many cars he has to order that week and what (if any) constraints the dealer must work with.
So, if a dealer is allocated 5 cars that week and your order is somewhere in that 5 and you meet the constraints, your order is pulled and moved on to the next step (Event Code 2000) and NOW you’ve got a car on order!
Once your dealer is out of allocation, no more orders will be picked up even if you already have an order number. This is why it’s important to understand your dealer’s allocation situation before giving him your deposit.
So, your dealer called. Your number is up, he has allocation and he’s ready to place your order. But you can’t get exactly what you want. Maybe the color you want has limited availability, or they are only building 15% of the cars with Z51 or any one of dozens of issues, but you can’t get the car the way you want.
This is called a constraint and it’s when GM is limiting the availability of a certain option. There are a number of reasons this could be happening but usually, it’s a supplier issue. But regardless of the reason, you can’t get the car the way you want. So, what do you do?
At this point, you really only have 3 options. First, change your order to match the constraints. Second, if the dealer is willing, ask the dealer to push your order back to the next allocation period and wait to see if the constraint is lifted. Last, you can cancel your order and try again somewhere else.
This is where it pays to deal with dealers who have a large allocation. Let’s say that Rapid Blue is on a 15% constraint. If your dealer is getting 1 or 2 cars allocated to him that week, there is a very little chance of getting one in the Rapid Blue. If the dealer has an allocation of 50 that week, he’ll probably be getting 7 or 8 blue cars. This becomes even more difficult when dealing with multiple constraints.
Also, if your dealer has limited allocation and you asked to be pushed back, you run the risk of never getting a car.
Once your car makes it through the allocation and constraints, you hit event code 3000 and it begins its move through the system. From this time till the time your car is actually built is about 4 to 6 weeks depending on any production delays. However, the good news is that once your car gets to that event code 3000, you have a car on the way! You’ll soon have a TPW (target production week) although you may see that change until you hit event code 3400 where the TPW becomes pretty stable.
When the car comes off the line, it’s event code 3800. When it’s bayed and awaiting transportation, it’s at 4B00. When it’s actually in motion and on its way to you, that is event code 4200. Event code 5000 means the car is at the dealer’s lot and event code 6000 means the car is in your driveway!
Every two weeks, we’ll be posting all of the allocation and constraint reports so you will know what is on constraint and at what percentage so that you can have an intelligent conversation about your order with your dealer. In the meantime, if you have any questions on how the order process works, feel free to email Dave Salvatore at [email protected] and he’ll be happy to answer your questions.
Kerbeck Corvette is currently accepting deposits for the 2020 Corvette Stingray. Visit kerbeck.com/reserve/ for more information.
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