Chevrolet to Build Even More 2020 Corvettes Upon Return to Manufacturing


Chevrolet to Build Even More 2020 Corvettes Upon Return to Manufacturing

A recent article that calls the 2020 Corvette Stingrays the “Virus Vettes” has set me off this morning and I got a few things to say about the doom and gloom naysayers who want to believe this kind of clickbait.

The 2020 Corvette has been one of the most anticipated vehicles to hit the market and customers have responded so positively that the car was effectively sold out for the 2020 model year even before the coronavirus put a halt to manufacturing. Now some are saying that 2020 Corvette production will not return and that Chevy will jump straight to the 2021 model year.

At this time, there is no basis to believe that absurd proposition for one second.

Chevrolet to Build Even More 2020 Corvettes Upon Return to Manufacturing

In an article over at Consumer Guide, the author takes the recent comments from Corvette Plant Manager Kai Spande and somehow reaches the conclusion that in there will be no 2020 Corvette Convertible models produced for the model year which is simply not true [Emphasis mine]:

According to a YouTube interview with Bowling Green plant manager Kai Spande, the facility produced a shade less than 2700 C8 Corvettes during that time frame, and it seems almost certain that those cars will be the only 2020-model-year Corvettes. Even before Coronavirus concerns escalated, the 2020 Corvette’s rollout had been delayed by a United Auto Workers’ strike last fall, which pushed the start of production back by a couple months. Two days before the plant shutdown, Chevrolet announced that it had stopped taking orders for the 2020 Corvette due to demand and delays caused by the UAW strike and that it would begin taking orders for the 2021 Corvette in late May—earlier than originally planned.

This means that the convertible version of the C8 Corvette, which was originally scheduled to be phased in in the 2020 model year, won’t be available until the 2021 model year at the earliest, and other forthcoming variants of the C8 will undoubtedly be pushed back as well.

The article has been picked up and rebroadcast by other outlets including Motor Authority who runs a headline today suggesting that Coronavirus could limit 2020 Chevrolet Corvette production to 2,700 cars..

Kai Spande never alluded that 2020 production was finished and done, nor did he give any kind of reason for people to believe that Convertible models would be pushed to 2021 model year. It’s simply not true.

In the Motor Authority article, they reached out to Chevrolet spokesman Kevin Kelly whose they quoted as saying “When the plant resumes we will continue building 2020 model year vehicles.” Wow, talk about burying the lede!

Chevrolet to Build Even More 2020 Corvettes Upon Return to Manufacturing

And that’s not just 2020 Corvette Coupes that will be built when manufacturing returns but the new 2020 Convertible model as well. Prior to the shutdown, 2020 Corvette Convertible production was supposed to start the week of April 6th. So in essence, we were just two weeks away from the start of convertible production before the shutdown on March 20th. And when the plant restarts and picks up where they were on March 20th, we should see convertibles coming off the line for customers within a similar time frame.

The discussions and planning happening throughout the automotive industry to get manufacturing restarted are moving ahead. And though we are hearing that May 18th might be the ‘Go Date” for GM facilities to open back up, we might see a delay in a full restart due to all the various lock-down dates in each of the States where vendors produce the parts. So even if it’s June 1st before the cars starting rolling again on the assembly line, that still leaves about three full months to produce 2020 Corvettes before the planned switchover. And for those doing the assembly line math, three months of additional production could lead to another 6,000 2020 Corvettes produced depending on availabilities and constraints.

Chevrolet to Build Even More 2020 Corvettes Upon Return to Manufacturing

Chevrolet’s timeline for the 2020 model year production had already been impacted at the very beginning of production by the nearly six-week UAW strike last fall and the company pivoted to start taking pre-orders in May for the 2021 models which were originally slated to start in September. As Chevrolet already has been forced to change the timeline for 2020 Corvette production previously, there is no reason why they can’t be a little more fluid in their dates as they adjust the production schedule moving forward.

The light is there at the end of the tunnel and it burns brighter every day as we continue to move through this unprecedented crisis. Chevrolet is telling us straight up that the 2020 Corvette Coupes and Convertibles will be coming. Shouldn’t we be listening to the “Experts?”

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  1. Right there with you Keith. I noticed the same behavior from some of those YouTubers. I have since unsubscribed from some of them who like to make time sensitive statements with no accuracy to back it up with. I maybe a little biased, because I’m at status 3000 and waiting for my HTC. My TPW date was 04/20, so I feel good about still getting my car. Keep up the good work Keith.

  2. Even with the strike, now virus I am Stuck in GM’s “Timeout” #3000, still haven’t lost Hope. ://

  3. You are right Keith. An example of writing articles supposition to attract readers. We will stay here for the facts. Hopefully for all this waiting, the 6,000 or so 2020 C8s will reach the end of the assembly line.

  4. Cannot see a full 2020 run myself. Being in the construction industry our logistic supply chain is way behind for simple nuts and bolts

  5. i don’t a car that has oil leaks, body panels that do not match, paint peeling around the headlights, issues with the driver’s seat bottom cushion, et al problems cropping up………there needs to be an EMPHASIS ON QUALITY CONTROL

  6. I appreciate your clarification of the status of the 2020 Corvette production and it confirms my beliefs in spite of nay sayers and circumstances outside of Corvettes control the 2020 model year coupe and convertible hard top we’re going to be built as soon as safety condition for worker, and venders had been addressed. There are allot more moving part in political, medical, and the labor unions then the new C8 Stingray and all must have their 15 minutes of fame. Any Great Automobile needs a great story and this Car has the Greatness to go along with it’s Story. Experts are faced with many barriers that stand in the way of buyers knowing what comes next, unfounded speculation doesn’t help the waiting Corvette Lover in line for this Car. So For Profit You Tube sites don’t need to spread false information!

  7. Kind of bad news for 2020 model year future owners who will get their car and then the 2021s will arrive right after. Talk about instant depreciation.

  8. Waiting since August for mine, but it’s still stuck as a dealer order with no actual Chevrolet order #.

  9. Keith,

    Corvette Ed my GM rep told me yesterday that the May dates for 2021 orders have been postponed. I couldn’t get any more information except that 2020 production may go longer than August. Until GM tells us nobody knows.

  10. Not happening! Between the strike and the virus, there is no way they can catch up now.

  11. Would like to see all the hardtop allocations that were ordered prior to the release of the convertible built first.

  12. The last run was less then 5 weeks and was good for about 2695 cars. The end of May to the end of August makes the 6k intention possible. 2021 sales open the middle of this month and orders that haven’t made it to production management will be at the front of that line!

  13. I believe it’s only fair to move 2020 C8 allocations to the top of list for the 2021 C8, only if their allocation were contracted with their dealerships before March 18th of 2020.

  14. The Corvette supply chain is key here. They get a lot of parts from MEXICO which is not opening till June, they also have 400 vendors who supply parts. any one or a combination of this and one employee getting Covid will shut down the line, it doesn’t look good!

  15. Hi Ed. Hearing that 2020 production may be extended as well but it’s just a rumor at this point. I think the May dates have to due to a reshuffle of the production schedule as they figure out what they have on hand what can be built. Like you say, until GM says something, nobody knows for sure!!

  16. I’m not sure why any of this matters. The C8 is the C8, regardless of whether it’s labeled as a 2020 or 2021 model. So long as GM continues to take the original deposit orders in order, does it really make a difference whether your car has an L or an M date code in the VIN? There really are no substantive changes between the model years, beyond a couple colors and reorganizing how some of the option packages are structured regarding suspension. This scenario is not without precedent in the Corvette world either. The very same thing happened in the early 70s as well, where many who ordered a 1970 C3 wound up with 71s and 72s. If anything, a truncated 2020 production run will just make those cars more sought after and valuable in the long run.

  17. No amount of worrying and hand-wringing will make a particle of difference– the c8 convertible will come when it comes.
    Gee, I’m starting to sound like my parents.

  18. Daniel, the UAW and GM dropped the ball big time! China doing what they do best, screwing up everything they touch!

  19. Firstly, Keith: great reporting and very responsible reporting, something we don’t see as frequently as we should these days.
    Second: C6ron7: You are correct to stay optimistic. A report yesterday from one of the automotive internet “magazines,” (I forget) stated that the convertibles would built (2020; not 2021) starting July 21 and of course herein, it was stated that July 20 is the starting date. There are currently coupes sitting on the BGAP build line. Those will probably get built first, because if there are missing parts, they would affect cars not yet started every bit as much as cars already partially assembled. (Agree at this point, that instead of record build numbers per shift, we want quality control, so that Covettes, as perfect as possible are turned out. This while the workers use safe practices with no shortcuts because of, “over-confidence of management or workers.” The Union, UAW, has only released information of concern for safe working conditions, so that is the Union attitude. I’ve posted this before, but no one has re-quoted it: An actual Corvette Concierge told me just about ten days ago, that a Convertible which I have on order from January 22, 2020 had reached 1100 status early in March. The same car reached 3000 status on March 31, 2020. She insisted that it would be a 2020; and she insisted that if Blade Silver Metallic was ordered, despite it being deleted, that it would still be built as, “Blade Silver Metallic.” It appears to seems like the average person can figure that Convertibles such as this one will start to see building on the 20 or 21st of July, that Coupes will be built from May 26 to July 20. You guys do the math using the process of elimination: All of June and 20 days of July and that should equal at least 1500 Corvette Coupes (just logic and a bit of math.) You patient guys will get your notices no later than July 20 with a good deal of summer left! Let’s get into June as soon as possible — wait! Did I just say that? AF

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