We’ve been hearing about the second shift being added to the Corvette Assembly Plant ever since GM CEO Mary Barra’s visit to the facility in April 2019. During her visit, GM announced the addition of 400 new hourly workers for building the C8 Corvette during a second shift.
Last week we learned that team members of the second shift were working alongside those on the first shift to help reacclimate their job functions and work on getting that muscle memory back to form. Second shift members had previously trained for their job functions prior to the COVID-19 shutdown and many of the new hires had faced an extended layoff until the plant was ready to begin operating two shifts.
Also worth mentioning is that many of the second shift workers have been working the first shift since the restart in May as their seniority allowed them the opportunity to work. With the second shift officially starting up, they will then transition back to those new hours. So it’s not like the second shift will be totally comprised of new workers.
Although the Corvette Assembly Plant can build an estimated 95 Corvettes per shift, we have been told that the assembly line will be running slower at first as the plant works with vendors to ensure a steady flow of parts through the supply chain. We understand that the plant has been hoarding parts supplies in anticipation of the second shift starting, and with some vendors still not up to full speed yet, there is concern that they don’t want to burn through the supply and then be left hanging due to constraints.
The team has been working overtime over the last couple of months and from that they were building roughly 116 cars per day. We’ll be watching the completed vehicle counts this week to see exactly what impact the second shift will have on current production quantities.
Over the weekend during a virtual Corvette Presentation from Corvettes at Carlisle, Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter said “we are desperate to produce as many as these cars as possible” as the Corvette Team works to honor the orders of those customers who reached 3000 Status prior to the return to work. Back in May, the Corvette Team confirmed that a total of 20,181 Corvette orders were accepted and production of the model year was extended into November 2020.
The Corvette Team does have some leeway with the end of the 2020 model year and could technically go all the way into December if needed to complete the orders.
Later this week, Corvette Assembly Plant Manager Kai Spande will be offering an update from the factory at the annual NCM Anniversary Event and so we are looking forward to hearing more about the latest happenings from the plant.
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