General Motors sent a new memo to Chevy dealers today telling them that due to the overwhelming response to the 2021 Corvette combined with the unexpected downtimes at the assembly plant, dealers can no longer submit sold orders starting on March 26th. GM says it’s doing this to avoid false expectations and disappointing customers in the process.
Shorter version: We don’t want a replay of 2020 where customers with orders didn’t get cars.
Here is the exact memo we received from a Chevrolet dealer:
Due to continued overwhelming response to the 2021 Corvette and to avoid false customer expectations, it will be necessary to suspend the ability to create a sold order (SRE) beginning March 26, 2021. This does not prevent you from processing existing sold orders (SRE) within allocation, nor creating and processing a normal stock order (TRE). Unplanned downtime has impacted the overall 2021 Model Year Corvette production schedule. We are suspending SRE’s now in an effort to avoid cancelling orders that will not be built within the current schedule and disappointing customers in the process. We anticipate you will be able to submit orders for 2022MY Corvettes in early July.
We’ve previously talked about the allocation situation in that dealers do not have a total yearly allocation number to go by. Instead, dealers have been provided allocations in three-month cycles. And because dealers have no idea what their total allocation numbers are, many are continuing to submit sold orders for customers knowing they might not get those allocations to fulfill the customer’s order. This memo will now put a stop to that practice and allow GM to fully complete 2021 production without leaving a bunch of customers on the sidelines.
Again it’s all about meeting customer expectations that when they sit down at a dealership and submit an order, that there is good faith that the order will be fulfilled.
We can probably blame some of this on those dealers who will take anyone’s downpayment and submit an order. Unless you have the allocations to back them up, you will end up with a lot of angry customers. Previously, those dealers would point the finger at GM. The order suspension at least halts that process.
On the other side of the equation is the supply chain issues, especially with semiconductor chips, that are impacting automotive production worldwide. As one of the major Japanese producers of chips just had a fire that impacts their production, it’s possible that GM forecasters are anticipating additional downtime as a result.
The other piece of info supplied here tells dealers that GM expects them to start submitting orders for the 2022 model year in early July. So I believe that the rumored end of the model year’s final production week of July 19th is now out the window and we will probably see 2021 production continue into August to make up for those weeks that were lost due to supply chain issues earlier this year.
Depending on GM’s final end date for the 2021 model year, there are still four to five months of 2021 model year production still to happen, so I don’t believe it’s time to panic for those of you still at Status 1100…yet.
RUMOR: Final Week of 2021 Corvette Production Is Said to Be July 19th
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