At the beginning of June, Chevrolet announced that it was cutting allocations for the final 2021 Corvette order cycle while also committing to build all those cars for customers whose orders were at Order Status 3000 or above. This announcement followed on the heels of the Corvette Assembly Plant being closed during three of the previous four weeks due to a parts shortage. For members of the Corvette Team, it seemed like deja vu from 2020 all over again.
According to Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter, that’s exactly the situation they were trying to avoid.
Tadge spoke with our friends at MuscleCarsandTrucks.com and got the scoop directly:
“We learned our lesson last year,” said Juechter to MC&T. “We didn’t predict a pandemic, and we actually promised to build cars and then the pandemic shut us down entirely. We had to go back to customers and dealers and say ‘I’m sorry’. It was 11,000 customers that we had to go back and say okay, we’ll put you at the front of the line for 2021. This year even though things are constrained, we haven’t had to do that. Every car we’ve committed to build, we expect to build. There’s still ups and downs, and we’re fighting through it, but that’s why we don’t want to overcommit. But of all the cars we received and committed to build, we’re still on track to build them.”
For the inaugural year of the C8 Corvette, the 2020 model year was already a sell-out before the first car was ever on the assembly line. Production of the 2020 model year was impacted by both a 5-week UAW strike which pushed back the start of the model year from December 2019 to early February 2020, and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. While Chevrolet tried to meet expectations to those who had placed an order, moving 11K customers to the following year wasn’t an ideal situation. For 2021, the team was much more cautious in its approach as customers who have had their orders accepted for production should still see their cars built during the 2021 model year.
Unfortunately, there are still those impacted by the decision to cut the final allocations but the team is hoping that the 2022 model year will provide a reset back to a regular production schedule. Tadge told Muscle Cars & Trucks that had the world been different the last two years, GM could have likely sold three times as many Corvettes. That would have been fantastic way to kick off the start of the C8 generation, but as everyone knows now, selling the car and building the car are two different things.
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