What's going on here?
Exactly one week ago we reported that the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky was going to be closed for the week due to a "temporary parts supply issue." The supply chain was supposedly set to resume to normal within a matter of days so that normal operation could begin on Monday, February 8. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen.
According to the Corvette Action Center, the automaker has confirmed an additional week's plant closure. "Due to a temporary parts supply issue, we can confirm that Bowling Green Assembly will not run production the week of February 8." As of this writing, production is scheduled to re-commence on Monday, February 15. But will it?
Chevy's statement is exactly the same, word for word, it issued a week ago; only the dates have been changed. Last week's shutdown was due to aluminum structures and transmission shortages for the 2021 Chevy Corvette Stingray coupe and convertible. Although those supply issues have reportedly been resolved, this week's problem likely has to do with the global shortage of semiconductor chips.
GM announced a few days ago it was temporarily closing four facilities, not including Bowling Green, because of this chip shortage. It's possible that the number has now increased to five. The C8 Corvette has been hit with numerous production problems from the get-go.
First, there was the five-week-long UAW strike. Not long after that was resolved, the coronavirus pandemic began to wreak havoc. The plant re-opened last May but pandemic-related supply issues have been an on-again, off-again problem ever since. When operating normally, Bowling Green is capable of producing 92-94 new Vettes per shift. That's a total of 930-940 cars per five-day workweek. With the factory closed for two weeks straight (so far), it's at least 1,860 units behind schedule.
Hopefully, next week there'll be a positive change of events that will enable Bowling Green employees to return to work and production will happen at full capacity. But a lot can happen, good and bad, over the course of a week. Let's hope for the best.