It's hardly been a cakewalk for GM's iconic sports car.
We're sure this is hardly the production ramp-up GM had in mind.
GM's Bowling Green, Kentucky Corvette plant has so far produced just 2,695 units of the all-new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 for customers, after 2019's UAW strike postponed the production ramp-up and, months later, GM was forced to pause North American production indefinitely as the US COVID-19 outbreak intensified.
That 2,695 figure comes straight from Corvette Plant Manager Kai Spande, who spoke to Rick Conti in a recent interview. Needless to say, it leaves countless US orders unfulfilled, at a time when many had already expressed concern that Chevrolet would be unable to fill all its 2020 model-year orders.
One potential casualty in all this is the 2020 Corvette convertible, with Spande saying it's "too early to say" whether the plant will be able to turn out a single drop-top for the 2020 model year.
It's uncertain when production could start again at Bowling Green and other North American GM plant, Spande admits, and before the factory resumes turning out new Corvettes, he says they may want to refresh the facility's workforce training. US automakers had originally figured on a mid-April date to get their factories humming again, but that was before the Trump administration announced its decision to extend existing social-distancing guidelines through the end of April.
What's more, after production resumes, plant capacity may be reduced demonstrably as the facility shifts to staggering shift start-times and implements new, more thorough workstation cleaning practices.
All things considered, it could be another year or two before GM's Bowling Green plant reaches the point that it can start building inventory for dealer lots rather than direct customer orders, Spande says, which is a long time to wait. And uncertain in all of this is whether the coronavirus might further delay the start of production for the right-hand-drive 2020 Corvette, which already wasn't slated to appear before the 2021 model year.
Ultimately, no matter how you slice it, being a Corvette customer this generation will require a bit of patience.