It simply isn't a priority for GM right now.
Early adopters of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray should feel lucky right now because it's going to be a much longer wait for some customers. General Motors' North American production is still suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving many 2020 Corvette orders unfulfilled.
As a result, the new Corvette Stingray convertible is unlikely to launch for the 2020 model year. But what about the right-hand-drive C8 Corvette planned for markets outside of North America? Australia's CarAdvice believes it could already be dead.
While production of the C8 Corvette is temporarily paused, insiders have told the publication there is "little to no chance" the new mid-engine Corvette will launch in Australia in the first half of 2021 as originally planned. This likely applies to other right-hand-drive markets such as the UK and Japan. At the earliest, the right-hand-drive Corvette could be delayed until 2022. However, the publication's insiders believe it could get canceled since it will a low priority for GM when production resumes after the Covid-19 crisis ends.
In Australia, GM planned to sell the right-hand-drive Corvette alongside other locally converted Chevrolet models such as the Silverado under the General Motors Specialty Vehicles banner. General Motors was also negotiating to rebrand Holden Special Vehicles as GMSV after Holden shut down, but the coronavirus has inevitably halted these negotiations.
Since GM and Holden only planned to sell between 200 and 400 cars a year in Australia, it doesn't make sense for GM to focus on a niche market when ramping up production. "Do you really think General Motors is going to allocate engineers to finish off the right-hand-drive Corvette, when those same engineers could be working on another vehicle for the US market that will deliver much bigger profits and sell in much greater volumes?" an insider said.
Alternatively, Chevrolet could delay the launch of the right-hand drive Corvette to coincide with higher performance variants such as the new Z06 in the next few years. Either way, it's clearly going to be a long time before right-hand-drive markets will get to experience the new mid-engine Corvette.