But the C7 isn't done yet.
A few months ago we reported that the Corvette production facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky would be shutting down for a major retooling. The shutdown began last week when a 2018 model in Torch Red rolled off the line. Production is scheduled to commence again on or around October 9, according to Corvette Blogger. The reason for the shutdown is because of the need to replace production equipment that was installed back in 1997, during the C5’s era. In fact, some line components go back even further to the 1980s.
The plan over the next thirteen weeks will be to dismantle the current assembly line and then build the new one. Some significant changes will be adapted, such as moving the exterior panel assembly areas closer to the also new paint shop. But perhaps one of the more interesting updates is that the new line will actually produce fewer Corvettes than its predecessor. Instead of 18 cars per hours rolling off the line it’ll be reduced to 12. The reason isn’t necessarily due to lack of Corvette demand, but GM wants factory workers to spend more time on each car in order to ensure quality. Now, once things get back up and running in October, C7 production will resume.
The 2018 models will likely arrive in dealerships in late November or early December. As for the C8, we hear it’ll debut this January at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show as a 2019 model. By getting the factory ready in advance for what will likely be the most dramatic change the Corvette has ever undergone, from front- to a mid-engine setup, should allow plenty of time to work out any issues that infringe upon C8 output, in terms of quantity and quality.