Update: In an email to Motor1.com, a GM representative said it's too early to speculate about the potential impact on launching timing for any product programs.
In case you haven’t heard, over 46,000 GM hourly employees are on strike across the United States. The UAW called the strike when its contract with GM expired at midnight on Sunday, and three days later there’s no end in sight. The strike is estimated to cost the expansive Detroit-based automaker approximately $50 million each day in earnings, but there could be an added cost to performance fans outside the company – a delay in C8 Corvette production.
We don’t actually know for certain when 2020 Corvettes will hit the assembly line in Kentucky, but the prevailing rumor we’ve heard for months now is December. That seems a very likely timeframe considering the supercar’s July reveal, fast-tracking of preorders, and aggressive release of information. Additionally, we’re on the cusp of the C8 Convertible’s day in the sun, which is slated for October 2. With that reveal out of the way, the only thing left to do is actually start building Corvettes.
However, Torque News raises a good point. The UAW strike against GM doesn’t encompass the automaker’s entire workforce, but it’s certainly enough to affect Corvette production, even if the line isn’t slated to start running for another couple months. Among other things, the ‘Vette’s LT2 V8 is assembled with a range of other GM engines at the automaker’s Tonawanda, New York facility. Even if the C8’s Bowling Green plant is unaffected, the car still needs an engine.
This is all pure speculation at this point. The strike is moving into its third day and apparently negotiations are tense, with the Detroit Free Press highlighting health care costs and better wages for younger employees. The report cites GM as claiming its UAW workforce make an average of $63 per hour with all compensation factored in.
The longer the strike, the more likely a delay on 2020 Corvette production becomes.