Well, it happened. The UAW’s 40-day strike against General Motors has delayed 2020 Chevy Corvette C8 production, GM confirmed today to Motor1 after Motor Authority broke the story. Production won’t begin until February 2020, with customer deliveries starting after that.
Rumors of the C8 Corvette’s delay began to spread days after the worker’s union authorized to strike in September. At the time, GM said it was too early to speculate about future Corvette production. However, as days turned into weeks, issues began to arise. A report in early October said GM’s Bowling Green, Kentucky factory still had current front-engine Corvette C7 production to finish before beginning C8 production. GM again reaffirmed its position that it was “too early to speculate on production timing impacts.”
Then, in mid-October, those who’d ordered a C8 Corvette began having their target production week (TPW) dates pushed back, on average, by one to two months. However, now it appears some will need to be pushed back further. The plant will first have to complete C7 production, shut down for retooling, and then begin C8 production.
GM had planned for C8 production to begin by the end of 2019, but that’s no longer the case. There’s no word if the delay will affect the company’s plans to auction the first 2020 Corvette in January. The funds will go to the Detroit Children’s Fund, which helps support underfunded public schools in the Detroit area.
Now that the strike is over and employees are returning to work, the march toward C8 production should continue without issue. The C8 is a radical change from what the Corvette has been since its inception, and it’s vital to the Corvette’s future. Customers are eager to drive the high-powered, and (reasonably) affordable American sports car, and we’re eager to see it on the road.