Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chevrolet Corvette production is no longer underway at the Bowling Green, Kentucky, factory. Before shutting down the plant, the site was able to build an estimated 2,695 examples of the sports car, according to an interview with Corvette Assembly Plant Manager Kai Spande from Rick Corvette Conti. So far, all of those vehicles are for the United States.
Spande said that he didn't know for sure when production could begin again. While the 'Vette has a significant amount of American-made content from its 400 suppliers, some of its parts come from Mexico. The country isn't allowing any manufacturing until the end of April at the very earliest. Spande also wants to refresh the training of the assembly workers. These factors suggest that manufacturing could begin again in May in a best-case scenario. The coronavirus pandemic makes it impossible to set a concrete timetable, though.
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These issues also affect the start of production for the new Corvette Convertible. The factory has to be able to build cars, in general, before the droptop can begin rolling off the assembly line. Spande even says it's "too early to say" whether convertible assembly can begin before the end of the 2020 model year.
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When employees return, they will have staggered start times, rather the standard method of having a whole shift begin work at 6:00 AM. There will also be increased cleaning procedures for work stations and break areas.
According to Spande, all of the Corvettes have been cars from orders. None of them are going just to sit in dealer lots and wait for buyers. He estimates it could be one or even two years before this situation changes.