Chevrolet resumed production of the eighth-generation Corvette on May 26, but it won't have time to fill every order it received for a 2020 model. Enthusiasts near the back of the line will receive a 2021 model instead.
"We are not going to build all of the 2020 models," General Motors spokesperson Kevin Kelly told the Detroit Free Press. He added Chevrolet will work with customers and dealers to replace 2020s it can't build with 2021s.
As of May 1, the company had received 20,181 orders for the 2020 Corvette, according to the same source. Kelly explained that although production has resumed in Bowling Green, Kentucky, the second shift needed to increase its output hasn't been added yet, which limits its production capacity. Interestingly, he said ramping up Corvette production is such a complicated process that Chevrolet can't estimate how many 2020s it will build.
"We've had an enormous demand for this vehicle, and we had that work stoppage, and we have suppliers trying to come up to speed, too," he noted. Although an earlier report claimed Chevrolet could reach the 20,000 mark before the 2021 model enters production on November 2, Kelly's comments confirm that's not the case.
Bowling Green launched production of the eighth-generation Corvette later than expected due to a United Auto Works (UAW) strike that paralyzed General Motors for 40 days in 2019. The plant manufactured about 2,700 units of the car (including serial number 001, which sold for $3 million at a charity auction, and the one we drove and loved) between February 3 and March 20, when it shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chevrolet has stopped taking orders for the 2020 Corvette, and it will open the 2021 order book in July 2020. It hasn't fully detailed the changes it's making for the next model year, though they'll likely be minor at best, but we know the coupe's base price will remain pegged at $59,995 including a $1,095 destination charge. Buyers who want the convertible model will need to set aside $67,495, which is also unchanged from 2020.