Time is running out for 2020 Corvette production. Only 2,695 have been built so far. The coronavirus pandemic shutdown is causing massive problems in every area of vehicle production. All manufacturers are shooting for mid-May to start ramping up production but only if outside suppliers can supply needed components. So, Chevy is looking for ways to streamline Corvette production. It looks like Chevy has already killed certain 2020 Corvette models before production resumes. Here’s what we know.
2020 Corvette production only lasted from early February to mid-March
C8 Corvette production only started in early February 2020 due to the UAW strike in 2019. Then the coronavirus pandemic shut down the Bowling Green assembly line in mid-March. None of these were convertibles.
As best as we know there are two distinct models of C8 Corvette that have not been made. The first one is the convertible model. Only prototypes have been produced to this point. With some or even most 2020 orders of all Corvettes having to be pushed off to 2021 production it looks like the convertible will be one of the victims.
2020 convertible Corvette production is “too early to say” if it will or won’t happen
Muscle Cars & Trucks says Corvette plant manager Kai Spande told YouTuber Rick Conti that it is “too early to say” when or if convertible Corvettes will be made in the 2020 model year. The 2021 model production begins at Bowling Green in September. If the plant doesn’t hit its stride until June you’re looking at three more months of production before the plant switches over to 2021 production.
The other model that has yet to be made is the right-hand-drive version. It was expected to become available in the first half of 2021. Now Australia’s CarAdvice says it has been told the right-hand Corvettes are dead.
The plan was to convert 200-400 Corvettes to right-hand-drive
These conversions were to be done by General Motors Specialty Vehicles which would convert Silverados, Corvettes, and other vehicles to right-hand-drive. The plan was to convert 200-400 Corvettes a year. The volume is just not there to deal with when development time and efforts could go toward large profit projects.
There is a chance that if the conversion is already developed and production throughout the company gets on solid footing then there might be a chance in 2022 or later. But, don’t forget that Chevy has a model cadence planned for new Corvette models like the Z06 and 1,000 hp Zora. These will bring more attention to the brand and also more profit than a few hundred right-hand-drive C8s.
There is good news if your 2020 Corvette instead becomes a 2021 model
Though customers with an eye toward collectibility won’t be happy there is some good news if your 2020 Corvette gets slipped to 2021. The 2021 model will have a variety of improvements. These include wireless Apple CarPlay, Magneride as a separate option as opposed to being bundled with the Z51 package, and new colors and interior options.
And, if the convertible model doesn’t become available until the 2021 model owners can still say they got the first year’s convertible C8 Corvette. So those bragging rights will still exist.