Over 120 Corvettes Destroyed At the Factory From Deadly Tornado

With as desirable and in short supply as the 2021 Chevy Corvette is, it makes this even more miserable. That bad series of bad storms that ravaged Kentucky and the Tri-State area also did some major damage to the Corvette Bowling Green facility. That is where over 120 brand new, recently assembled Corvettes were deemed total losses from tornados.

The damaged Corvettes will be scrapped

The 2022 Chevrolet Corvette was one of Consumer Reports least reliable new cars
The 2022 Chevrolet Corvette | Chevrolet

A memo has been sent to Chevy dealers that over 120 C8s were destroyed and need to be scrapped. Dealers with customers slated for these cars now must re-submit their ordering info. Any cars built after these 120-plus vehicles will be on-schedule to have them delivered to their buyers. 

The destroyed Corvettes were inside the factory when they met their fate. But there were still more sitting completed outside of the factory ready to be shipped off. These still need to be evaluated to determine if they’re damaged or not. For those buyers connected to this batch of cars, they’ll need to wait to determine Chevy’s assessment of any damage.

This is a continuation of the Corvette curse. The number of delays and interruptions for the C8 since its debut in 2019 is, honestly, creepy. Corvette’s Bowling Green plant has been hit by the GM strike, COVID-related shutdowns, and most recently suppliers issues.

Not only Corvettes were destroyed but the plant received damage

A blue 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe in-between two silver Convertibles overlooking the ocean
2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe and Convertibles | Chevrolet

The Corvette plant also received both roof damage and fire damage. That fire damage was reported to be relatively minor.  But this too is responsible for the plant being closed while inspections were completed.

“Maintaining a safe work environment for plant employees is our top priority,” a plant spokesperson told GM Authority. “Therefore, we are canceling production on first and second shift the week of December 13th as our trained teams work to get tooling, equipment, and the facility space up to standard.”

Every day there are around 186 Corvettes built. So the apparent tornado loss accounts for almost a day’s worth of Corvettes. And with the combination of high demand, and potential COVID shutdowns and/or supplier issues, every day’s output is even more important than without these potential production interruptions.

Production goals for the C8 have never been reached

A white 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with optional spoiler for non-Z51-equipped models
2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray | Chevrolet

Chevy has never been able to produce anywhere near its production goal of 40,000 units per year. In 2019, the last year of C7 production, Chevy hit 34,822 Corvettes built. That soared above the 2018 output of only 9,686 Corvettes produced, which was the lowest number since 1959.

With high hopes, the C8 was launched in 2020 but hit half of its intended production goal of 40,000. Exactly 20,368 Corvettes were built. The 2021 numbers did slightly better with 26,216 C8s out the door. But as you are all aware, the 2019 GM strike, COVID shutdowns in 2020, and supplier issues in 2021, have continued the dreaded Corvette curse. 

Let’s hope that 2022 C8 production sees a smoother path and that everyone gets their Corvette on time. 

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