Slowed by Strike, Virus Keeps C8 Corvette Convertible Away From Buyers
After spending years in development and even longer in the imaginations of Corvette enthusiasts who longed for something a little wilder, a little more European, the mid-engined C8 Corvette drove straight into a series of roadblocks.
The first was a six-week strike by unionized General Motors workers that pushed C8 production into a new calendar year. Just when it seemed the coast was clear, along came a virus that sent those workers home for an altogether different reason. As such, the C8 is having difficulty leaving the gate. Those looking for al fresco motoring are so far out of luck.
As reported by CarsDirect, the C8 convertible remains a no-show, with no examples appearing in U.S. dealer inventory before or after GM facilities shut down in mid-March on account of the coronavirus pandemic.
The first production C8 left Bowling Green, Kentucky in early February, having already garnered a sky-high big at Barrett-Jackson. Deliveries to reservation holders was expected to commence in early- to mid-March, and we all know what happened at that point. The shutdown of North American auto production came after GM dialed back the expected number of 2020 C8s headed to dealers by roughly 20 percent.
Demand for first-year ‘Vettes was high; the automaker eventually converted many 2020 C8 orders into 2021-model-year vehicles. While many of those orders were likely for convertible hardtop variants, a search by CarsDirect revealed zero drop-tops in the U.S.
When contacted, GM spokesman Kevin Kelly stayed mum on the status or timeline of C8 convertible production, stating only that assembly of the C8 will “resume when it is safe to do so.”
Thus far, GM hasn’t revealed when that date might be. With most automakers targeting an early- or mid-May return to vehicle production, GM remains in talks with the UAW, attempting to finalize a return-to-work plan that puts worker safety at the forefront. It’s looking now like the 2020 model year will be a vanishingly brief one for the long-awaited eight-generation Corvette.
[Image: General Motors]
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