I was cruising along Interstate 55 somewhere southwest of Chicago when I came upon a Mercedes SUV that was continually adjusting speed. Annoyed by someone who couldn’t maintain a constant speed in the passing lane, I dipped the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette I was driving into the right lane and tried to carefully weave my way through scattered traffic and work my way past the schlub.
It was only as I leisurely passed by that I saw the raised smartphone camera. Even in the dark of night, the C8 Corvette stands out, and I was now a temporary celebrity, about to be put into someone’s camera roll – or posted to their social-media accounts – whether I liked it or not.
The C8 Chevrolet Corvette has certainly seen its share of hardships. Despite the vehicle receiving almost unanimous approval from those fortunate enough to get some cockpit time, it has been subject to numerous delays through no fault of its own. Union negations held last fall resulted in a 40-day UAW strike that pushed assembly of the mid-engine Corvette from the tail end of 2019 to the start of 2020. Of course, this butted its launch up against a global pandemic that forced General Motors to shut down production facilities for two months. Shutdowns likewise affected parts suppliers who were also made subject to government restrictions, causing bottlenecks across the industry.
Combined, these issues have forced GM to reduce the number of planned options. Many parts were proving too difficult to source with any reliability and the cars have become notoriously difficult to procure. While the manufacturer has said it would continue building the 2020 model year for as long as possible, supply is unlikely to meet demand until 2021. But the headaches haven’t abated just yet; GM has been forced to stall production on the C8 this week after running out of the necessary parts.
Automakers are notoriously tight-lipped about future product, much to the endless frustration of scoop-hungry automotive journalists.
They respond “we don’t comment on future product” to our e-mailed queries so often that I suspect it’s an automated response. It’s a running joke when hacks and flacks are drinking together in the hospitality suite on a junket and one of us tries to get a buzzed P.R. professional to spill some tea. They go to great lengths to disguise prototypes from the prying eyes of both professional spy photogs and random jamokes with a cell-phone camera. Speaking of cell-phone cameras, journalists invited on to automaker property for certain events will have their phone’s camera lens covered with a sticker for the duration.
Owners of the newly mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette might notice a new message greeting them this week, now that a solution to a recent recall concerning the 2020 C8 ‘Vette’s “frunk” appears to be underway.
C8 owners have complained of their front-end trunk’s (frunk’s) lid opening while on the road, leading to a dangerous situation as they attempt to pull over to close it. Just like a hood flying up on the highway, no one wants their frunk doing the same. TTAC’s Chris Tonn, currently ensconced in a bright yellow example, received the prescribed remedy last night.
The seemingly cursed mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette, aka the C8, probably spends its nights dreaming of clear skies and a vaccine. Early development problems, a lengthy strike, a deferred production start, then a pandemic-prompted production shutdown all conspired to make for a hellish entry into the world for the new-generation 2020 ‘Vette.
For 2021, the entry-level Stingray model doesn’t try anything wild, maintaining its entry price while adding a few things buyers might like… and one thing no one asked for.
Thanks to last year’s prolonged UAW strike and this year’s global pandemic, production of Chevrolet’s new Corvette is way behind schedule. As reported previously, GM had already dialed back the expected number of 2020 C8s headed to dealers by roughly 20 percent before the coronavirus touched down in North America.
Unfortunately, reopening factories hasn’t magically transported the manufacturer into a scenario where C8 ‘Vettes are abundant and customers can rest assured they’ll see their new toy by the end of this year.
Plenty of orders have already been rolled over for 2021 model-year vehicles, especially if they’re convertibles. Now, supply chain troubles all but guarantee 2020 will be an unfortunately weak year for the mid-engined Corvette, and GM knows it. The company’s doing everything it can to get as much product out the door as possible. However, the obstacles placed in GM’s path have proven too large — and timed too perfectly — for it to ever had much of a chance at a normal product launch.
Few models can boast of a debut year as dysfunctional as that of the C8 Corvette’s. Chevrolet’s newly mid-engined sports car saw production delayed by a lengthy strike, then kiboshed by a strange virus, leading to no shortage of frustration for those seeking to get their hands on a 2020 model.
Production is again underway, but the automaker already has 2021 on its mind. It seems the minds at the Renaissance Center felt it necessary to maintain as much of the status quo as possible.
Things change, and things fall apart. Both of these truths can be applied to best-laid plans, but they ring especially true for those of General Motors.
GM might have wanted 2020 Chevrolet Corvette production to run uninterrupted from late last fall through this summer, but a series of ever-larger crises managed to keep its production numbers down to a trickle. The result is a first-model-year run so small, it’s almost guaranteed to make every 2020 ‘Vette sold a de facto Launch Edition model.
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.
Delayed by a prolonged UAW strike late last year, General Motors announced Monday that that series production of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 has begun. The very first mid-engine Stingray intended for the passenger market has left the retooled assembly line in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with many more to follow.
Everything you’ve seen up to this point was technically a pre-production model, though there shouldn’t be any big changes forcing you to cancel your order. It’s still powered by a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 (495 hp, 470 lb-ft) and should run to 60 mph in under 3 seconds if you launch it carefully. Even if you aren’t enamored with the styling and prefer the front-engined C7, the C8 represents both a performance bargain and a major technological leap for the model. GM has teased mid-engined Corvettes for decades; now they’re real.
The extended UAW GM strike of 2019 was the longest the automotive industry endured in a couple of generations. At the time, General Motors said the situation would delay production across its entire model lineup, including the 2020 Corvette. The mid-engined C8 is all-new, encouraging plenty of interest. It was assumed the model was destined to be sold out months before the strike occurred.
While GM later confirmed models were still available, it warned that the strike might delay its launch and could impact dealer allocations. In November, the manufacturer said the C8 wouldn’t arrive until February of 2020, though the latest word from retailers indicates GM will cut back on allocations of the C8.
Earlier this month, two GM engineers were arrested in Bowling Green, Kentucky for illegally street racing the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. Three Stingrays were present, but only two of the men were caught breaking the law. Kentucky State Police stopped Alexander Thim and Mark Derkatz on January 8th, on Lovers Lane in Bowling Green, for exceeding the road’s 45-mph speed limit.
Thim was busted doing 120 mph while Derkatz settled on a nice, round 100 mph, according to local outlet WNKY. However, even 26 mph over the limit would be enough to haul them into custody and set court dates that could end in a suspended license. It seems the two men were also fired from General Motors for hooning the mid-engined C8 before the general public was provided the opportunity.
Chevrolet Corvette aficionados who plunked down deposits to secure a new C8 will have to wait a little longer than expected to take ownership of their latest ride.
According to Motor Authority, General Motors has confirmed that the recently ended strike by UAW-affiliated General Motors workers delayed the start of C8 production in Bowling Green, Kentucky.