Recent rumors surrounding the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette have wondered whether GM will build more units of the current model year when the Bowling Green Assembly Plant returns to work, or switch to the 2021 model year and leave 2020 as one of the rarest Corvette versions ever produced. The automaker put the rumors to bed by telling Autoblog it “will continue to build 2020 Corvette Stingrays when the plant resumes production.”
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear opened the state for business on May 11, and GM pledged to reopen the BGAP on May 26. At that point, there will be a slow ramp-up to bring 2020 Corvette coupe production back to full speed. A post on Corvette Forum got the Internet’s sleuthing machinery working overtime on the matter of the model year changeover and Corvette convertible production, Corvette Blogger getting the relevant numbers.
GM built close to 2,700 units of the 2020 Corvette hardtop before the plant closed down on March 20, far fewer than the year’s allocation — a number that had already been cut by 20% due to last year’s UAW strike and supplier issues. The automaker closed order books for the 2020 car in March, and order books for the 2021 coupe were supposed to open this month, with production for next year’s model slated to commence September 1. Corvette Forum poster Corvette Ed and Corvette Blogger say the new date for the switchover is November 2. That gives Bowling Green five months to fulfill as many 2020 orders as possible before converting some buyers’ orders to cars in the 2021 model year.
Corvette Ed said GM would begin building 2020MY convertibles on Tuesday, July 13. Corvette Blogger updated that info to say it got confirmation Corvette convertible production resumes one week later, on July 20.
Getting everything going will still be constrained by safety and supplier issues. The GM plant in Indiana that makes the Corvette chassis continued to operate through the coronavirus shutdown, but the Tonawanda Engine Plant in Buffalo, N.Y., that makes the 6.2-liter LT2 V8 only reopened three days ago. Mexico, where some Corvette components are produced, is being prodded by U.S. automakers to move its manufacturing restart date from June 1 to “right now.”
GM got 2,700 cars completed in the six weeks from February 10 to March 20 on a light shift schedule. Five months of hardtop and three months of convertible production will get many thousands more cars made, but even so, the 2020 Corvette will be more exclusive than anyone intended or wanted.