C8 Corvette production delayed, UAW strike blamed

The first mid-engine Chevrolet Corvettes were originally supposed to reach buyers by the end of this year.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
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Mid-engine Corvette buyers will need to wait a little longer.

Chris Paukert/Roadshow

Although the UAW-GM strike is in the past, its lingering effects have robbed the mid-engine 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray of a 2019 launch. At a Detroit-area media event on Wednesday, a Chevrolet official confirmed to Roadshow that the 2020 will not begin production until February 2020.

"As you can imagine, that was delayed in time for not only the tooling, but the training at the plant ... due to the UAW strike," spokesperson Chris Bonelli said. The UAW-GM strike left the automaker's plants without workers for well over a month, and the Corvette's Bowling Green, KY facility was no different.

Originally, the first production 2020 Corvette models were scheduled to reach eager owners by year's end. When asked if March was a reasonable date for when we'll see the first cars reach owners, Chevy's Bonelli hinted it "... could be. If the first person lives across from Bowling Green, maybe we can expedite it." Without a more specific answer, we'll have to assume a late winter or early spring delivery window.

It's not clear if this shift affects the Corvette Stingray Convertible; the droptop, mid-engine Corvette was supposed to begin production in early 2020, as well.

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A report from this past October first sounded the alarm about a mid-engine Corvette production delay. At that time, Chevy stood by its original timeline of a late-2019 production start date for the 2020 Corvette, as the report cited two sources claiming the work stoppage left some C7-generation Corvette orders outstanding.

During today's event, Chevy's spokesperson confirmed that C7 Corvette production will officially wrap up next week, noting "it was scheduled to end earlier this fall."

The final production car from the previous generation was sold for millions of dollars this summer ahead of its manufacturing. Now, the plant will need to prepare for C8-generation Corvette production. The retooling and an idled period was originally scheduled for sometime during the UAW-GM strike. When workers walked off the job, it tossed the production schedule out the window.

Chevy has accepted preorders for the mid-engine sports car for months now, but those who've put their name down will need to wait a little while longer. The good news? UAW-GM workers are locked into their new labor agreement for four years, so for Corvette fans, there's essentially no need to worry about any other labor-related hiccups.

Originally published Nov. 6, 11:28 a.m. PT.

Update, 12:30 p.m.: Chevy corrected its earlier comment, and now says C7 Corvette production ends next week. A previous version of this story quoted a Chevy representative who said production had already ended.

Watch this: 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray: Radically better, here's why the C8 could leave some fans behind