The wait for the first mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette may have just become longer. Production of the eagerly anticipated—and practically sold out—eighth-generation sports car could be delayed because of the United Automobile Workers strike.
The 2020 Corvette Stingray, also known as the C8, was scheduled to begin production at the company’s Bowling Green Assembly in Kentucky later this year. But according to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the automaker will likely have to delay production and launch of the new model because of the ongoing dispute with the UAW over issues ranging from guarantees the company will continue to build traditional vehicles in the US to temporary worker protections.
Even if the strike is resolved and production begins by December, it’s unlikely GM would be able to keep to the original schedule. That’s because the facility still needs to catch up with production of the current generation Corvette, the C7, before being retooled for the new version.
When reached for comment on Tuesday morning, a representative for Chevrolet told Robb Report: “The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray production begins in late 2019 and convertible production follows in late first-quarter 2020. It’s too early to speculate on potential production timing impacts on any of our vehicles due to the UAW work stoppage.”
Nearly 50,000 UAW workers went on strike just after midnight on September 16. The union is seeking guarantees from GM that it will continue to build traditional vehicles in its US plants, as opposed to just electric and autonomous cars, which require fewer parts and less manpower to assemble. The UAW is also seeking better apprenticeship programs, clearer career progression tracts and protections for temporary workers. Over the weekend, it looked as if an end to the strike might be near, but NPR reported that was no longer the case on Monday morning, as the dispute entered its fourth week.
Chevrolet announced the new Corvette to much fanfare in July. The first mid-engine version of the iconic sports car is set to start at $59,995 when it finally goes on sale.