The 2020 Corvette, the first mid-engine model in the marque's 67-year history, has had a difficult start.
First, its release was pushed back due to reported development delays regarding its aluminum spaceframe and electrical architecture. Then, production was delayed at least two months due to a strike by the United Auto Workers. Now, the coronavirus has shut down production six weeks after it began. All those delays mean the 2020 Corvette could be limited to about 2,700 cars, Consumer Guide reported Monday.
Chevrolet spokesman Kevin Kelly confirmed that 2,700 2020 Corvettes have been built so far. However, Kelly would not confirm how many will be built for the 2020 model year, though he did say the company plans to build more 2020 models when the plant reopens. In 2018, Chevrolet built 18,791 Corvettes and 25,079 in 2017.
"When the plant resumes we will continue building 2020 model year vehicles," Kelly said in an email, though he didn't have timing for when the plant will open.
After the UAW delay, production of the 2020 Corvette began in late February and the first car, a black Z51 coupe, was delivered to NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick in early March. Production continued through March 20, but the Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant that builds the Corvette was shut down due to the virus. Chevrolet announced March 18 that it had stopped taking orders for 2020 models and that it would begin taking orders for 2021s in late May. Kelly didn't comment when asked if some customers who ordered 2020 models will get 2021s. Depending on when the plant can be reopened, Chevrolet may not know.
Kelly also stated Chevrolet does plan to build 2020 Corvette convertibles for customer delivery, but he wouldn't comment about when production will begin or how many will be built.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
Chevrolet is reportedly planning several future variants for the Corvette, including a 1,000-horsepower Zora, an 850 hp ZR1, a 650-hp Z06, and a 600-hp Grand Sport. The virus could also delay those models but it won't cancel them, Kelly said.
Of course, well laid plans can always change. If the pandemic lasts too long (perhaps before fall), the Bowling Green factory may not be able to build more 2020 models.
If the final count is just around 2,700 cars, the 2020 Corvette could become an instant collectible. As Consumer Guide noted, that's fewer cars than the 3,300 Dodge Challenger SRT Demons built for 2018, and the various build combinations of the Corvette could make certain versions even more collectible. However, we suspect that prices will rise most in the short term, and the release of the 2021 models will lower the values of the 2020s. A nationwide search for 2020 Corvettes currently for sale shows some dealers asking for $5,000, $10,000 and even $17,000 more than MSRP.