First, there was the GM strike last year, which delayed the 2020 Chevy Corvette. Then, not long after deliveries began, the coronavirus pandemic hit, shutting down factories and delaying more production. Now, there’s a huge backlog and buyers aren’t too happy. Chevy doesn’t sound all that happy either.
Corvette buyers, or would-be Corvette buyers, are nonplussed about the fact that Chevy just can’t seem to make new Corvettes fast enough, so much so that Chevy is converting some 2020 Corvette orders to 2021s. All of which is somewhat understandable under the circumstances, until last week, when GM Authority reported that the buyers getting 2021 ‘Vettes would have to pay more for certain options, which set off a stream of angry comments from buyers who have been trying to get their hands on a new Corvette for months to no avail.
Among the price hikes are an extra $995 for the Z51 Performance Package and an extra $500 for the Front Lift Suspension, news which came after Chevy said in May said it wasn’t raising the base price.
A representative comment at GM Authority:
I ordered my C8 HTC in January 2020, this would be my 4th corvette. It was an 85K car and the dealer wanted 10% down or $8500.00. The car was not built and they could not give me a date as to when it would be built. I told them you want 10K for what? an imaginary car?
They said they have 55, 2020 Allocations and only 3 left so if you want #53 we need the deposit. I offered them $2500.00 and it had to be refundable if no 2020 car was delivered. They took the deal. They only delivered 24 2020 C8’s of the 53 and 12 people canceled which moved me up to #17 if I converted to 2021. My price will increase by $2500.0. I was told I was price protected on the 2020 and now I would be price protected on the 2021. Big deal if they do not produce the car price protection is meaningless. However if it is true that all orders not filled for the 2020 go to the front of the line respectively for 2021. If Bowling Green continues to limp along at 500 cars per day, I should get my car in 5-7 months. Have not decided what to do yet.
Now, I’m assuming some portion of buyers’ anger on missing out on 2020 versions is an expectation that those will be worth more in later years because they are the first C8s, which may or may not come true, but C8 or not, this isn’t a good look for any car company.
Nor does Chevy sound all that thrilled about it, saying in a statement to me today that it underestimated some demand and, well, 2020 was a very bad year.
We did underestimate demand for some options and are working to reduce these issues going forward. In addition, we faced a number of unexpected headwinds and very unusual challenges due to the plant strike and pandemic that we couldn’t predict. We appreciate everyone’s patience given a tough year of unpredictable interruption and are working to do everything we can to avoid these challenges as we start 2021 model year production late this year.
The profit margins on Corvette are over 16 percent according to one analyst’s report, double GM’s average, so there’s no reason to not take GM’s word for it that it is doing all it can to pump out more Corvettes. The test now for Chevy will be turning the page to the 2021 Corvette, production for which will start in November. Chevy is, like everyone else, very much over 2020 already.