Across the nation, states are beginning to roll out re-opening measures after weeks of lockdown from Coronavirus. One of the biggest industries to be put on hold is the auto industry, and the Big Three are itching to get things moving again. According to CorvetteBlogger, Kentucky will begin to reopen on May 11, and auto factories will be some of the first businesses to restart. That’s right, when the Bowling Green plant re-opens, Chevy can finally resume production of the 2020 Corvette.
By contrast, Michigan, headquarters of General Motors, is under state of emergency until May 28th.
It wasn’t an easy road for the C8 Corvette, even before Coronavirus shut down the nation. The fall UAW GM strike hurt production, and Chevy stopped orders for the 2020 model year early due to the pandemic. It’s believed that the Corvette Convertible won’t come until the 2021 model either, while development of the C8 Corvette Z06 has been put on ice.
But there’s still 2020 Corvettes that need to be built for dealers and customer orders, so Chevy will want to get their flagship product back up and running as quickly as possible. That being said, the factory won’t be able to start the moment they are allowed to.
The primary issue comes from New York. The C8’s LT2 engine is built in upstate New York’s Tonawanda Powertrain Facility before it’s shipped to the main Corvette plant in Kentucky. While the rest of New York hasn’t been hit quite as hard as NYC, it’s safe to say the state won’t open as quickly as Kentucky. That being said, manufacturing facilities are expected to be some of the first businesses to restart across the nation.
The there’s the Bowling Green factory itself. According to the Detroit Free Press, GM sent a memo to its workers saying production restart will be a process, and the UAW will certainly have some opinions about what that looks like. GM has supposedly told some of its salaried workers they would be the first to prep the plants for production. There will also have to be training for safety measures, with a focus on health screening, workplace sanitizing and social distancing.
All in all, the 2020 Corvette will resume production soon, but not before the engines can be made and the workers are trained to build America’s sports car in a strange new world.