As we get ready to head into the 2022 model year, the C8 Corvette is gearing up to enter its third sales year. And while the mid-engine sports car has received its fair share of critical acclaim, the media has had a different experience than the vehicle’s actual customer base. From the very beginning, Chevrolet has struggled to stabilize C8 Corvette production as a result of various supplier and/or other pandemic related issues. These production constraints wreaked havoc on availability during 2020, and unfortunately the issues have continued into 2021. In fact, the automaker recently canceled the remaining 2021 C8 Corvette allocations without an event code of 3000 or above, just ahead of 2022 Corvette production this fall.
In order to better understand the situation behind this decision, MC&T sat down with Corvette Executive Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter to get the full story. Here’s what we learned…
Cutting 2021 C8 Corvette Stingray Allocations
“We learned our lesson last year,” said Juechter to MC&T. “We didn’t predict a pandemic, and we actually promised to build cars and then the pandemic shut us down entirely. We had to go back to customers and dealers and say ‘I’m sorry’. It was 11,000 customers that we had to go back and say okay, we’ll put you at the front of the line for 2021. This year even though things are constrained, we haven’t had to do that. Every car we’ve committed to build, we expect to build. There’s still ups and downs, and we’re fighting through it, but that’s why we don’t want to overcommit. But of all the cars we received and committed to build, we’re still on track to build them.”
When news came down that GM was cutting off 2021 C8 Corvette allocations, customers were understandably upset. It seemed like a repeat of what happened last year, but Juechter explained to MC&T that the situation is different. The decision was actually made in response to what happened to thousands of 2020 model year customers, and in an attempt to prevent the automaker from overcommitting during these turbulent times.
By cutting off orders without an event code of 3000 or above, Juechter believes Chevrolet will be able to get every customer who has ordered a Corvette in 2021 their vehicle. That event code is important, as those customers are the ones who made it through the entire ordering process with confirmation from GM.
Looking Ahead At 2022 Corvette
So while folks who didn’t quite make it through the ordering process for the 2021 model year are right to be bummed, the decision to cut C8 Corvette allocations was likely the correct one. The move will allow Chevrolet a clean slate going into the 2022 model year, during which they hope to see production normalize. Juechter also noted that if the world had been different during the past two years, General Motors could have likely sold three times as many C8 Corvettes. That may seem like a proud father talking, but the Corvette has been the fastest selling vehicle in the country for the majority of 2021. Customers want these things, which is why there was such an uproar over the recent C8 allocation news. That said, here’s to hoping 2022 comes and goes with fewer production-related hold-ups.