2018 Chevy Corvette Orders Halted, Bowling Green Assembly Plant Shuts Down
Rumors say the Corvette ZR1 is on the way, but Chevy claims the shutdown is for a different reasonby Robert Moore, on
Back in May, we brought you news about Chevy’s Corvette factory and its 18-month shutdown of public tours beginning in June. At the time, Corvette expert and trusted source, Mike Furman, sent out an e-mail saying giving us a number of possibilities as to why the tours were being shut down. The distinct possibilities included the retooling of the factory to produce the mid-engined Corvette ZR1 “Zora” and the possibility that GM is switching from pushrod engines to DOHC engines. I personally speculated that it could be both – GM is trying to hide as much as it can about the ZR1, with tours obviously a serious threat to the way information is leaked these days and the switch to DOHC being a huge undertaking. Keep in mind that the ZR1 will also be based on the C7 instead of the upcoming C8, so it’s possible that GM is preparing the factory for C8 production. Now, as we approach fall and August is ready to kick off, GM is shutting down the Bowling Green plant. The shutdown is going to last through the month of October – something that is also causing a halt of all new Corvette orders until further notice.
So, what is the shutdown really for? Well, that’s still a mystery as far as we’re concerned, but according to spokesperson Ron Kiino, the reason revolves around the building of a new paint shop that is said to be state of the art. That’s the most official information we’ve heard about the shutdown so far, but is it just a front as GM begins to shift toward building DOHC engines or the C8? It’s hard to say, but shutting down an entire factory, just to build a new paint shop seems a little sketchy to us. For what it’s worth, the shutdown doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to get a Corvette for the next three months. You won’t be able to order a 2018 model, but GM currently has 14,700 Corvettes in stock as of July 1, 2017. That’s the word from the Automotive News Data Center, and it does make sense considering such a long halt to production. So, what’s it all mean for those looking to buy a Vette in the next couple of months? Keep reading to learn more about it.
More Than Enough Stock
You might not be able to have all of the extra goodies that were announced for the 2018 model year, so if you’re hoping for that, you’ll need to wait until November to order your new Vette.
Of course, this probably sounds like some pretty bad news if you’re interested in taking the plunge on a new Corvette in the next few months. But, if you’re willing to settle for a 2017 model, there is supposedly about 146 days’ worth at the current rate of sales. You might not be able to have all of the extra goodies that were announced for the 2018 model year, so if you’re hoping for that, you’ll need to wait until November to order your new Vette. But, it’s not all peaches and cream either, as the next couple of months will see manufacturers pushing incentives as they try to move old inventory to make room for the 2018 models. With the inventory of Corvettes on hand set to decrease on a continuous basis while the plant is shut down, that could mean that you’ll miss out on any good deals on this year’s model. After all, we’re talking about supply and demand here, and demand could very easily trump supply.
Even now, the only incentive on the block is 4.9-percent financing over 60 months, which really isn’t much of an incentive these days – especially if you have good credit. However, if you’re a well-known customer, you could be getting a special “private deal” in the mail that offers $3,000 off most 2017 models or up to $5,000 off on the Grand Sport or Z06 with carbon brakes. Of course, you need to keep an eye on your mail, because without the flyer; you’re out of luck.
So, with all of that said, what do you think is going on at the Bowling Green plant? Is GM really building a new paint shop, or is there more than is being let on? Will the C8 have a DOHC engine or will we see the ZR1 make its long-awaited debut soon? Let us know in the comments section below.
Read our speculative review of the Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1.
Read our full review on the 2014 - 2016 Chevy Corvette Stingray