C7 Corvette Production Can't Finish Until the UAW Strike Ends

And until C7 production is completed, the mid-engine C8 Corvette can't be built.

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Richard Pardon

The United Auto Workers strike against General Motors has entered its fourth week, with far-ranging implications. It's disrupting production of GM's high-volume pickup trucks and SUVs, and it's even having an impact on the Chevrolet Corvette. Specifically, the strike has delayed the final run of C7 'Vettes, and until they're completed, production of the new mid-engine C8 can't begin.

A Chevrolet spokesperson confirmed to Road & Track that the automaker still has C7 Corvette orders to fulfill, though the automaker did not provide an exact number. According to Jack Bowers, president of the UAW Local that represents workers at the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, KY, there are roughly 600 C7 orders that have yet to be built.

Bowers said that after the last C7 is built, the plant must be shut down for two weeks to be retooled for C8 production. He believes retooling would have begun this week, were it not for the strike.

A GM plant spokesperson emailed R&T the same statement the automaker has provided a variety of news outlets: "The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray production begins in late 2019 and convertible production follows in late first-quarter 2020. It’s too early to speculate on potential production timing impacts on any of our vehicles due to the UAW work stoppage."

Based on this, Chevy would argue the C8 isn't technically delayed, since the automaker has only committed to beginning C8 production sometime this year. Even if C8 production begins December 31st, 2019, Chevy will have met its publicly-promised deadline.

There is no indication when the strike will end. "We, in this union, could not be more disappointed with General Motors. These negotiations have taken a turn for the worse," wrote Terry Dittes, the UAW's lead negotiator with GM, in a letter to members that was provided to The New York Times.

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