Perhaps the most-anticipated Chevrolet Corvette ever, the new C8 Stingray, is no longer available — to be ordered.
The company stopped taking orders for the 2020 model March 18, due to overwhelming demand combined with a strike-induced delay on getting the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant ready to make the conversion to the new ’Vette.
While the closing of the order book is disappointing, it may become more complicated because the brand is suggesting that some 2020 model orders may not be completed and transferred to the 2021 model year run.
Dealers received an email from Chevrolet informing them that the ordering tool had not been shut down in error, but instead because the company couldn’t guarantee it would be able to produce enough of them before the end of the year, according to the Corvette Forum.
“Due to an overwhelming demand for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Chevrolet has decided to stop taking sold orders after March 18, 2020,” a GM spokesperson told Business Insider. “Chevrolet dealers will begin taking orders for the 2021 Corvette in late May.”
The email sent to dealers place the blame squarely on the six-week strike by UAW workers during contract negotiations with the union.
“Regretfully, launch timing was delayed by the 6-week work stoppage that reduced the 2020 Model Year production schedules,” the email said. “Therefore, it is possible some of your 2020 order, sold or stock may not be produced as planned.”
Chevrolet will begin taking orders for the 2021 Corvette Stingray May 21, according to the email. The push to move to the 2021 model year could be problematic as the automaker is saying it may shift some 2020 orders to the 2021 model year run. This move could make them less valuable down the road to collectors.
The two-week shutdown of all plants across the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic only further complicates the issue, although GM officials told TheDrive.com that the stoppage won’t have any impact on the situation at all.
The eighth generation of the ’Vette, which was named the 2020 North American Car of the Year, began rolling off the assembly line in early February, with initial vehicle shipments will starting later that month and early March.
The demand for the new model may have helped out a charity, as the first street-legal version of the new Corvette managed to land a $3 million winning bid at the Barrett-Jackson Auction. Rick Hendrick, one of NASCAR’s most successful team owners, placed the top bid with the proceeds from the charity auction go to the Detroit Children’s Fund.
One thing that could soothe some potentially hurt feelings is the fact the next version of the C8, likely the Z06, is expected to arrive sometime late in 2021 as a 2022 model-year offering, the next Z06 is believed to be ready to deliver a whopping 800 horsepower and more than 700 pound-feet of torque. That’s at least 150 horsepower and 50 pound-feet more than the previous version Z06.