The coronavirus pandemic has wrecked much of the carefully orchestrated production plans of automakers around the world, making it tougher for potential buyers of high-demand vehicles, like pickups, to secure the vehicle they want.
It appears that General Motors will use the second shift it added last year, and used some earlier this year, at its Bowling Green, Kentucky plant that produces the Corvette to build more than 20,000 of the eighth-generation sports car.
According to enthusiast publication, CorvetteBlogger.com, Product Manager Harlan Charles revealed that the company plans to build 20,181 of the new 2020 models, including 2,700 or so that were built before the plant was shut down in late March.
The website said that Charles relayed that information during the Corvette Team Seminar at the National Corvette Museum, adjacent to the company’s plant in Kentucky.
CorvetteBlogger did some math and said workers at the plant build about 11.5 cars and hour, or about 92 each day (assuming an eight-hour shift). The company plans to switch to 2021 models in November so that means between June and November, the company will produce about 10,120 vehicles.
This is about 7,000 less than Charles’ production prediction of 20,181. GM has not confirmed the production total for the 2020 model, a spokesperson told TheDetroitBureau.com. However, officials did say recently that production for the 2020 model would be extended into the fall.
The final tally Charles revealed is a pleasant surprise for many, because it seemed initially there is no way the company could meet that figure. At least not without the second shift workers. Last April, GM announced it planned to add 400 more workers for the second shift, bringing the total number of workers there to about 1,300 people.
GM did use the second shift some at the beginning of the year and that it would be reinstated as soon as it was “practicable,” the spokesperson said.
The blog all said that Charles did break down the production run as configured by customers, who ordered 16,750 coupes and 3,431 convertibles. The brand is getting customers to write big checks as most of them are selecting the top-of-the-line 3LT trim.
He revealed that 5,045 cars will be Torch Red, the most common color, and 605 will be Zeus Bronze, the least popular shade. For the interior, 5,651 will get a Jet Black set up, while just 202 will be prouced with Morello Red.