The New Corvette Is the Latest Casualty of the UAW Strike

GM has lost over $1 billion so far, but it might lose much more

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8
2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8

On Sunday, September 15th at 11:59 p.m., the United Auto Workers Union began its strike against General Motors, the union’s first national strike in over 10 years. Wednesday marks the 24th full day, and there’s no end in sight, with a UAW vice president writing on Sunday, “Negotiations have taken a turn for the worse.”

The work stoppage has cost GM over $1 billion, according to Bloomberg. But there’s an even more valuable asset that’s now being affected by the strike: the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

That’s according to the Detroit Free Press which spoke to people familiar with the matter. While a spokesperson for GM told the paper, “It’s too early to speculate on production timing impacts on any of our vehicles due to the UAW work stoppage,” an anonymous source “familiar with operations at Bowling Green Assembly” said, “I know for a fact that this strike is directly going to affect the start of regular production for the midengine Corvette.”

While the potential delay of a $59K sports car may seem to pale in comparison to the greater issues at hand — union strength, American manufacturing, healthcare, job security, etc. — the new Corvette is no ordinary car. The highly-anticipated mid-engine design was almost unanimously hailed as a triumph at its unveiling, and it’s now seen as a comeback both for the Corvette brand and Chevrolet and GM as a whole.

The production was set to begin in late 2019 (well, it still is, according to the spokesperson), but as the Free Press writes, GM’s Bowling Green plant in Kentucky must first finish orders for the older C7 Corvette, then undergo a tooling change before building this new C8. None of that can happen while the strike is still in effect.

Considering the demand for the 2020 Corvette was so large that it lead to speculation about it selling out, this might be another bargaining chip for UAW. 

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