We’re nearing the two-week mark on the big media preview of the 2020 Corvette Stingray, but this weekend the general public got its own first-hand look at the all-new ’Vette at the 2019 Concours d'Elegance of America. From what GM design head Michael Simcoe said when he introduced the long-awaited mid-engine iteration of America's sports car, if you want this latest and greatest ’Vette you’d better hurry and get a deposit in—or you may have to wait for the 2021 model year. The 2020 Stingray is going fast.
“I think the orders have already hit the first year of production numbers,” Simcoe told show attendees in Plymouth, Michigan. Chevy took reservations at the show after opening online reservations simultaneous with the C8's July 18th reveal.
While exact production numbers are unclear, General Motors announced earlier this year that it was adding 400 workers and a second shift to the plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, anticipating increased demand for the C8. The Bowling Green facility began building Corvettes in 1981, and currently assembles every Corvette that Chevy sells.
With the exception of the post-recession years of 2009–2013, typical production numbers hover around 30,000 Corvettes a year. Since Corvette production moved to Bowling Green, however, yearly sales have exceeded 40,000 four separate times. We don’t have a clear idea how many orders Chevrolet has received; Chevrolet could go for big sales in the C8's first year, or it may ramp up production slowly as the plant transitions to the new architecture.
In addition to the Torch Red Z51-optioned C8 at the California reveal, Chevrolet brought out an Ceramic Matrix Gray coupe in a lower-spec trim this past weekend in Michigan. From the reactions of Concours attendees in general and the owners of an almost-new C7 in particular, the C8’s reputation as the cool kid on the block seems already decided. As the C8s were driven off the grassy show fields, they were hounded by photographers chasing after them to snap just a few more pictures of the long-anticipated mid-engined model.
Though the only numbers we have at this point are approximate, we aren’t surprised C8s are flying out the proverbial door. Whether or not public enthusiasm has maxed out the Bowling Green plant’s first-year production totals, Chevy is surely reveling in the C8’s positive reception. We can’t wait to get our hands on the wheel—and our foot on the gas—of the newest ’Vette.