Right-hand-drive Corvette is still happening, but Australian model remains uncertain
After the rough news that GM would shutter the Holden brand in 2021, the future of right-hand-drive C8 Corvette seemed to be in question. Now, Autoblog has reported that the right-hand-drive Corvette will definitely continue with plans to market and sell the car in Japan and the United Kingdom. As for Australia, the Corvette may be among the “specialty vehicles” that GM sells in Australia. Currently, such vehicles include the Camaro and Silverado HD.
On the bright side, Holden indicated in its Q&A posting on Facebook about the brand’s demise that Holden Special Vehicles is by no means dead. “We plan to focus our growth strategies in these markets on the specialty vehicles business and plan to immediately begin work with our partner on that focus,” Holden said.
The Holden Specialty Vehicle price tag on the Camaro SS often exceeds $60,000 with the ZL1 surging past the equivalent of $105,000, making them much more expensive than they are on our home turf.
There’s a chance that GM might determine that the low-volume right-hand conversion process will make the C8 prohibitively expensive, especially considering Australia’s new car sales market is about half the size of the state of California. However, the C8’s mid-engine configuration and brake-by-wire system should also simplify the most challenging mechanical elements usually inherent in such a conversion.
From the get-go, the new mid-engine C8 was set to be branded simply as “Corvette,” rather than as a Chevrolet or a Holden.
There’s no telling, at the moment, what a right-hand-drive C8 might cost. We haven’t seen prices for the C8 in any right-hand-drive markets, but that hasn’t stopped Japanese customers from putting down deposits.
The mid-engine Corvette experienced production delays due to a United Auto Workers strike, so the Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant didn’t begin building the C8 until February 3rd. Dealerships should be getting their initial deliveries by the end of the month, and right-hand-drive markets will have to wait until the 2021 model year.