2018 Corvette Orders On Hold, May Not Arrive Till December

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Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - July 28, 2017

The 2018 Corvette is already starting to arrive at dealers, offering mild updates in terms of color palette and packaging in addition to a special edition called the Carbon 65 honoring the model's 65 years of production. However, shoppers with an eye on the latest version may be in for a wait.

Beginning in August, production at the manufacturing plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky is being halted for 3 months for upgrades. As a result, orders are being paused and dealers are being advised that cars may not resume arriving until December.

So why is the plant shutting down for so long? What does this mean if you were hoping to order the latest version? And do dealers have enough Corvettes to sell until then?

Here's what you need to know.

On Hiatus

GM recently advised its dealers that production of the 2018 Corvette would be paused for the months of August, September and October. The automaker isn't due to resume building the iconic American muscle car until this November.

According to spokesperson Ron Kiino, the reason for the shutdown is "to finish construction of a new, state-of-the-art paint shop." Rumors say the automaker may be outfitting the plant to build a new mid-engined Corvette, but this hasn't been confirmed.

For now, dealers won't be able to place orders for the 2018 Corvette until September. Based on a November production start date, Mr. Kiino stated cars won't actually begin arriving until late November or early December.

So does this mean there will be a shortage of some sort?

Enough Cars?

Dealers still appear to have a fairly good number of Corvettes in stock. As of July 1, inventory stood at 14,700 cars, or 146 days worth of supply, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

At the moment, most Corvettes in stock are 2017 models. Unfortunately, factory discounts could be more difficult than usual to come by. This month, the only incentive to speak of was a rather terrible 4.9% financing offer for 60 months.

That's in stark contrast to offers a couple of months ago like the 10% off all Corvettes that we saw for Memorial Day. In the case of a loaded Z06, it was possible to see savings of up to $10,000.

Hidden Deals?

In terms of advertised offers, it's impossible to predict if GM will tighten its stance on deals since production has stopped. Given that now is typically when many outgoing models feature attractive sell-down offers, there could be a dissonance compared to what we usually see. That said, there could be a silver lining.

It isn't being advertised, but GM is offering thousands to certain shoppers via something called a Private Offer. Only targeted individuals will receive it, and it consists of an offer code sent either electronically or via direct mail.

Through August 31, the offer involves $3,000 off most versions of the 2017 Corvette, or as much as $5,000 off a Grand Sport or Z06 with carbon ceramic brakes. If you're in the market to buy, be sure to check your junk mail before throwing it out.

Explore current pricing & deals on the Corvette »

, Senior Pricing Analyst

Alex Bernstein is the Senior Pricing Analyst for CarsDirect.com. Each month he studies immense volumes of pricing and incentives data in search of trends that are useful to car shoppers. In the process, he often breaks industry news stories -- his analyses and insights have been featured on websites such as Automotive News, The Detroit News, Autoblog, The Truth About Cars and The Car Connection.

Follow On: Google+ | Website