Any rumors, therory, or first hand knowledge of why the production delay?
John Fitzpatrick Production Manager of the C7 said:Everything they are doing right now is much like a sports franchise going through preseason. Early this year, they began building their non-saleable validation cars. In second quarter, they moved to “saleable” builds which is what we see Harlan, Tadge and other members of the Corvette team driving. They are still practice builds, but are much closer to the final version.
So when will the retail customer cars start production? There is no set date. It all depends on when they think they are ready:
They will get to that day where they say, OK, everything is coming together, everything makes sense, everything looks great so we’re going to start regular retail production. And at that point, and only after that point, customers will start seeing VINs to their car. And so we’re still in the practice session. We don’t know the date that will happen or the time, but it’s going to happen sometime soon.
The Target Production Week is only a “target” and just because a customer may see a TPW change from 8/5 to 8/12, it doesn’t mean there are issues with the production process or delays in production.
Some might see their event code go from 3000 to 3300 and then back to 3000 and think that something has happened with their order, but in reality, nothing has changed. It’s part of the natural progress of the system and we move event codes to give our suppliers signals on when we think materials need to flow to us. And so we keep adjusting those event codes. It doesn’t mean anything has happened at that point, it just means we’re getting things ready for the regular start of production.
The manufacturing process is based on maximizing the supply flow from suppliers and the internal production within the plant like the paint shop. Much of it depends on the dealer and how they flow orders and what suppliers have supplies for us. For example, we’re seeing right now a constraint with the Carbon Fiber Dash Panel. The reason for the constraint is because there is way more demand right now than we are able to supply. That effects how dealers put cars into the production sequence.
Once production starts, and a customer gets his VIN and then the car is built, that still doesn’t mean its going to ship out the next day. That’s not a bad thing. We hold the cars to make sure they meet our quality standards. We release the car once we think it’s near as perfect as we can get it. We’re making sure everything is right about that car and that’s why it goes though the quality assessment process.
Because the quality assessments are so important to the automaker, it’s one of the reasons why Chevrolet won five J.D. Power Initial Quality Awards earlier this year. We take this so seriously because we want to make sure the customer doesn’t have to come back to the dealership for something. Are we going to be perfect in that regard? Probably not, but we’re trying to be.
We will officially announce when cars begin shipping to dealers, but there probably won’t be an announcement regarding the start of retail production. The key question is when will we start shipping cars out of Bowling Green? Everything else up to that point doesn’t matter.
Everybody is so excited about this car. And when I say everybody, I mean not just the customers. I mean everybody in GM, everybody at Bowling Green, every supplier. Everybody loves this car. They think it’s the shot in the arm that Corvette needed. The anticipation, not only for the people who have ordered the car, but from the dealers and the leadership here at GM, it’s just sky high. But we also know we got to do everything we can to give them the highest quality product out there.