2022 Corvette Production Comes to a Halt Next Week

After yesterday’s news (Updated 3/18/2022) that the base-model 2022 Corvette Stingray was on constraint, followed by the Magnetic Selective Ride Control constraint, we’ve now been able to confirm that the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant will be shut down next week from Monday, March 21st, through Friday, March, 25th.

From what we’re told, the cause of the shutdown is due to continued disruption in the automotive supply chain.  We reached out to Trevor Thompkins at GM for confirmation:

Yes, I can confirm BGA is down next week on both shifts.

Due to a temporary part constraint, Bowling Green Assembly will take downtime next week (week of March 21) on both first and second shift. Our supply chain, manufacturing, and engineering teams are working closely with suppliers to mitigate further impacts on production and we expect to resume operations the week of March 28.

This doesn’t really come as a surprise given the constraints we’ve been seeing as well as the extended back-orders of Black Trident Wheels, tire pressure sensors and high wing spoilers.

Many dealers have been struggling to get their hands on some LPOs after customer cars arrive from the factory and the standard response they’ve been receiving is that “GM has no ETA”.

Magnetic Selective Ride Control (MSRC) – a very important ride and handling option for the Corvette was put on constraint last week affecting how dealers could order a Z51 Corvette.

For the 2020 Corvette, MSRC came standard with the Z51 Corvette, however starting with the 2021 Corvette, you could order a Z51 Corvette without the MSRC option.

As of this writing, we’ve now heard that the constraint on MSRC has been lifted, so dealers can now order a Z51 Corvette with the MSRC option.

Chip Shortage Continues to Hamper Automotive Production

While many automotive manufacturers are trying to increase production in order to meet demand, it’s unlikely their attempts will be fruitful as the chip shortage expected to continue through at least the Fall of this year.

In an article published at Electronic Design, Jan-Philipp Gehrmann, head of global marketing for the advanced analog business at NXP stated that the automotive industry has been negatively affected by supply chain issues more than any other industry.

“What auto makers were unfamiliar with was the process of how chips are made and the complexity behind that,” said Gehrmann. While it usually only takes a single day to manufacture a vehicle from start to finish, the average chip has a front-end production cycle of 12 to 24 weeks. Additionally, it takes 4 to 8 weeks on the back-end to package and test it before the finished chip is finally shipped to the customer.

“The fact that producing a single chip can take six months was hard to understand,” said Gehrmann.

The only way for the chip shortage to improve is if demand decreases.  While that’s probably an unlikely scenario, given everything going on right now with inflation, the economy and the Russia-Ukraine war, if economic conditions worsen with increasing interest rates and rising prices, only then might automotive manufacturers catch a breather.

Negative Impacts on the Industry Expected Through 2023

Earlier this week, Ford announced that they are fighting with shortages from 37 different suppliers of components and at last week’s NADA conference in Las Vegas, Ford warned dealers to expect fewer deliveries through at least June.

Audi’s Neckarsulm plant in Germany was forced to shut down production of the A4 and A5 this week due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as well as chip and component shortages as well.

Mark Fulthorpe, executive director for global production forecasting at the influential auto-industry forecaster S&P Global Mobility, stated this week that “with the March forecast release, we removed 2.6 million units from our 2022 and 2023 outlook, but the downside risk is enormous. Our worst case contingency shows possible reductions up to 4 million units for this and next year.”

Not only could it be a bumpy road for Corvette production this year, it appears that the entire automotive production world will be suffering for the foreseeable future.

Chime in with your thoughts in the forums!

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Thomas McCaleb March 19, 2022 - 12:32 pm
Chip shortage has lasted to long.
David E Colgan April 6, 2022 - 8:13 pm
It is very hard to believe that the plants that build the chips can not increase production. What is there excuse now, Covid is basically over, people are back to work. Most of us do not understand the issue. Lets start building a plant in the USA and not have these issues in years to come.
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