How to Order a New Corvette and Understand the Process

We try and clarify the often confusing aspects of ordering a brand new Corvette

Lately, I’ve seen a lot of confusion and misinformation in social media groups about how to order a new Corvette and whether or not orders are being placed and accepted by GM.

I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to try and clarify the ordering process and dispel the rumors and misinformation floating around out there.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt several blows to the automotive industry, and the Corvette has not been immune.  As a result, there have been a couple small changes in the ordering process, but for the most part, it’s pretty much the same as it’s always been.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the entire Corvette ordering process from start to delivery and we’ll explain some of the terms used that often times, misunderstood by customers.

Corvette Allocation Numbers

The system used in the automotive industry to handle new vehicle orders is known as the “turn-and-earn” allocation system.  This means that the present number of orders that will be accepted by GM from a Chevy dealer is based upon that dealer’s previous sales numbers.

For example: when determining how much allocation to give to dealers for 2019 Corvette ZR1 orders, the allocation numbers that GM handed out to dealers were based upon each dealership’s C7 Z06 Corvette sales the year before.

Let’s assume the Corvette Action Center is a Chevy dealership.  We sold 1,000 Z06 Corvettes in 2018.  GM would notify us that based upon our Z06 sales in 2018, we will receive a total allocation of 1,100 2019 ZR1 orders.  That means, if we have deposits for 1,100 or less ZR1 orders, we know that those orders have a very high probability of being placed AND accepted by GM.

If we have 1,200+ 2019 ZR1 orders, we can’t promise those 100+ customers at the end of the list, that their order will be placed and accepted by GM because we only have allocation for 1,100.  Now, depending on how ZR1 production progresses, GM may or may not extend additional allocation to us.  As a dealer, we can’t predict or promise that GM will do that.  It’s totally GM’s call.

Now, let’s say you go to your local Chevy dealer that sold only 5 Z06 Corvettes in 2018.  GM gives them an allocation for only 2 2019 ZR1 orders, but they have 10 customers that want to order a ZR1.  Eight of those customers will most likely go without a new ZR1 because that dealer has only been granted 2 available order slots.

This is why, if you want to place an order for a new Corvette with any ounce of confidence, your best bet is to place that order with a large Chevrolet dealership that sells a high number of Corvettes on an annual basis.  The higher their Corvette sales, the higher allocation they’ll receive for future Corvette models.

GM can distribute allocation on an annual, quarterly, bi-weekly, or weekly basis.  It’s all up to GM and the dealership has no say in this.

Over the last couple of years, Corvette allocation was running on a bi-weekly basis.  Recently, that’s changed.

A couple weeks ago, GM notified Chevy dealers that 2021 Corvette order allocation would be delayed until the middle of November and would be handed out on a quarterly basis.

As of right now, allocation for 2021 Corvette orders has not been released to Chevy dealers.  Chevy dealers can still take deposits and place orders, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be accepted by GM – at this point in time.  Those orders placed,  will just sit in GM’s system at status code 1100.  At this point, those orders have been entered into the system, but they have not been accepted by GM – yet.


In the past, GM has loaded their estimated shipments into the “GM Order Workbench” system twice per month.   At this time, GM determines how much of a Chevy product a dealership has earned based upon the dealer’s current inventory numbers.  In addition, GM will look at the dealer’s “adjusted day supply” (ADS) and then compare it to the national ADS.

That dealership then reviews the estimated shipments and submits their 3-month forecast as well as any additional requested quantities to GM.

In this case, if the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant is building Corvettes at capacity, that dealership will be limited to the allocation numbers they were originally assigned by GM.  Any additional quantity submitted by the dealer will not be accepted.

On the flip side, GM can offer additional allocation to the dealer if the assembly plant has not reached capacity and can increase production.  If the dealership refuses the additional allocation, those units will go to other Chevy dealers that did request additional allocation above and beyond what GM had originally granted to them.

Final Consensus

Final Consensus is the actual amount of product the dealer will receive after GM has reviewed that dealer’s requested allocation.

Dealer Order Submission Process

The Dealer Order Submission Process (DOSP) is the weekly or bi-weekly order cycle.  Each dealer has a three day window to submit orders starting on Thursdays and ending by 9 PM Eastern Time on Saturday.

If you go to a Chevy dealer to place your 2021 Corvette order on a Monday, that order will be placed between Thursday and Saturday of that week – or the week after if the DOSP is on a bi-weekly basis.

The weekly process consists of 4 stages

1. Constraints Distribution – A Constraint is a limit placed on a specific build configuration.  Dealers are informed on  parts and “Limited Production Option” (LPO) constraints to review before placing orders.  An “LPO” is a pre-ordered option that includes a single accessory or a collection of accessories that are part of a special package.

For example, let’s assume black wheels on Corvette Stingray orders are on constraint.  Any orders placed with black wheels, wont be accepted.

2. Dealer Order Submission Process – The Dealer Order Submission Process (DOSP) is the weekly or bi-weekly order cycle. Starting on Thursdays, dealers can place orders for units allocated to them up until 9 PM Eastern Time on Saturday. Each dealer has a three day window to submit orders during that time frame.

If you go to a Chevy dealer to place your 2021 Corvette order on a Monday, that order will be placed between Thursday and Saturday of that week, or the week after if the DOSP is on a bi-weekly basis.

Orders can be placed earlier, but the dealership won’t know the constraints because the Constraints Distribution report won’t be released until the start of the DOSP.

3. The 4-Pass Process – GM will attempt to place each dealers orders on Mondays using a 4-Pass process.  At this point a dealer may get more or less than was allocated if they requested additional amounts.

4. Dealer Review-You can review your placed orders for changes or replacements until Tuesday at 9pm ET. That’s when the orders are sent for production.

Order Entry Available

2020 Corvette example order placed in the GM Order WorkBench System

This is when the GM Work Bench system will allow you to build an order in the system and submit that order to GM. At this time, the dealer can build the sold orders they have, as well as any stock units they want for additional retail sales, if additional allocation is available.

Once the order is placed, you should receive a copy of your order from the dealer with a six digit order number as see in the example on the right.

Order Status Codes:

The order status codes are the all important four digit numbers that all new Corvette customers track like ravenous vultures!  LOL

If you order your new Corvette from a dealership that offers order tracking – such as MacMulkin Chevrolet in Nashua, New Hampshire, you can easily see if your order has made any progress on a daily basis.

Simply take your order number from the order paperwork you received from the dealer and find it in the order tracking system.

2020 Corvette Order Tracking Example

If your dealer doesn’t offer order tracking, you can call a Corvette Concierge at 1-866-424-3892. The Corvette Concierge is a special group of customer service representatives that can check your order status and answer any questions you have about your order.

Below is the current list of order status codes most commonly used as they relate to Corvette orders:

0500:  (Definition of this status is unknown are rarely ever seen)

1100 – Preliminary Order:  As soon as your order is placed with GM, the status code is automatically set to this number.

2000 – Accepted by GM:  At this status, GM has accepted your order.

3000 – Accepted by Production Control:  Your Corvette order has now been accepted for production. A TPW (target production week) date may or may not be scheduled at this time.

3300 – Scheduled for Production:  Your Corvette order has now been scheduled for production.  A TPW date should now be available. Check order tracking for your TPW.

3400 – Broadcast:  At this point, parts are being pulled for your car prior to the start of production.

3800 – PRODUCED:  Your Corvette has finally been built!  At this point, you should receive an email from MacMulkin Chevrolet announcing the birth of your Corvette!

4B00 – Bayed:   At this status, your Corvette has been parked in the back storage lot of the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant and is waiting to be loaded on to a carrier.  It’s important to note that your order status may change several times between this status and the 4000 status below depending on how it’s being shipped (direct via car hauler or rail car from Toledo, Ohio).

4200 – Shipped:  Your Corvette has been shipped!  At this point, preparation for financing can begin.

4200RY – Shipped:  Your Corvette has begun the second leg of it’s trip and is being shipped to the Rail Yard in your Delivery state.

4200BGT – Shipped:  Your Corvette has begun the first leg of its trip and is being shipped from the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant to Toledo, Ohio.

4300 – Intermediate Delivery by truck.

4800 – In-Transit:  Your Corvette is currently being unloaded at the Rail Yard and will begin transit to its final destination.

5000 – Delivered to Dealer:  Your Corvette has been delivered to your dealer and is awaiting your arrival!

Shipping FAQs

  • Status Code 5000 – Your Corvette has been delivered to the dealer: If your Corvette order reaches status code 5000, your Corvette has either arrived at the dealership that you placed your order from, or if you did the National Corvette Museum Delivery (RPO R8C) – your Corvette will be delivered to the National Corvette Museum and not the dealer you ordered it from.
  • Shipping Time via Rail Car: All Corvettes are shipped from the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant by Jack Cooper Transport Co., Inc. of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Depending on which state your Corvette is being shipped to, can dictate the overall length of time it takes to receive your new Corvette from the time of ordering. If a Corvette is being shipped to a western state, such as California, the Corvette is transported from the factory to Toledo, Ohio where it is placed about a rail carrier for transport across the country. This can extend the amount of time it takes for you to receive your Corvette. Corvettes that are brought to Toledo, Ohio are typically stored for an undetermined amount of time. This can lead to a time of two to three months between ordering and taking delivery based upon recent history. Below is a listing of States where Corvettes are transported to via rail car:
    • Arizona
    • California
    • Colorado
    • Idaho
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts (City of Boston)
    • Montana
    • Nebraska
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire (northern part of the state)
    • New Mexico
    • New York (North of Albany)
    • Oregon
    • Texas
    • Washington

Texas Map showing rail vs. direct delivery


  • Shipping Time via Direct Shipment: If your new Corvette is being shipped to a state not listed above, the time between ordering and taking delivery is approximately 4 – 8 weeks based upon past shipping history.
  • Special Edition / Limited Production Corvettes:  Because these Corvettes are usually built in batches at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant, there is no way for the Chevy dealer to predict when the factory will decide to do a production run of these cars.  As a result, the amount of time it takes from initial order to final production could be longer than normal production Corvettes by as much as three weeks.  Unfortunately, this process is out of the dealership’s control.

Shipping Options – Courtesy Delivery – National Corvette Museum Delivery

So what happens if you live half away across the country from a dealership that you want to order from?  Not to fret! You have options!

Most of the top Corvette dealers in the country offer a few different options to make the shipping process as convenient as possible for you.

For example, if you order your Corvette through MacMulkin Chevrolet in New Hampshire, their Corvette Team can set up shipping for you via Intercity Lines.  While the cost to ship may be more than you’re willing to pay depending on which state you live in, rest assured, Intercity Lines is one of the best shipping companies in the country.   The company has been transporting multi-million dollar antique and exotic vehicles back and forth to Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegegance for years.  These guys know what they’re doing!

If you would prefer not to pay the cost of transport via a private company, you can do a Courtesy Delivery.

Courtesy Deliveries

In this case, the Corvette Team at MacMulkin Chevrolet will locate a participating Chevy dealer in your vicinity, and set up shipment of your new Corvette directly from the factory to that dealership.

That dealership is then responsible for accepting receipt of your Corvette and conducting the pre-delivery inspection (PDI) process.

Keep in mind that not all Chevrolet dealerships are willing to do Courtesy Deliveries.  If they didn’t sell the car, a dealership may choose not to do a Courtesy Delivery.  It’s totally the sole discretion of each dealer.

Most dealerships charge a fee for this option that ranges anywhere between $150 – $750.  That fee is paid directly to the Courtesy Delivery dealer by the customer.

National Corvette Museum Delivery

National Corvette Museum

Last but not least, when you place your Corvette order, you have the option of checking off Regular Production Option (RPO code) R8C – National Corvette Museum Delivery.

If you’ve never been to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, you haven’t experienced life yet!

Located directly across the street from the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant, the National Corvette Museum is the absolute Mecca for all things Corvette!

The current cost for this option is $995, but it’s well worth the price of entry!

Just keep in mind that if you decide to select this option, you still have to pay the destination freight charge that GM tacks on to all new Corvette orders.

Yes, the Assembly Plant is directly across the street from the National Corvette Museum but unfortunately, the destination freight charge is non-negotiable.

Hopefully this article has helped to shed some light on the entire Corvette ordering process from start to finish.    While the various terms and dealership procedures can seem daunting at times, from the customer side of the process, it’s actually quite simple and painless!

Now, if you’ve read this entire article and you’re more comfortable at the thought of ordering a brand new Corvette, Chevy just released the 2021 Corvette Build and Price feature.  Head on over there and start building your dream Corvette!

Chime in with your thoughts in the forums!

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gary cassara October 29, 2020 - 9:51 am
Well written....thank you for clarifying the process.
Jack Faessler November 8, 2020 - 2:19 pm
Thank YOU for providing this valuable consumer info. The lack of information elsewhere regarding the entire order process has been somewhat frustrating. Now I am able to plan my calendar more effectively.
Production of the 2021 Corvette To Begin December 8 November 5, 2020 - 8:30 am
[…] has also announced that the 2021 Corvette allocation guide with shipments for November, December and January will be released to dealers today.  Some […]
Peter April 13, 2021 - 5:25 pm
I get the Chevy process however it’s not fair to the end user because the average customer would not know how the order system works.I think individual dealers take orders and the orders are put in to Chevy in the order they were received by date. Chevy should determine which dealer gets credit for the sale. After all the same amount of allocation by dealer will be credited to that dealer and the customer is not held hostage and everything is fine Current system is flawed I ordered my C8 in Oct 2020 and I’m still at 1100 and similar order sequence numbers are at 3000 and higher if they were ordered at a bigger dealer
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