GM sketches out order deadlines for 2012, 2013 Chevrolet CorvettesTue, 17 Jan 2012
We've already told you how General Motors plans the honor the 60th anniversary of the Chevrolet Corvette with a special trim package for the 2013 model, along with the fire-breathing 427 convertible.
But GM has given Chevy dealers the heads-up on its production plans. In short: Buyers have less time than usual to place their orders. That's because the Bowling Green, Ky., assembly plant will be down for "several months"--we're guessing as long as six or seven months--for a $130 million overhaul to prepare it for the seventh-generation Corvette, which arrives in fall 2013 as a 2014 model.
Based on information posted by Montana Chevy dealer Ken Fitchner at www.corvetteforum.com, here are the deadlines:
-- Final orders for the 2012 Corvette will be accepted in March. But if you want one painted in Carlisle Blue, you need to order it by Feb. 9. And if you want the Centennial Edition, that order deadline is March 1. GM says Carlisle Blue and the Centennial Edition packages will not be available on the 2013 Corvette.
-- Production of the 2012 Corvette is scheduled to end in May. That's when the plant will switch over to the 2013 model.
But GM is warning Chevy dealers that it plans to build the 2013 Corvette for only nine months. That means production will probably end in February 2013. The company is encouraging dealers to stock up on some Corvettes to carry them through late summer 2013 until the Bowling Green plant restarts.
The 2013 Corvette lineup includes the 427 convertible, which transplants the 7.0-liter, 505-hp V8 from the Z06 into the chassis used for the Grand Sport convertible. It comes only with the six-speed manual transmission.
The 60th-anniversary package includes a unique white paint color, exterior stripes, anniversary logos embroidered on the seats and unique badges. It can be added to any Corvette model. If you take a 60th-anniversary convertible, the top uses blue-colored fabric.
The 2013 Corvette marks the end of the C6 generation of the car. With history as a guide, the last year or two of nearly every Corvette generation has produced some of the best examples in the sports car's family tree.
Chevy sold 13,164 Corvettes in 2011, up 4.3 percent from the year before.
By Dale Jewett