GMSV to sell Corvette in RHD around the world
Despite production delays in North America, we’re told the new GMSV brand will sell the Corvette C8 across the globe in right-hand drive markets.
THE NEW GMSV brand is readying to sell GM products in markets around the globe – not just Australia – and as we understand, the Corvette C8 is firmly in the plan for right-hand drive still.
Although COVID-19 has hit carmakers around the world and lost revenue will see a delay and change to some planned model launches, it is understood that the right-hand drive Chevrolet Corvette C8 for Australia is going ahead.
A recent report from US publication Hagerty loosely suggested the development of RHD Corvette has stopped, with a leaked document allegedly showing GM’s executive director in charge of program management, Michelle Braun, ‘pausing all future car and truck development’.
This has led to speculation that the Corvette will at best be severely delayed for Australia, but that it’s also a likely binned project. However, as Practical Motoring understands from a source directly linked to General Motors in Detroit and with knowledge outside of Australian Holden and HSV dealerships, the Corvette C8 for Australia will go ahead. And GMSV will also be the brand in some unique overseas markets.
Further possible confusion has come from a division between Holden dealers with preorders on Corvettes and GM’s stance for refunding or if they are to be transferred ‘somewhere’. This is likely something that will be resolved soon with the imminent formation of General Motors Special Vehicles (GMSV) which is understood to be going ahead in Australia to replace HSV. This brand will sell current products like the Chevrolet 1500 and as we’re told, future products such as the C8 Corvette.
As Practical Motoring understands, GMSV will service right-hand drive markets, including Australia, Japan, and the UK where right-hand drive production slots have already been reserved. For countries such as New Zealand, Japan, and the UK, it is understood that GMSV could process orders and boutique importer/exporters in the country will handle the delivery. Locally, in Australia, this process will logically be handled by existing HSV dealerships sitting under a GMSV banner.
On to pressing matters, according to our source, “development work on the Corvette for right-hand drive is as good as done,” and, “It’s hard to see why it wouldn’t be offered in Australia and to countries already with right-hand drive orders now,” they said.
It is understood that work has been mostly completed and readied for right-hook models, with emissions calibration on the 6.2-litre LT2 V8 a potential hang-up that the Hagerty report alluded to, but a small hurdle in the greater scheme of the production schedule. Export models are predicted to go into production next year prior to a RHD production run on the same line.
Historically, production volume for the Corvette has been around 30,000 units per year, with hundreds of pre-orders – potentially more – already taken across right-hand drive markets. As our source explained, the equation to press ahead with right-hand drive production makes more sense than binning development which has already taken place. It is also understood that GM has not entertained conversion from left to right-hand drive.
The only proviso on production is the timeline, which at best, we’re told, will be Q3-2021 if semi-regular production resumes as anticipated for GM North America in May this year.