DETROIT -- Chevrolet's Cobalt isn't exactly flying out the factory door.
Chevy dealers say General Motors has delayed delivery of its coupe, and some have been told that their orders will arrive three weeks behind schedule.
"There has been a delay, but we don't know why," says Gordon Stewart, president of Stewart Management Group in Harper Woods, Mich., which operates three Chevrolet dealerships. "But there are always problems on startups."
GM says production of Cobalt coupes began Monday, Dec. 13.
Dealers say the delay affects all coupes, but Brent Dewar, Chevrolet's marketing general manager, says only performance SS models are involved.
Dewar says that the SS model has been delayed because of sheet metal problems and that GM didn't want to ship cars until the problem was fixed. He says production will begin early in January.
"We have flexible production, so we decided because of volume we'd keep building the sedan," Dewar said at a Cobalt press event last week in California. "We worked to make sure the vehicles are all right before they go to market. So with the SS, it took a couple of extra weeks."
Jim Graham, president of UAW Local 1112, admits that GM's Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant, where the Cobalt is produced, has experienced "minor delays" in Cobalt production.
GM had time to work out the kinks on the coupes. The automaker told dealers during a sneak preview of the vehicle last year that sedans would arrive before coupes.