If you were planning to see many Cyber Gray or Crystal Red Corvettes from the 2011 production year, you have another thing coming. Keith Cornett from CorvetteBlogger reported Wednesday that there is now a shortage in the shiny pigment, Xirallic, used in the Cyber Gray and Crystal Red paint, causing Chevrolet to make the decision to discontinue the colors for the time being.
Some Corvette buyers with orders for Cyber Gray or Crystal Red cars have been contacted to choose other colors because of the shortage. The discontinuation of Cyber Gray and Crystal Red, two of the most requested colors for the car, add to the dwindling choices for Corvette paint colors. Jetstream blue, another color offered for the Corvette, is in the process of being phased out in the remaining 2011 production, leaving only seven color choices for Corvette buyers to select from.
Chevrolet, along with other automotive makers –the Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Group LLC. and BMW AG — employ the German chemical company, Merck KGaA, to produce a special pigment called Xirallic which is used to create the shiny luster used in many shades of their metallic automotive paint. Merck KGaA only produces the Xirallic pigment at their plant in Onahama, Japan. This plant has been severely affected by the earthquake and tsunami that hit the coast of Japan in early March. Located 35 miles from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant, residence in the area are still trying to recover from the disaster while being exposed to radiation. This, along with the damage to the plant has caused the company to stop production until further notice. This stop in production means the shortage of Xirallic will last at least through the rest of the 2011 Corvette production run, scheduled to end in June.
As recovery continues from the disaster halfway around the world, we can only wait and see if production of cars with affected colors picks back up in the future.