The Bowling Green Assembly Plant, where Corvettes are built, will undergo a major expansion to build the next generation car. The General Motors plant in Bowling Green, Ky., was the site of the big announcement today by GM North America president Mark Reuss and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and other local, state, and national officials.
A redesigned 2013 model-year C7 series Corvette will be rolled out in late 2012. Corvette concept cars have been in the mode of the Sideswipe which was featured in the movie Transformers. Rumors abound that the next generation Corvette will be a radical departure from current models.Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter said earlier that the Corvette product team is always looking toward the next generation.
The announcement today reaffirms General Motors comittment to the iconic American sports car and it’s fans around the world and to Kentucky and Bowling Green in particular.
Mark Reuss said during the announcement:
“Great news this week… quarter earnings …back from the brink… back from bankruptcy. Corvette was one of the reasons I went to work for General Motors.”
Reuss said this was an investment in the future and would not have been possible without the UAW local and national. He said the Corvette is about quality and craftsmanship that the coach builders of Italy wish they could match.
Reuss bragged on the mileage economy of the Corvette, saying that he regularly got 29 mpg while in college. He continued:
“This is a significant day for anyone who believes that America should build world-class, high-performance products. Corvette has no domestic peer for performance and pedigree and stands alongside the world’s best supercars with almost 60 years of continuous heritage.
Eldon Renaud, president of UAW Local 2164 said that the announcement of the new Corvette being built in Bowling Green has everyone in the plant excited. Renaud said:
“At times we were on pins and needles about whether or not this plant would continue to build a car because the bar is constantly being raised.”
The 1 million-square-foot Bowling Green plant produced 15,791 Corvettes last year, according to the plant’s Web site:
“I don’t know if that’s the only vehicle we will produce, but with the goal of trying to make plants as efficient as possible, it would seem logical to bring in another vehicle. I know they would like to have full production and more than one shift at the plant. It would take another product to bring that efficiency about. We had two shifts at one time in 1986.
In 2005, the plant received about $39 million in upgrades, followed by $4.5 million in 2007 for additions and rearrangement of conveyors.
The plant has been home to production of the Chevrolet Corvette since 1981 – celebrating their 30th year in Bowling Green. The upgrades to the plant will add 250 new jobs paying an average of $42 per hour, according to state economic development documents. According to the Bowling Green Assembly Plant Web site, it currently employs 471 people.