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Corvette Muscle: GM Invests $131 Million in Bowling Green
For Release: Wednesday, May 4, 2011, 11:30 a.m. EDT
Corvette Muscle: GM Invests $131 Million in Bowling Green
About 250 additional jobs in Kentucky to support next-generation Chevrolet sports car
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – General Motors said Wednesday it will invest $131 million in the Bowling Green Assembly plant to support production of the next generation Chevrolet Corvette, adding about 250 jobs.
“This is a significant day for anyone who believes that America should build world-class, high-performance products,” said Mark Reuss, GM North America president. "Corvette has no domestic peer for performance and pedigree and stands alongside the world's best supercars with almost 60 years of continuous heritage.
"This investment in Kentucky is among $3.4 billion made in the United States since mid-2009 to keep or create more than 9,000 jobs for American workers," Reuss said.
The announcement came at an event held at the plant with employees and several special guests, including Gov. Steve Beshear. The governor last June signed a bill designating the Corvette as the official state sports car of Kentucky.
“Kentucky has a longstanding, mutually beneficial relationship with GM and this significant investment further demonstrates the strength of our partnership,” Beshear said.
The plant in Bowling Green is scheduled to continue building the current generation Corvette for at least the next two model years, including the 2012 model year that begins this summer. During this period, the investment starts to take effect, preparing the facility for the next-generation Corvette.
Bowling Green is the exclusive manufacturer of all versions of the Chevrolet Corvette –Coupe, Convertible, Grand Sport, Z06, and ZR1. Corvette’s current generation, the sixth in its 58-year history, has seen the car enter the realm of the world’s highest-performing cars.
Nearly 400 production workers, represented by the UAW Local 2164, assemble these vehicles on a one-shift, 10-hour, Monday-Thursday production schedule. The plant employs many specialized operations, including unique hand-crafted techniques. Bowling Green has been home to Corvette production since 1981.
“We need to rebuild the great American middle class. There is no better way to achieve this worthy goal than providing meaningful jobs like the ones being created in Bowling Green,” said UAW Vice President Joe Ashton. “ Our members have earned this investment through their hard work focused on the Corvette customers’ unique desire for high performance, quality, and style.
“I offer my congratulations to a great American Union Workforce, Local 2164, for a job well done.”
The additional jobs will be filled in accordance with the United Auto Workers -GM National Agreement.
Approximately 50,000 tourists visit the Bowling Green plant annually to catch a glimpse of the manufacturing process, some even watching their new cars being completed before taking delivery from the neighboring National Corvette Museum.
What's the cost on a normal retool? Example, what did it cost to switch from C5 to C6? Is this just the cost of a remodel? Are they permanent jobs or just construction for the overhaul?
Here is a quote from autoweek.com:
Expect big things for the next Vette, because GM is adding 250 more jobs at the BG Plant and spending $131 million to upgrade it. Something must be up, because the changeover from the C5 to the C6 generations only resulted in about $9 million of improvements. Do the math.
The problem is that while you can find the official doctored press release made after Reuss's remarks and thousands of new articles about Reuss's comments you can't find a recording or transcript of what he actually said. For example the following statement from the press release is NOT a quotation in the press release!
"The plant in Bowling Green is scheduled to continue building the current generation Corvette for at least the next two model years, including the 2012 model year that begins this summer. During this period, the investment starts to take effect, preparing the facility for the next-generation Corvette."
From the above statement you would conclude that, the current C6 will at least continue as a 2012 and 2013 model year car.
Then there's the added statement which Reuss made in a telephone interview in which he said he was riding in a Corvette ZR1 after announcing at the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant that GM will invest $131 million to retool for the new, seventh generation of the Corvette.
"It ( the Corvette) has a completely different look. Don't ask me how or what, but people will be really surprised, in a good way," said Mark Reuss, GM's North American president.
So we have a completely different look Corvette which will appear no sooner than a 2014 model year car that requires or will benefit from $131 million in captial investmnents.
That timing seems to fit the production dates for the Gen VI engines from the Canadian plant. A DI engine with a different type of combustion system (whatever that means).
The only other thing I would be willing to bet a modest amount of money on is some sort of trans that fits the automatic shifting-manual type rather than the manual shifting-automatic type currently used.
I would not be willing to bet on a mid-rear engined Corvette.
As to building another car at BG, Cad is wanting a MB SL style car. BG would be the place to do it.
My personal wish is that some of that money is being spent to convert the production line so that ALL Corvettes use an aluminum chassis whose design is optimized to the use of aluminum rather than the current design the Z06 and ZR1 presently use.
Last edited by I Bin Therbefor; 05-05-2011 at 08:53 PM.
I'm thinking with that much money being spent in improvements, tooling, machinery, etc., it will be a very drastic change from the C6. Though I love my C6, I want the C7 to look dramatically different. I've got my fingers crossed for something that will make me say WOW!