To Corvette enthusiasts, Bowling Green, Kentucky, is a special place. It is, after all, home to both the National Corvette Museum and the plant that builds the Corvette. And if the latest announcement is any indication, the Corvette plant will be running for quite some time.
General Motors has announced that it will invest $290 million in the Bowling Green Assembly plant. That's a lot better news than historic Corvettes falling into sinkholes.
Some of the investment will be used to upgrade and modify the plant’s vehicle assembly operations with new technologies and processes. A total of $153 million has already been earmarked for an application to participate in the Kentucky Business Incentive (KBI). We don't know what the KBI does, but that seems awfully expensive.
The investment is in addition to the last year's announcement of a $439 million investment in the construction and startup of a new 450,000-square-foot paint shop. GM says the latest facility improvements are scheduled to begin this summer.
2014 Chevy Corvette Stingrays lined up outside of Bowling Green plant. Image via Corvette Museum.
Though it hasn’t been mentioned by the automaker, all these upgrades may hint at the arrival of the next-generation C8 Corvette which the last we heard is bowing at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. This new Corvette is expected to move to a mid-engine platform and be built in both left- and right-hand-drive configurations, helping GM to expand sales around the globe for the first time.
A clue comes from a comment made by Kentucky’s Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen during the previous investment announcement in the Corvette plant.
“The Corvette is one of Kentucky’s most-cherished icons,” she said. “Such a significant expansion of the Bowling Green assembly plant will help the company remain competitive in the region and around the world.”
Corvette production moved to Bowling Green in 1981. The Corvette had previously been built in in Flint, Michigan, and St. Louis, Missouri. Built since 1953, the Corvette is world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car.