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There are plenty who feel about the Chevrolet Corvette, 'may you live long and prosper,' and General Motors is aiding that sentiment with a $131 million investment in the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant that builds the Chevrolet halo car. Apparently, though, the reason GM feels that way is because, in April, the state of Kentucky offered $7.5 million in tax incentives in order to hold on to production.

The investment begins this summer as the plant retools to produce the upgraded 2012 model line, and continues as it gears up to build the next-generation Corvette said to bow in 2013. Part of the funds will pay for 250 new workers to join the 400 that currently assemble the five different variants. GM's press release is after the jump with more information.
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Corvette Muscle: GM Invests $131 Million in Bowling Green

Wed, May 4 2011

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.

About General Motors
General Motors (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM), one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 202,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in more than 120 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 30 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Baojun, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall, and Wuling. GM's largest national market is China, followed by the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm always happy to read about additional employment numbers, and in capital being invested in the USA. Great news for not only Corvette, Chevrolet and GM, but for the citizens of the area. All of us benefit in the long run with news like this.
        Jac Zobel de Ayala
        • 3 Years Ago
        Meanwhile GM's bread and butter like the Cruze will continue to come from Korea.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jac Zobel de Ayala
          I thought the Volt was assembled in Hammtrack (sp?) Michigan.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Jac Zobel de Ayala
          The Cruze is built in Lordstown, Ohio in the same factory the Cobalt was and the VOLT is. Although I am aware of the report that the 2013 Malibu will be built in South Korea (OR was it China?) for the first year before being built in the US.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Having just moved to Bowling Green, what a huge win for the city this news is.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good news! Good to see the dream alive and well, even in this economy. Much happier to see that GM hasn't yet written off the middle class, and is keeping the Corvette within reach for most working Americans.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Kentucky needs to join Florida, Nevada, and Texas with no income tax and no tax on retiree pensions.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's it $131 Million. All they can do is add more plastic to the dash. GM never get's it. Ford pays billions for development. This is a joke.
        Shawn Brinker
        • 3 Years Ago
        There is a big difference between "developement" of a vehicle, and investing in a plant. This $131 million has little to nothing to do with developement costs.
      Robert Kyle
      • 3 Years Ago
      I bet most of the workers in that Kentucky plant were and still are, against the GM bailout.
      neville r
      • 3 Years Ago
      WHY?????? global warming!!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I always hoped to see GM proliferate much of the goodness that is the Corvette into other models. To me, the Corvette embodies much of the American innovation that makes our cars so great. They have done this somewhat by offering the magneto rheological suspension in cars such as the CTS-V, as well as spreading the smallblock V8 to the V-series and Camaro. However, the awesomely unique monocoque chassis, hydroformed backbone, transverse leaf springs, and other innovations would be cool to see on a high performance sedan and in the Camaro as well. Certainly this would be feasible for Cadillac due to their high transaction prices and exclusive platforms, it would be a little tougher on the Camaro though, as it would have to be possible without raising the cost of the entry models. Presumably this could be executed much better than the XLR, which only seemed to take away from the Corvette's features rather than expand upon them.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hydroforming was spread to their truck and some cars. It is still a bit expensive for most cars at the prices they have to be sold at. The Leaf springs will never get beyond the Corvette. The C7 is expected to have Coil springs. What could stand proliferation, is the rear transaxle configuration, more use of lighter weigh materials like Magnesium alloy and Carbon fiber, and yes a new XLR done right. The XLR was hamstrung for the sake of GM's all important Performance Hierarchy (Thou shalt not build any car faster than the Corvette). Also cost. The XLR stickered for $80K, the XLR-V over $100K and both were saddled with governors that locked the cars at 147mph... to be more "European" with their asinine speed governing. Completely missed the point. The XLR would have been a huge hit to keep maybe offer less powerful engines (use the LSA instead of the LS9) in the XLR to keep it a little behind but no speed governor, and not mess up the styling from the Evoq Concept. The XLR looked like a cheap knock off of the Evoq.
          • 3 Years Ago
          Good point on the rear transaxle. That would be awesome in the next Camaro! I suspect attempting a sedan like the CTS or ATS with the transmission in the rear/middle would not allow enough space for the rear seat, gas tank, and/or trunk. If they could make it work, I'm all for it though. Maybe the missing bell housing would allow GM to move the front seats forward due to the un-encroached foot room which would allow the back seats to follow for increased space below/behind them. I know the Maserati Quatroporte can be had with a transaxle if you opt for the Duo Select transmission (automatics have the transmission in front), so I suppose it is feasible. I’m not sure about the coil springs though. I know the Vette racecars use them, but I'm rather fond of the benefits of the transverse composite leafs. For one, they package very low and flat, allowing for a low center of gravity and a low hood line. They're also surprisingly adaptive to both hardcore corner carving and long distance cruising. I've driven Vettes from the C3 to the current C6 and in the C5 and C6 the suspension rides almost Cadillac-smooth over speed bumps and other road blemishes while being quite nimble and flat in the corners. About the only pluses of the XLR were its hardtop convertible roof (which no Corvette offers) and the sound of a high tech DOHC engine (if that's more to your liking than muscle car power). The Corvette probably should be a Cadillac based on GM's current brand structure, but there's too much heritage to change things now, so I'd say leave it be. I'd rather see another body style on the Vette chassis (such as a 2+2 or 4 door coupe/sedan) than another Cadillac Corvette. The kind of people who buy luxury droptops don't want a performance car anyway, they want a plush cruiser. In this way, Buick and Cadillac could get away with selling hard top convertibles based on a FWD chassis (probably Epsilon II or maybe Delta II) and Alpha respectively.
      Ibrahim Malik
      • 3 Years Ago
      Great machine, luv to drive it ... man!!!
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Still to good looking and awesome performance,love the Vette.
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