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.
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.