UPDATE: Autoblog spoke with Andrea Hales, GM Bowling Green Assembly Communications manager, who informed them that while there will be six weeks of down time from now until the end of June, the plant actually has about 600 workers and they will continue to build 11 Corvettes per hour, not eight.
Earlier this week it was announced that GM would idle the Bowling Green Assembly Plant for 6 weeks over the next three months. What we are hearing now is that when the plant is open, hourly production of the sports car will fall from 11 to 8 cars an hour.
UAW Local 2164 Secretary Cindy Shelton confirmed the slowing of the assembly line to 8 cars an hour, a far cry from the 18 cars an hour produced a year ago. “We are hardly running”, she said as the workforce has been trimmed to 400 workers, down from nearly 1,000 workers two years ago. “We are all worried and we are all waiting.” Shelton said in response to news about Rick Wagoner’s departure and President Obama’s comments about General Motors earlier this week. “Retirees are worried about their pension if GM goes bankrupt and the rest of us are just worried if we will be here next week.”
The slow down in production and plant idling comes as Corvette sales continue to run about half of what they were a year ago. In February 2009, Corvette sales were down 50% over 2008 sales. Just 1,027 Corvettes were sold in February compared with 2,071 the year prior.
Later this week we are expecting similar numbers when GM announces March 2009 sales.