Since 1981, the Chevrolet Corvette has called Bowling Green home. But a news report by a Michigan television station suggests that America’s Sports Car may be moving its production to Lansing.
GM said recently that a $190 million project is on the books that could bring 600 jobs to one of its current cities that manufacture or assemble GM cars. Some are starting to speculate that production of the Corvette may be in play so Lansing television station WLNS-TV contacted Mike Green, local UAW president for comment and his response:
Hardly reassuring to his union colleagues in Bowling Green. Green said Bowling Green could lose the iconic Corvette because it’s the only car built in that plant. On the other hand, Green says, the Grand River plant in Lansing can manufacture or assemble a variety of cars. “Corvette or Camaro or Buick, ya know, there’s a lot of different product lines you can run.”
But what the Corvette and the Cadillac, currently produced at the Grand River plant, have in common is rear wheel drive. That’s something Economist Jim Luke says could play a major role. “It’s fairly expensive to keep a plant alive just for 1 car or 1 platform”, Luke stated.
Mike Green added more fuel to the fire by saying “With ours you’re looking at one of the newer plants that’s been built in North America, so it would make sense.”
GM has built the Corvette in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the past 20 years and currently the plant employs around 600. Across the street from the GM Assembly Plant that builds the Corvette is the unaffiliated multi-million dollar National Corvette Museum.
GM’s final decision isn’t expected for another couple of months.
Mark Leevan, writer for the Corvette Examiner contributed this story.
Autoblog asked General Motors’ Corvette rep David Caldwell about this rumor and Caldwell said that there had been a roundtable about what the Lansing Grand River plant might produce, and various cars were mentioned, including the Corvette. Caldwell ended the speculation (for now) with “Corvettes are born in Bowling Green,” and “nothing going on in the foreseeable future changes that long-time fact.”