Since 1981, Bowling Green has been the home of Corvette production and it looks like the Kentucky assembly plant is on tap to build the next generation Corvette as well. According to a report from the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority, GM is considering a possible $131.1 million project at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant. To help sway the manufacturer, the board announced it was offering the automaker $7.5 million in incentives for the new project.
Speculation that new product is the 2013 C7 Corvette comes from Eldon Renaud, president of United Auto Workers Local 2164. “We’ve been trying to work with (GM) in order to get the future product …,” said Eldon Renaud, president of United Auto Workers Local 2164. “You never know from one generation to another if you’ll get the opportunity to build it.”
Local GM plant spokeswoman Andrea Hales said “At this time, the company is exploring what incentives might be available for the potential project,” she said. “We are making no announcements at this time and have no set time frame to make a decision.” Hales said that other plants are also being considered and she declined to say whether or not the project involved the next generation Corvette.
The new project could mean the addition of 250 workers and an average hourly salary of $42. Currently the plant employs around 500 workers.
The project is being characterized by GM as a plant refurbishment. Renauld says he’s been told the plant will need a new body shop in able to produce the C7 Corvette.
The Bowling Green Assembly plant has produced four generations of America’s sports cars, but lower production totals the last few years have led to speculation that the automaker may production of Corvettes to other facilities. Last summer, one such rumor had Corvette assembly moving to Lansing, Michigan.
While Corvettes have been turned out in Bowling Green, the plant was also the home to the Cadillac XLR from 2003 to 2009. Prior to GM’s bankruptcy in 2009, the automaker was planning on shifting production of the kappa-based Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky to Bowling Green in 2012, but the elimination of Pontiac and Saturn brands from General Motors effectively nixed that plan.
Regardless of the project, this is good news for the current workers at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant who have seen their fair share of layoffs and factory shutdowns in recent years.