As you can imagine, life is pretty hectic at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green right now.
Plant manager Dave Tatman took time out to talk to a crowd of 300 people Tuesday at the Barren River Area Development District’s annual luncheon at the National Corvette Museum just across from the assembly plant.
And he had some good news that Corvette enthusiasts will like to hear –the plant is “extraordinarily” close to shipping new Stingrays to dealers.
And it’s not a moment too soon for customers eagerly awaiting the arrival of their new cars, and that number is already reaching into the thousands, Tatman said of the orders already placed at dealerships.
“Things are a little bit crazy at the plant right now,” he admitted.
Tatman added that he drove a new Stingray to Knoxville, Tenn., over the weekend and got 34 mpg, even higher than the 29 it’s going to be rated on the window sticker.
He also pointed out that General Motors has spent even more than the original $130 million it announced two years ago that it would shell out to improve and retool the plant for the C7, saying that figure has been exceeded “substantially.”
Tatman also said he thinks the plant may reopen for tours by the public in late October, saying he first wants his employees to get into an assembly line rhythm before doing so.
“It’s my responsibility to make sure we are making the best car possible,” he said.
Museum Director Wendell Strode also talked to the gathering, telling them about the motorsports park currently under construction with an expected opening date in the fall of 2014, just in time for the museum’s 20th anniversary.
“We will probably be using the facility about 25 percent of the time,” he said. “What we want you to know is that it will be available for others to use.”