This week the National Corvette Museum hosted a meeting of the NCM Ambassadors. These are people from various organizations and Corvette clubs who serve to promote the Corvette Museum. During the meetings, there was an update on the progress of the construction happening inside the Corvette assembly plant by plant manager Kai Spande.
Once again our friend Jeremy Welborn was in attendance and captured some of the slideshow as it was presented. He posted the following info and pics on the Corvette Forum. In case you missed it, he also shared these first photos and a walkaround video of a 2018 Corvette Z06 that was painted entirely in the new paint shop.
The best news to come out of the presentation with kai Spande is that when the plant officially starts building customer cars, all of them will have been painted in the new paint shop! Jeremy says that Kai challenged the team to have all colors painted in the new paint shop once production was ready to resume. As of November 1st, it looks like this goal will be met. Kai said the old paint shop will remain operational for a time, but it sounds like its days of painting Corvette panels are over.
New 2018 Corvettes are being assembled this week and by the end of the week, they will have built 75 Corvettes. With the amount of attention and quality control these cars will go through, I can’t think of any reason why they won’t go to dealers or customers with orders. However, according to Jeremy’s post, he says that thirteen sets of body panels were left over from the old paint shop, and they were used on 13 of those 75 cars being built this week.
The new assembly line will run at 11.6 cars per hour, a decrease from the 17 cars per hour on the old line. The maximum capacity is limited by the paint shops ability to paint 14 cars per hour. (This is the max production figure and Jeremy stats that they will not be running a max capacity anytime soon.)
Finally, check out some of these before and after photos showing various assembly line processes. You can see the new AGV (automated guided vehicles) that ferry parts and cars through the factory.
Notice that the body panels have not yet been installed on the car at this point in the assembly line process. Body panels are now installed at the end of assembly.
The various parts for this section of the assembly line are held in bins that follow along with the skillet for each car. On the skillet, the car rests fully on its own suspension via the devices seen in this photo that are bolted to the car with lug nuts.
[VIDEO] This 2018 Corvette Z06 was Painted in the Corvette Factory’s New Paint Shop
[SPIED] Mid Engine C8 Corvette’s Front and Rear Body Panels Spotted in Corvette Factory’s Paint Shop
The Corvette Assembly Plant is Set to Reopen on November 6th