Kentucky To End Coronavirus Restrictions for Manufacturing Beginning May 11th


Kentucky To End Coronavirus Restrictions for Manufacturing Beginning May 11th

Photo Credit: Jeremy Welborn

With the latest news from the UAW and the State of Kentucky regarding the coronavirus shutdown, it looks like we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And for Corvette fans, that means the resumption of the 2020 Corvette production could be here as early as May 18th.

The Big 3 domestic automakers have been negotiating with the United Auto Workers on when manufacturing can restart at the various facilities across North America. There’s a lot of moving parts to get manufacturing up and running as it’s not just the factory that needs to restart, but all the vendors and suppliers also need to be back to work as well. With the states having their own individual shelter in place orders, that could be dicey for the next month or so.

Michigan’s stay at home order for non-essential workers was extended through May 15th. Yesterday, Kentucky’s Governor Beshear issued guidance for when various businesses could reopen and set May 11th as the date for when manufacturing and automotive dealerships can resume operations. Reopening plans for the state of New York where the C8 Corvette’s LT2 V8 engines are assembled at the Tonawanda Powertrain facility are also still in the works. The good news there is that upstate New York wasn’t as hard hit as New York City and indications are that New York’s reopening plan could be rolled out regionally with manufacturing slated as one of the first sectors to be reopened.

A recent memo from GM to workers indicated that restarting the plants would take some time and that a team of salaried workers and managers would come in early as paid volunteers to prepare operations before the restart occurs. There may also be some discussions about plant workers going through retraining exercises to get back up to speed as the plant has been closed for over a month.

When workers return to manufacturing at the Corvette Assembly Plant, there will be new protocols set up to keep everyone as safe as possible. GM has said that the safety protocols for workers will include:

  • Health and temperature screening
  • Heavy workplace cleaning
  • Social distancing strategies
  • Following top medical and scientific data including guidance from the CDC

When it comes to recalling workers, UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said, “UAW President Rory Gamble has said the single focus should be on the health and safety of members and the litmus test should be whether your own family member would be safe going into that plant.”

The Corvette Assembly Plant shut down at the end of March 20th with approximately 2700 new Corvettes assembled to date. The production of the 2020 model year is expected to run through the end of August.

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  1. I’m curious. When they stopped production at the Corvette plant, did they clear the production line (e.g., complete those vehicles that had already been started on the line) or did they just stop the line in place (e.g., leaving partially completed vehicles at each workstation on the line)?

  2. An opening date is good news if you are in 3000 status for a 2020 C6 and you didn’t get a car from the shipments that continued after 20 March. I just hope there are enough parts to build my car after they train up on the modified assembly line in PPE. It will look allot like the “clean room” they build Ford GT in. Keep your workers safe and well! Build some more of that Great American Sports Car, Corvette Stingray. I am ready to stop dreaming and start driving!

  3. Hey Dwight, the Tremec DCT is built in Wixon, Michigan. You might want to find out the facts before you post bad info.

  4. No, the line was not emptied, the cars were covered with plastic when the line stopped. Transmissions come from Michigan, Wixom to be precise. So we’re at the mercy of MI’s governor to get transmissions, we can’t build cars without em!

  5. I hope the workers can return safely. I put my name in for 2LT convertible,Z51, lift, carbon flash, GT2 sears. I also want to do the museum delivery. I was there for the first 2020 delivery and it was a great experience.

  6. I’m was also at 3400 when the line shut down. One of the local “indoor” shows was wanting to make my car part of the main display, along with a ’54, for their June 20th show.
    Don’t know now…

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