Corvette Assembly Plant to Commence Gradual Restart Beginning May 26th


Corvette Assembly Plant to Commence Gradual Restart Beginning May 26th

Photo Credit: Jeremy Welborn

The good news is that the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will soon be making brand new mid-engine Corvettes again. The bad news is that it won’t immediately be at full steam when production resumes in two weeks.

While the Tonawanda engine plant will reopen in New York on May 18, Bowling Green won’t follow suit until May 26, according to GM.

“The focus for employees returning to work will be on our new safety protocols as a result of COVID-19 (the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus),” Trevor Thompkins, communications coordinator for GM’s North American Manufacturing and Labor, said in an email to the Bowling Green Daily News. “We will conduct detailed safety orientation sessions to ensure everyone understands GM’s safety system and can ask questions.”

GM CEO Mary Barra told analysts in a conference call last week that the restart at GM plants will start with a single shift and then build up to two or three shifts based on demand. That means the long-awaited second shift at Bowling Green won’t be working, at least in the beginning, despite overwhelming demand for the car.

Production of the much-praised 2020 Stingray has been delayed twice already – first by a 40-day UAW strike late last year and then again for more than two months by the COVID-19 lockdown.

Bowling Green Assembly Plant To Restart Corvette Production the Week of May 25th

Photo Credit: Larry Smith / Facebook

One “Negative Nancy” industry analyst isn’t sure so sure 2020 will be the big year everyone expected the Corvette would enjoy.

“The COVID-19 outbreak is having a devastating effect on every automaker around the globe, including General Motors and every vehicle it produces,” said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Atlanta-based Cox Automotive. “The launch of the Corvette was to have been an exciting time.”

Krebs says the automotive industry in general has been hit hard by the effects of the virus, and that could even extend to the Corvette.

“The big question when this is over,” he said, “is will people still want to buy the Corvette? GM has some orders in hand, but we do anticipate sports cars – very discretionary purchases – will take time to gain some traction.”

We might agree with her if this was a year ago and the C7 was still being produced, but we expect the excitement over the revolutionary mid-engine Corvette to pick up right where it left off when Bowling Green starts putting 2020s together again. For every “Negative Nancy” customer who drops out because of the economic effects of the virus, there are likely to be two or three more waiting to fill that slot.

Unfortunately, that negative attitude even extended to UAW Local 2163 President Jack Bowers, who texted the Daily News: “We all have concerns. I don’t think anything is worth risking your life for.”

He said some of the Bowling Green workers are eager to get back to work “and some aren’t.”

“I understand the need to make money, so workers are kind of in the middle of the road about resuming production,” Bowers said.

Let’s hope they quickly get fired up about getting back on the job and put this virus where it belongs – in the new rear vision mirror of the Corvette.

Bowling Green Daily News

General Motors To Restart the Tonawanda Engine Plant on May 18th
Bowling Green Assembly Plant To Restart Corvette Production the Week of May 25th
General Motors Halting Production in North America Through March 30th



  1. GM – I cant believe the slow start up. Given
    the demand I can’t believe GM isn’t pushing harder to get 2-3 shifts up and running. Tesla operates in a much more problematic covid 19 area (CA), yet they are up and running. I will tell you that there failure to conduct meaningful negotiations early on led the the 40 day shut down. GM takes its customers for granted. I believe this approach will have a lasting negative impact on its loyal customers. I was at 3000 before the shut down and with GMs lack of communication. I have no idea when my car will be built. Terrible PR move….

  2. I really don’t want someone who is not motivated to build my car. the 2020 C8 has several problems starting to manifest themselves. I don’t want someone who is gonna say eff it, good enough. Eff it, good enough. 3000 status here and frustrated.

  3. The dealer says we can start ordering 2021’s May 31st for August delivery. That doesn’t leave much time to build out the 2020’s with one shift and build 2021’s. What’s going on ?

  4. “Will people still want a Corvette when this is over”
    Give me a break.
    Just build the damn car right GM.
    Desire hasn’t changed at all….

  5. COVID-19 is not going away any time soon & maybe never unless we come up with a hard effective vaccine. Like the UAW Local 2163 President said: “I don’t think anything is worth risking your life for” (I am sure he means a normal job). How about you Mitch Talley do you want to volunteer to go work on the assemble line every day and expose your life to protect GM profit?

  6. Jack – You have totally valid concerns. Don’t give up on that C8, however. I contacted the Concierge. The female GM employee informed me that my Convertible had also reached 3000 status, during this virus thing and just as the shutdown happpened. I wanted to know if color, interior combination/color and the year would remain the same. In my case, I inquired about a Convertible that was configured on Jan 22, 2020 with deposit placed the same day. She claimed that my car would still be built as a 2020 and not a 2021. The Concierge started to get a little bit unhappy that I continued to contact them. Usually, they are very pleasant to respond to an e-mail and they will also call you back. Getting information that these with the 3000 code, according to GM as of last week, will be built for sure. Hope that helps. AF

  7. I too am waiting for a 2020 convertible. I was notified by the dealer a week before the shutdown that I could finish my order but I could not do the museum delivery. I decided to wait for next opportunity. I was at the museum for the first 2020 delivery. I was super excited. Now I just hope to get one!

  8. It is only a fortunate event the after the UAW made GM their poster child last fall that the 14 day stay home plan that turned into about 2 months that Bowling Green will roar back to work on May 26, 2020 to make the New C8 from now to the end of October. With the first Convertible starting down the line on July 13,2020 I suspect the C8 I ordered for a December 2019 delivery will show up by mid to late June but I don’t rule out the possibility of an Astroid distorting Plant in Bowling Green before I get Car. The great People at Bowling Green are going to come through for me against all odds. Like Tina said in “Proud Mary” I never ever do anything nice and easy, I do it nice and Rough!

  9. Ordered Mine On: September 6….Haven’t Heard A Thing From My Dealership or G.M. Turned In My 2018 Z06 At That Time, Beings I Don’t Drive It In The Winter, And Got A Better Price For It In September Then I Would Get Now….You Would Think Someone Would Contact Me As Of This Date…..Heard Nothing….Try Contacting My Dealer, They Said That They Know No More Than I Do. !

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