Bowling Green Assembly Plant to Remain Open
The highly popular C8 Corvette has apparently escaped the clutches of the latest semiconductor chip shortage that will idle most General Motors assembly plants starting next week.
The Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky, where the mid-engine Corvettes are assembled, is one of just four GM facilities that will be operating next week, the company announced this week.
It appears that GM is continuing its strategy of using available chips for its most profitable vehicles as Bowling Green joins Arlington Assembly in Texas, where full-size SUVs are built, Flint Assembly in Michigan, where heavy-duty pickups are built; and a portion of Lansing Grand River Assembly in Michigan, where some Chevy Camaro and Cadillac Blackwing cars are built.
All other GM plants will shut down Monday for a week, two weeks or more during September.
“All the announcements we made today are related to the chips shortage, the only plant down that’s not related to that, is Orion Assembly,” said GM spokesman Dan Flores, referring to that plant’s shutdown over Chevy Bolt recall issues.
The latest shutdowns continue an industry-wide trend that has limited production and tightened supplies of vehicles to dealers over the past several months, causing prices to remain high for both new and used vehicles.
“COVID is driving supply constraints in countries that produce semiconductor chips,” Flores said. “But I can’t say if it’s because employees have a high rate of infection or if it’s the government putting restrictions on plants due to the pandemic.”
Flores says during the downtime, plants like Fort Wayne Assembly in Indiana and Silao Assembly in Mexico, where light-duty full-size pickups are built, will continue to work, even if production halts.
“During the downtime, we will repair and ship unfinished vehicles from many impacted plants, including Fort Wayne and Silao, to dealers to help meet the strong customer demand for our products,” Flores said. “Although the situation remains complex and very fluid, we remain confident in our team’s ability to continue finding creative solutions to minimize the impact on our highest-demand and capacity-constrained vehicles.”
Hopefully, Bowling Green will continue to operate in the coming months, though Flores did issue some ominous closing words: “What we announced this morning is what we know now. I can’t speculate if something will be announced next week or if there’ll be additional impacts. We manage this on a day-to-day basis.”
Detroit Free Press