Bowling Green Corvette Plant

Another glitch in the new 2015 Corvette, built at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, is coming to light. General Motors is warning owners not to use the "Valet Mode" of the Performance Data Recorder to secretly record audio in their cars because many states have laws against recording someone without his or knowledge.

GM posted a notice to dealers on a website for Corvette owners last week explaining the problem and saying a software update due next month should take care of the issue.

USA Today is reporting that, in the meantime, if owners choose to use the surreptitious recording system, they must tell everyone in the car a recording is taking place and obtain their permission.

Earlier this month GM asked dealers to stop delivery of about 2,000 cars until a part that attached the air bag to the steering wheel was fixed. Another 800 Corvettes, mostly already at dealerships, were being held because only one of the rear parking brake cables may have been fully engaged.

Both problems have been taken care of and those cars were released last week.

General Motors

The Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green has begun shipping new Corvettes again.

Earlier this month, GM asked Chevrolet dealers to stop delivery of about 2,000 cars because they had to fix a part that attaches the air bag to the steering wheel.

GM also said another 800 Corvettes, mostly already at dealerships, were being held because they may have been built with only one of the rear parking brake cables fully engaged.

A spokesperson at the Assembly Plant now says both issues have been resolved.

Clinton Lewis/WKU

The former manager of the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green has been tapped to lead the new Kentucky Auto Industry Association. The appointment of Dave Tatman as executive director was announced Tuesday. 

Tatman has been involved in the auto industry for nearly 35 years and led the Corvette Assembly Plant from 2010 until his retirement earlier this year. 

The state’s Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes chairs the Auto Industry Association, which was formed earlier this year by Governor Steve Beshear.  The group is tasked with promoting the auto industry in Kentucky, a state which produced more than a million vehicles in 2013.

GM

Workers at the General Motors plant in Kentucky that assembles Corvettes have voted to authorize a strike over lingering safety concerns. But a local union leader says he hopes the dispute can be resolved without a walkout.

Union members voted to give union leaders the green light to call a strike if necessary. About 800 union workers were eligible to cast ballots.

Eldon Renaud, president of United Auto Workers Local 2164, says the issues involved include safety and quality control.

He says there have been several "near misses" that could have led to serious injuries for assembly line workers at the Bowling Green plant.

Renaud says he hopes the strike-authorization vote leads to stepped up negotiations.

The plant says worker safety and quality of its products are at the forefront of every decision. It says it's confident management and the union can work together.

National Corvette Museum

General Motors says it will oversee the restoration process for the eight sports cars that fell into a giant sinkhole Wednesday morning at the Corvette Museum.  Bowling Green Corvette plant manager Jeff LaMarche  says they won’t know the exact condition of the cars until they’re recovered.

“We know that these cars represent significant milestones – not just in our history in Chevrolet and General Motors but also in the automotive history. And nobody really has a better understanding of their significance and what it takes to properly restore these than the engineers and designers at Chevrolet where they were developed," said LaMarche.

The lead engineer for the reconstruction project says it will take 2-3 weeks to stabilize the ground around the sinkhole.  After that, he says it will take 4-6 days to remove the cars. Museum officials say repairs will start Friday and they hope to have everything complete by August when the museum celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Chevrolet

A Bowling Green-built auto continues its streak of awards.

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, made at the General Motors plant in Warren County, has been named North American Car of the Year at the North American International Auto Show.

The Stingray has already won best car of the year honors from Automobile and Autoweek magazines.

The press preview days for the North American International Auto Show kick off with the awards. The announcements came Monday morning at Cobo Center in Detroit.

The truck of the year winner is the Chevrolet Silverado.

The Chevy sweep came after General Motors made the most appearances on this year’s list finalists. Others included the Cadillac CTS and Mazda3. Truck/utility finalists included the Acura MDX and Jeep Cherokee.

Forty-eight automotive journalists vote on winners from the list of finalists.

Chevrolet

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is driving home a second car of the year award.

The vehicle manufactured at the Bowling Green General Motors plant has been named Autoweek's Best Car for 2014. Automobile magazine last month gave similar honors to the Stingray.

"The thing about the Corvette is that it's always been a good sports car for the money. But I can tell you that it's really the best sports car you can buy right now regardless of price," said Wes Raynal, editor of Autoweek.

Raynal says the new Corvette has a more comfortable and better-built interior than previous versions of the vehicle. He believes the Stingray will continue the Corvette's image as an iconic car.

"I don't know if you've ever seen that poster of the '63 Stingray, and the tagline is something like, 'They don't write songs about Volvos,'" Raynal told WKU Public Radio. "It's part of America. It's like Elvis, and Bruce Springsteen, and Coca-Cola, and Levi's."

GM Hands Out Grants, Announces Tours To Restart

Oct 3, 2013
WKU Public Radio

Officials from the G.M. Foundation in Detroit were at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant Wednesday to hand out $75,000 in grants to eleven local non-profit agencies. Plant Manager Dave Tatman also announced plant tours will start up again in a couple of weeks after being canceled for nearly a year.

The groups that will share in the grant money include:

*  Barren River Area Safe Space, Inc. (BRASS) for emergency assistance, resources and programs for regional domestic violence and homeless shelter residents.

Lisa Autry

General Motors is enhancing its footprint in Bowling Green. Officials gathered at the Corvette plant Wednesday to announce a $3.5 million investment. The automaker is moving its performance built center from Michigan to Bowling Green.

The center specializes in building high performance engines. GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones says the move is expected to create or retain 20 jobs. 

“We’re working out the details with the international union and ourselves on how we’re going to bring those folks down, but they have the right to follow the work," said Jones.

Kentucky's automotive industry had more than a million vehicles roll off their lines in 2012 for the first time since 2007.

Kentucky ranks fourth in the nation for total light vehicle production, third in the production of cars and fourth for light trucks. One out of every ten light vehicles produced in the United States in 2012 was made in Kentucky. Kentucky is home to nearly 450 motor vehicle related facilities employing almost 75,000 people. In the last two years, 135 auto industry location or expansion announcements were made representing 7,200 new jobs and nearly $1.8 billion in new capital investments.

Governor Steve Beshear attended the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month for the unveiling of the 2014 Corvette Stingray which is made in Bowling Green. General Motors is in the process of a $131 million plant transformation to the Bowling Green plant.

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