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.
The next generation Corvette is no longer a secret. With much fanfare, General Motors unveiled a revamped Corvette in Detroit Sunday night, the first new version of the iconic sports car in nine years.
"This car is all new from the ground up and it's absolutely the best performance car we know how to engineer and build," said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. "I will eagerly put this car up against any of the top performance cars in the world. In terms of design, technology, and performance, this car is second to none."
The 2014 model, so new that it shares only two parts with the current model, picks up cues from the 1963 Stingray. It's described as the most powerful standard model ever, but GM promises it will be the most fuel-efficient Corvette. At the unveiling in Detroit, Reuss offered kudos to the Bowling Green plant for bringing the car the life.
"A few weeks ago we traveled to Bowling Green and drove the first cars made at the plant. Their commitment made this Corvette worthy of the Stingray name once again," praised Reuss.
This weekend has been a long time coming for Corvette enthusiasts. General Motors will unveil the next generation car on Sunday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The reveal couldn't be more exciting for Dave Tatman, manager of the Bowling Green GM plant where the new model will be produced.
"We've had people from the Bowling Green assembly plant traveling to Detroit for almost three years now working with engineers in Detroit side by side on this car," says Tatman.
The 2014 Corvette will go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than four seconds, and Tatman says the car is literally all new.
General Motors plans to idle Corvette production in Bowling Green for six months to prepare for the next generation of the iconic sports car. The automaker laid out its schedule for revamping its assembly plant in Warren County for the all-new 2014 model.