The long wait for the all-new Chevrolet Corvette C8 is almost over and GM has just made us more aware of that with a new announcement.
The automaker says it is adding a second shift and more than 400 hourly jobs at its Bowling Green Assembly plant in Kentucky. The additional manpower is needed to support the production of the next-generation Corvette, which GM recently confirmed it would debut on July 18. The second shift will increase the site’s workforce to more than 1,300.
“The Corvette’s iconic status owes so much to the men and women of Bowling Green, where it has been built exclusively for almost 40 years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “This is the workforce that can deliver a next-generation Corvette worthy of both its historic past and an equally exciting future, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to its reveal on July 18,” the executive added.
GM has invested more than $900 million into Bowling Green since 2011. The money was used for a new body shop, new paint shop, increased engine capacity, a new Performance Build Center, and additional plant upgrades. The factory has the largest solar array of any automaker in Kentucky.
Needless to say, the plant’s annual economic impact for Kentucky is huge, bringing in more than $76 million in state wages and $15 million in income tax.
Since its opening in 1981, Bowling Green Assembly has produced more than one million Corvettes. Do not forget we’re talking about a thoroughbred sports car here, not a budget hatchback. For the first time in history, the Corvette will adopt a mid-ship configuration.
This will have a big impact on everything: handling, styling, pricing — you name it. Chevrolet remains tight-lipped on specifications, but we do know the mid-engined Corvette will launch with a 6.2-liter V8 engine with an output of around 500 hp (373 kW / 507 PS). The engine will be mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission driving the rear wheels.