GM plans $290M investment in Corvette plant

Staff and wire reports

Kentucky officials say General Motors Co. plans to invest $290 million at the Chevrolet Corvette plant in Bowling Green, part of which would create up to 270 jobs over 10 years.

GM, however on Friday, would not provide details on the jobs or timing.

The company’s North American manufacturing manager, Arvin Jones, said Friday the investment includes technology upgrades to improve the Kentucky plant’s manufacturing process. Work is set to begin this summer.

“We are making technology investments that will continue to improve our manufacturing processes and ultimately the quality of our vehicles,” Jones said in a statement. “We are putting Corvette customers first by building upon our world-class manufacturing process.”

Gov. Matt Bevin’s office says the investment includes a $153 million project aimed at improving vehicle assembly line processes. GM also is increasing investments previously announced at the plant by $137 million. Last year, GM announced it would invest $439 million for a new 450,000-square-foot paint shop, retaining 150 jobs and would invest $44 million and add 36 jobs to expand its Performance Build Center.

To encourage the latest investment, Kentucky officials recently gave preliminary approval for GM to qualify for up to $3 million in tax incentives. The incentives are based on GM investing up to $153 million and creating up to 270 jobs over a decade, according to the Kentucky governor’s office.

“For 35 years, the Bowling Green Assembly Plant has provided jobs to thousands of Kentuckians and to hundreds of suppliers and vendors,” Bevin said in a statement. “We congratulate GM and offer our commitment to lending them support for this project and any others they may undertake in the future.”

Some of the work could be tied to a new Corvette. GM has not confirmed timing of its next generation Corvette, but analysts and auto insiders expect to see it arrive for the 2019 model year.

Corvette production in Bowling Green began in 1981 and the plant employs about 940, including 792 hourly workers represented by UAW Local 2164.

The Associated Press contributed.