General Motors is investing $439 million in its Chevrolet Corvette plant, located in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
GM will create a 450,000 square-foot paint shop, almost half the size of the entire current production facility, which is set to bring more color choices to Corvette enthusiasts, in addition to a range of technology upgrades.
The investment follows on the $135 million that GM pumped into the plant over the last four years for the new Corvette Stingray and Performance Build Center.
According to GM, along with new tooling and robots, the paint shop’s state-of-the-art environmental and efficiency enhancements include:
- Dry Scrubber Booth Technology with Limestone Handling System designed to eliminate sludge water and waste.
- Light-emitting diode, or LED, lighting for process decks for improved visual inspection as well as energy savings.
- State-of-the-art FANUC robots with Versa-bell 3 electrostatic applicators for an extremely smooth finish and maximum transfer efficiency, saving 25 percent of the paint material used, which also benefits the environment.
- Longer, high-efficiency baking ovens for exceptional paint finish and lower energy use.
Expansion of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will help GM “remain competitive”
“The Corvette is one of Kentucky’s most-cherished icons,” said. Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen. “Such a significant expansion of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will help the company remain competitive in the region and around the world.”
“With this major technology investment, we can continue to exceed the expectations of sports car buyers for years to come,” North American manufacturing manager Arvin Jones said in a statement.
“These types of investments are evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make.”
UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada said:
“This new paint shop will mirror the efficiencies and technologies of the new body shop, installed with the launch of the Stingray. Hardworking UAW members have proudly built vehicles in Bowling Green for more than 30 years, and we are pleased to be a part of such a significant facility upgrade.”
Part of GM’s pledge to pump money into U.S. facilities
The investment is part of the company’s pledge to invest $5.4 billion into its U.S. facilities over the next three years.
Only last week the automaker said that it would be spending $1 billion on revamping its Warren Technical Center, which is set to start this month and continue through 2018.