General Motors has invested hundreds of millions of dollars at the Corvette assembly plant, otherwise known as the Bowling Green, Kentucky, assembly. At the National Corvette Museum, Nora Roper, assistant manager at the plant, held a presentation to show fans what exactly is new at the plant after the retooling and investments.
The nearly one-hour-long presentation goes over all the specifics inside the plant and there’s plenty of interesting information for fans to digest. Specifically, Roper goes over the plant’s new production layout and where employees install components on the new assembly layout. One of the biggest changes at the plant is the addition of vertical displacement lifts.
The VDL now carry the car in the air to stations at appropriate times and also help with installation. Roper gives an example in the video showing the “old marriage” assembly process compared to the “new marriage” process with VDLs and automated guided carts.
In total, GM has spent over $500 million since 2015 to retool the general assembly line, build a new paint shop and support the Performance Build Center, which received its own $44 million investment. The paint shop added 450,000 square feet of production space to the Corvette assembly plant, which is nearly half the size of the entire assembly plant as it sits. The new facility also includes longer more-efficient baking ovens for greater paint finish and higher efficiency.
The investment also saw the plant install Dry Scrubber Booth technology and a Limestone Handling System to eliminate sludge water and other waste. A new LED lighting dock further enhances visual inspection processes and also helps keep energy costs low.
Another $290 million investment was less descriptive. GM only said the investment was for “new assembly technologies and processes in an effort to enhance GM’s manufacturing flexibility. We translate that to retooling to build both the front-engine C7 Corvette and the forthcoming mid-engine C8 Corvette.