Local news station WKBO first reported GM had a “major announcement” scheduled for Thursday. The local report said CEO Mary Barra, Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing Gerald Johnson, and UAW Vice President Terry Dittes will be on-hand for some sort of production announcement. The plant could add staff to the facility as the automaker prepares to put the mid-engine sports car into mass production. It’s also rumored Bowling Green could assemble the C8 Corvette’s base engine.
The base engine is expected to be some sort of upgraded 6.2-liter LT1 V8 engine, which the Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant current builds for the C7 Corvette Stingray.
Recall, GM closed the shut the plant down for several months in 2017 to complete the installation of a new assembly line. The original line dated back to 1997. With the new line, it’s been rumored the plant will have the flexibility to build different Corvettes. The plant also finished construction of a massive new paint shop. To ensure secrecy, the Corvette plant also ceased public tours during the retooling.
The new line also gives workers more time to ensure quality during the assembly process with the capability to build six fewer cars per hour. The slower timings are on purpose to bolster build quality, we reported in July 2017.
The plant reopened in November 2017 after going idle through the summer.
GM and Chevrolet publicly showed the mid-engine C8 Corvette for the first time earlier this month. The automaker also announced it would debut the car on July 18, though further details on where the debut will take place aren’t known yet. Stay tuned as we bring you the latest from the announcement later today.