General Motors is planning on bringing the majority of its North American production operations back online starting May 18th. However, it was recently revealed that some of GM’s plants never completely shut down, including the 2020 Corvette chassis production facility in Bedford, Indiana.
According to a recent report published by the New York Times, the GM plant in Bedford has run continuously despite GM’s announcement in March that it was shuttering North American production facilities. The report indicates that the plant was running three shifts per day with 20 workers per shift, down from the usual 250 workers. The workers all volunteered and were paid their standard wages.
The GM production facility in Bedford produces chassis and suspension components for the 2020 Corvette, including the entire suspension assembly and cradles, all of which is then shipped to the GM Bowling Green Assembly facility in Kentucky and installed into the unibody of the new 2020 Corvette.
The Bedford plant also operates as a die-casting facility producing transmission casings, converter housings, and various other components for Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC vehicles. However, the recent New York Times report indicates that the plant exclusively produced 2020 Corvette chassis and suspension components following GM’s production shutdown in March. The continued operation is said to be aimed at quickly ramping up 2020 Corvette production once the Bowling Green facility is back online.
As we covered previously, GM’s assembly facility in Arlington, Texas, has also seen limited operational status during the COVID-19 shutdown. The facility worked to produce the final units of GM’s full-size SUVs prior to retooling efforts for the next-gen vehicles, while also testing new medical precautions aimed at keeping employees safe when production begins to ramp back up.
The 2020 Corvette was originally slated to roll off the line in Bowling Green last December, but the 2019 UAW strike pushed that date to late January. The Kentucky facility was subsequently shuttered in March following the national outbreak of COVID-19, with less than 2,700 units total produced. Demand for the new mid-engine sports car has been so great, new orders have been pushed back to the 2021 model year.