2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
GM is set to announce tomorrow morning that it will spend about $100 million to refurbish the Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant that houses assembly of the Chevy Corvette.
The Bowling Green plant opened in 1981, and has the capacity to build more than 30,000 cars a year. Through March 2011, it's built 3,070 cars. Even with Corvette sales up 15 percent so far this year, the plant is running at less than 50 percent of its capacity.
For all of 2010, some 15,791 Corvettes were built at the facility.
GM has tried in the past to squeeze more efficiency out of the Kentucky plant. The Corvette used to share its assembly line with the folding-hardtop Cadillac XLR, which was produced for the 2004-2009 model years before being cancelled for slow sales.The $100 million investment suggests serious product plans afoot for Bowling Green. According to the plant's own Web site, annual investments of $3 million to $19 million have paid for regular updates to the facility. The $19 million was spent in 2005, when the plant was retooled to produce the current C6 Corvette.
A new Chevy Corvette is due sometime after 2013, its timing delayed due to GM's bankruptcy.UPDATE: GM says there are no plans to add a second vehicle to the facility's production lines.