General Motors will invest $439 million in upgrading its only Chevrolet Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Ky. with a portion of that amount directed at constructing a new paint shop for the popular sports car.
“This new paint shop will mirror the efficiencies and technologies of the new body shop, installed with the launch of the (all-new 2014) Stingray,” says Cindy Estrada, vice president of the United Auto Workers.
Estrada says the 450,000-square-foot paint shop will feature enhancements such as robots to ensure a smooth finish, high-efficiency baking ovens for a better finish, and LED lighting for improved inspections. She says construction is expected to begin in the summer and take two years to complete.
The paint shop will be about half the size of the entire production facility. GM’s investment will retain about 150 jobs at the plant. In the past four years, GM has invested $135 million in the plant for the new Stingray and the Performance Build Center, which allows customers to watch their custom engine be built.
Corvette production began in the Bowling Green assembly in 1981, following assembly in Flint and St. Louis, Miss. GM says more than 1.6 million Corvettes have been produced in 62 years.