General Motors is investing $131 million in its Bowling Green Assembly Plant to support production of the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette and has announced plans to add 250 new jobs at the facility.
The Bowling Green plant is scheduled to continue building the current generation Corvette for at least the next two model years, including the 2012 model year that begins this summer. During this period, the plant will undergo a refurbishment that will include new manufacturing machinery, equipment and tooling. The new Corvette model is expected hit dealer showrooms in mid-2013.
Bowling Green has been home to Corvette production since 1981 and is the exclusive manufacturer of all versions of the popular sports car (coupe, convertible, Grand Sport, Z06, and ZR1). The 1 million-s.f. plant currently employs nearly 400 production workers and a total of approximately 500 employees.
An economic impact study performed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development shows the number of direct, indirect and induced jobs that will result from GM’s existing and new employment in Bowling Green is nearly 1,950 jobs. Those jobs will provide an annual $222 million boost to Kentucky’s Gross Domestic Product.
In addition, approximately 50,000 tourists visit the Bowling Green plant annually to catch a glimpse of the manufacturing process, some even watching their new cars being completed before taking delivery.
To encourage GM’s investment in Bowling Green, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority earlier this year approved tax incentives of up to $7.5 million for GM through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows GM to keep a portion of its investment over an eight-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.