The past couple of weeks has been a flurry of information flowing about the next-generation Corvette — the C8. Enthusiasts have always been rabid when it comes to ingesting information about the next-gen car. In fact, the paint wasn’t dry on the first C7s and folks were surmising what changes would be made for the C8!
Lately, enthusiasts and authors have been gazing into crystal balls with gusto, looking for any tidbit that hints to when, where and how the next Corvette will be built. The recent acknowledgement from GM that there even IS a C8 was a quantum leap. Then Mary Barra dropped the bomb that the C7 generation has a definite end, and the last car, would be auctioned off for charity.
So, just when folks started turning and walking away from the velvet ropes that keep them at bay from all things C8, GM announced they would be holding a press conference at the Corvette Assembly Plant, at the same time that the National Corvette Museum would be holding their annual Bash event. Makes sense, as many of those folks will be the ones buying whatever comes out the overhead doors at the plant.
So, with bated breath, the world waited. Social media venues ratcheted through comments much like the old chat rooms of old, (kids, as your parents about them). Folks were surmising everything from the possibility of adding another car at the currently, Corvette-only plant to the utterly absurd suggestion that GM was moving Corvette production. Ain’t gonna happen folks!
The National Corvette Museum posted about the press conference and stated, “General Motors Co. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra will be joined by the Executive Vice President of Global manufacturing Gerald Johnson, United Workers Vice President Terry Dites and federal, state and local officials for the announcement.” So, when you include Mary Barra, the Global manufacturing Executive VP, the UAW and federal, state and local officials, you can bet that EVERYONE wants to be in on the good news.
Well, it IS good news. And it shows that General Motors is wholeheartedly behind the effort of building the next-gen ‘Vette. Mary Barra announced that a second shift will be implemented at the Corvette Assembly plant to increase production. The second shift will put the plant’s workforce at 1,300 and brings more than 400 hourly jobs to the time clock in Bowling Green.
“The Corvette’s iconic status owes so much to the men and women of Bowling Green, where it has been built exclusively for almost 40 years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “This is the workforce that can deliver a next generation Corvette worthy of both its historic past and an equally exciting future, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to its reveal on July 18.”
With the inclusion of a new body shop, increased engine capacity, new paint shop, a new Performance Build Center, and additional plant upgrades GM has invested more than $900 million into Bowling Green. Now, they are increasing the task force to ensure that all the new utilities are used to the fullest and production will keep up with proposed demand. With the next generation Corvette comes new technologies, new engine placements and now, some new faces around the water cooler at the plant.