CorvetteBlogger.com has learned that the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, home of the Chevrolet Corvette, will be shutting down the production line for several months this summer and fall as the plant undergoes upgrades to its assemply line building process.
An official announcement from the plant is coming soon.
The closure will come at the end of the 2017 model year which is expected to end in June. We are told that the shut down is expected to last around three months but the exact time frame remains fluid.
GM announced a $290 million investment for the Corvette assembly plant in June 2016 that would “upgrade and modify the plant’s vehicle assembly operations with new technologies and processes”, according to the official press release issued by GM.
Multiple sources tell us that the plant will operate at maximum capacity up until the end of the 2017 model year to produce a supply of Corvettes to be sold while production is halted. The assembly plant will then shut down to undergo a massive upgrade of the assembly line, which has been in place since the start of the C5 in 1997.
Following the completion of the plant upgrades, the 2018 model year production will commence.
We believe that once the upgrades are complete, the plant will continue building the C7 Corvettes as 2018 models. Widely expected is a new addition to the C7 line-up, the 2018 Corvette ZR1, which has been under development for the last year.
The work on the assembly plant comes as the $439 million paint shop is due to be completed in the spring. Plant officials have publicly stated that the first customer cars to be painted in the new facility will happen in the fall of 2017.
A quick visit to schedule a plant tour at the NCM website shows us the last regularly scheduled tours end on June 16th. There are three dates in August available, from Monday, August 21st through Wednesday, August 23rd, but after that the plant tours are closed through the end of the year.