General Motors has announced a $290 million investment into the company’s Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly plant. The announcement comes amidst a whirlwind of rumors surrounding the next Chevrolet Corvette, which has called Bowling Green home since 1981.
The General is keeping fairly tight-lipped about the planned upgrades to the assembly plant. Thus far they have only said that the capital investment is intended to upgrade and improvement manufacturing processes. While it’s not unheard of, it is unusual for automakers to make investments in assembly plant upgrades with no clear product plans beyond current products.
Today’s news comes just weeks after Car And Driver cited “impeccable” sources that a new, mid-engine Corvette would go on sale for the 2019 model year. Rumors of a mid-engine ‘Vette have been on and off for decades; it’s almost a legend within the automotive enthusiast world.
What’s different about the mid-engine rumors this time is that there are other signs such a car is coming. Within GM’s future product plans is a vehicle program called “Zora.” Insiders and suppliers have all pointed that “Zora” is the eight-generation Corvette program. The naming of this program does not coincide with GM’s typical, code-based program naming scheme.
Additionally, the simple fact that GM is in a financial position as an organization to actually develop a mid-engine car from the ground up is also fueling the fire here. The only oddity is that the seventh-generation Corvette has only been on the market for about three years, which is an extremely short lifespan in the Corvette world.
Regardless as to the “why” GM is making further investment in Bowling Green, the company says the work will commence later this summer.