General Motors has stopped taking orders for the Chevrolet Corvette. While an alarming piece of news to hear, it’s actually not a surprise. The company will be shutting down Corvette’s Bowling Green, Kentucky assembly plant for three months, but the reason for the shut down is a bit sketchy.
GM’s official stance on the Bowling Green shut down is that the company needs to finish building a new, state of the art paint shop at the plant. While the new paint shop is known about within the public spectrum, it is worth noting that most of the time automakers do not have to shut down an entire plant to build a paint shop. However, most plants are larger and more automated than the Corvette plant.
About $500 million is being spent on the new paint facility, while local media in Bowling Green is reporting there’s an additional $400 million being spent in upgrades to the facility over the 13-week down time. The added upgrades are not being detailed by GM, other than to say they are associated with the paint shop.
Not only are workers going to be gone for three months, GM has also discontinued factory tours for the public for an 18 month period.
Between the shut down and discontinuance of tours, speculation is swirling as to what GM is really up to. Rumors the company is retooling the plant to produce the alleged mid-engine C8 Corvette, or that the down time is associated with the addition of a ZR1 version of today’s C7 are running wild.
Regardless of the reasoning behind the shut down, you can’t order a new Corvette for awhile. Production of the 2018 Corvette is slated to start in November. The 2018 model features only the typical model-year feature and content changes; at least until Chevrolet reveals a ZR1.