Now that the holidays are over, the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant has been slowly churning out Captured Test Fleet (CTF) 2020 Corvettes for pre-production testing and manufacturing validation. With just two weeks to go before regular production begins, the number of 2020 Corvettes being built is about to increase in a big way.
Yesterday, General Motors announced that it would be moving 57 temporary workers to full-time status at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant as well as over 1,200 other temporary workers to full-time status at other GM manufacturing facilities.
United Auto Workers Local 2164 President Jack Bowers, “This is basically what we went on strike for,” Bowers said. “Some of them (temporary workers) have been here three or four years. This is definitely a big improvement for them.”
“We are excited to welcome these employees as regular, full-time team members,” said Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “Our employees are essential to meeting the needs of our customers, so providing these team members with an improved career-path forward has numerous benefits. From health and safety to building high-quality products for our customers, it takes all of us working together to build a stronger future.”
“We are really excited for these employees because they have been here for some time and they are well trained, so they were with us through the build-out of the C-7 corvette and as we prepare for the launch of the new mid-engine corvette,” said Nora Roper, Assistant Plant Manager at the Corvette Assembly Plant.
Since April of last year, when GM’s Lordstown plant closed, the number of workers at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant has slowly grown from over 900 to around 1,300 in anticipation of the demand for the 2020 Corvette. Many of those new employees have been undergoing training for building the next generation Corvette and will help fuel the 2nd shift once regular production starts on February 3rd.
GM’s initial goal was to build at least 40,000 2020 C8 Corvettes this year. While the UAW strike last year set the production schedule back by approximately six weeks, many enthusiasts don’t believe GM will be able to come anywhere near that number before having to switch over to the 2021 model year.
As we mentioned in a previous article here at the Corvette Action Center, with a second shift being added, and GM’s goal of building up to 250 Corvettes per day, GM should have no problem hitting that 40,000 mark. Taking into consideration holidays, etc., we calculated that GM should be able to hit that number around the first week of August. Production of the 2021 Corvette model year is scheduled to begin in September of this year, so regardless of what effects the UAW strike had on the production timeline, GM should easily be able to hit their goals.
2020 Corvette Wins North American Car of the Year Award
The 2020 Corvette has been showered with numerous industry awards including the most recent North American Car of the Year Award.
In a statement by UAW President Rory Gamble regarding the award:
“The 2020 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards named the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray the 2020 Car of the Year and the Jeep Gladiator the 2020 North American Truck of the Year, both vehicles built by proud UAW members. This is an honor for our union and testament to the top quality workmanship that UAW members bring to the job every day.
Our sisters and brothers at UAW Local 2164, who build the Corvette in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and our UAW Local 12 members, who build the Jeep Gladiator in Toledo, Ohio, bring their dedication and industry-leading skills to their jobs to produce these exemplary products.
We couldn’t be more proud of them and the recognition they’ve received for these UAW-built vehicles.”
Given all of the positive fanfare the 2020 Corvette has received and the preparation for a major ramp-up in production, customers who have placed orders for a 2020 Corvette are chomping at the bit for production to begin. We can’t say we blame them one bit! It’s an exciting time in Bowling Green, Kentucky!