The investment indicates faith in the future of the Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant and the 'Vette.
Just three years into the life of the C7 Corvette, Chevrolet appears to be getting ready for the next-generation model. The company will invest $290 million (approx. $380M CDN) into “technology upgrades and manufacturing process improvements,” at its Bowling Green Assembly Plant starting this summer. These funds will come in addition to the new $439 million (approx. $575M) paint shop, which the automaker will complete in mid 2017, Automotive News reports.
With $729 million (approx. $950M) going into the Kentucky factory over the next couple years, it certainly seems that Chevy has big plans afoot for its sport car behind the scenes. The investment might have ties to the recently spied mid-engine Corvette. One rumour suggests the new model could debut at the North American International Auto Show in January 2018, but the vehicle would be on sale side-by-side with the current ‘Vette until at least the end of that year. That way if buyers don’t want the engine behind them, the traditional model would still be available for a little while.
“We are making technology investments that will continue to improve our manufacturing processes and ultimately the quality of our vehicles,” North American Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones said in Chevy’s announcement. “We are putting Corvette customers first by building upon our world-class manufacturing process.”
In addition to a mid-engine model, Chevy reportedly has at least two other ‘Vettes in development. One would have even more performance than the current Z06 and possibly debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2017. Further down the road, the E-Ray would allegedly follow the modern supercar path of using an internal combustion engine to drive one axle and an electric motor to turn the other. However, we might not see this all-wheel drive ‘Vette until 2020.
Source: Automotive News, General Motors