Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant

Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant - Circa 2020

From GM Media as of December 2014:

  • Year Opened:  1981
  • Facility Size:  1 million square feet; 212 acres

Employee Information:

  • Hourly:  803
  • Salaried:  119
  • Total:  922
  • Union Local:  UAW Local 2164

GM began production of the esteemed Corvette in Bowling Green in 1981, and the facility has remained the exclusive home of the Corvette for over 30 years. Known around the world as America's sports car, the Corvette exemplifies the definition of innovation. The Corvette is the world's longest-running, continuously produced passengar car.  When the first Corvette rolled off the line over 60 years ago, it was born an icon. GM has continued this reputation for the car with six decades of refinement and innovation, raising the bar for performance cars with each generation. The Corvette Stingray is no exception; man and machine work in harmony to bring to life the perfect balance of technology, design and performance.

Corvette didn't always call Kentucky home, however. In 1953, the first 300 were built by hand in Flint, Michigan, just after General Motors unveiled the Corvette as a "dream car" in the Motorama show in New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel. The following year, production moved to St. Louis. In June of 1981, Corvette production transferred from St. Louis to Bowling Green, Kentucky. Previously a Chrysler air-conditioning unit factory, the building was completely renovated within 14 months into a modern automotive facility twice the size of the previous structure. At the conclusion of the 1996 production year, the entire plant was gutted to make way for a totally redesigned manufacturing facility for the fifth generation Corvette. Production of the XLR began in June 2003 and ceased on April 30, 2009. The plant built the 1 millionth Corvette on July 2, 1992 and the 1.5 millionth on May 28, 2009. The 50th anniversary of the Corvette was celebrated in June 2003, marked with a special 50th anniversary Corvette package, and the 30th anniversary of Bowling Green Assembly was celebrated in June 2011.

On May 4, 2011, GM announced it would invest $131 million in the Bowling Green plant to support production of the Corvette Stingray, adding about 250 jobs. The plant upgrade in 2012 and 2013 included a brand new $52 million Body Shop in order to build the aluminum frame in-house for the first time. The all-new 2014 Corvette Stingray was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show on January 13, 2013; production began 3rd quarter 2013. In addition, on January 30, 2013, GM announced a $3.5 million investment to relocate its Performance Build Center, which includes one production line for aficionados to build their own specialty engines, from Michigan to the Bowling Green plant. The Camaro Z/28 and Corvette Z06 engines are slated to be built in the Performance Build Center. Production of the Z/28 engine begins first quarter 2014; the Z06 will be available in early 2015.

Garnering such awards as J.D. Power's Top GM Model in 2009, Best in Segment award in 2009, 2002 and 2001, the Bronze Plant Award in 2009 and the Silver Plant Award in 2002, Bowling Green Assembly is committed to continuous improvement and producing the highest quality cars. In 2009, JD Power and Associates not only ranked Corvette as the top GM model for quality, but the 5th model across the industry.

Located just off I-65 at exit 28, General Motors Bowling Green Assembly is proud to be the only "Home of the Corvette". Eight hundred production workers, represented by the UAW Local 2164, help assemble these vehicles on a one-shift, 8-hour, Monday-Friday production schedule. Approximately 50,000 tourists from around the world visit the plant annually to catch a glimpse of the manufacturing process at Bowling Green Assembly. In addition, the plant has partnered with the National Corvette Museum to enable Corvette enthusiasts the opportunity to watch their own Corvette being built, take a personalized tour of the facility and special delivery of their car, and acquire an exclusive photo book to commemorate the manufacturing process and "birth" of their Corvette. For more information about the Bowling Green plant, please visit its website at


  • 2013/2014; $3.5 million for Performance Build Center
  • 2012/13; $131 million for C7 changeover
  • 7/07; $4,500,000 for conveyor addition/rearrangement
  • 2005; $5,000,000 for Andon/global error proofing
  • 2005; $12,000,000 for ELPO paint system
  • 4/05; $19,000,000 for C6 model change
  • 4/05; $3,000,000 for paint sludge system/air balance

Products & Production


  • 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe - production began 3rd quarter 2014
  • 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible - production began 3rd quarter 2014
  • 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - available early 2015
  • 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible - available early 2015
  • 2014 LS7 7.0L V-8 engine for Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 - production began 1st quarter 2014
  • 2015 LT4 6.2L V-8 engine for Corvette Z06 -production began 3rd quarter 2014


Corvette C7

  • North American Car of the Year - 2014
  • Ward’s 10 Best Interiors - 2014
  • Car and Driver 10 Best - 2013
  • Automobile Magazine Automobile of the Year - 2013
  • Road & Track Performance Car of the Year - 2013
  • Autoweek 2014 Best of the Best - 2013
  • Motor Press Guild 2013 Innovation Vehicle of the Year - 2013
  • Forbes Hottest New Car of the Year - 2013
  • Popular Science Best of What’s New - 2013
  • Yahoo! Car of the Year - 2013
  • Esquire Automotive Event of the Year - 2013
  • Kelley Blue Book Best Resale Value - 2013
  • Men’s Health Car of the Year - 2013
  • Intellichoice & AutoPacific Motorist Choice Awards - 2013
  • Automobile Journalists Association of Canada Best New Sports/Performance Car - 2013
  • Autoweek: 2014 Corvette Stingray NAIAS Best in Show - 2013
  • 2009; Corvette ranked Best GM Model and 5th across the industry for quality by JD Power
  • 2009, 2002, 2001; Corvette named Best in Segment by JD Power

*The 2014 Corvette Stingray was the most awarded car in the industry in 2013.

Assembly Plant

  • 9/14; Bowling Green Assembly receives first place award in area March of Dimes Walk for Babies – raising $19,000
  • Bowling Green Assembly received two awards for its 2013 United Way campaign, including Highest Giving Increase and #3 of the top 10 area campaigns, with a total donation of $108,000.
  • 9/13; Bowling Green Assembly receives 2nd place award in area Alzheimer’s Walk – raising just over $5,500
  • 11/12; Wildlife Habitat Certification, Wildlife Habitat Council
  • 9/11; Bowling Green Assembly receives John B. Holland Business of the Year award from the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce
  • 2009; Bowling Green Assembly receives JD Power bronze plant award for quality
  • 2002; Bowling Green Assembly receives JD Power silver plant award for quality

Community Involvement

Economic Impact (2013):
Wages: $72 million
Payroll Taxes: $15 million

Bowling Green Assembly Plant Facts:

Facts as of 2012:

  • The Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Ky., builds anywhere from 80 to 148 Corvettes per day, depending on the model and how long it's been in production.
  • About 350 workers are on the production line, which consists of 7 miles of carriers located in one million square feet, or 22 acres. The workers are usually on four-day shifts with 163 different jobs performed.
  • The electric conveyor for the carriers moves through at .033 mph or 174.28 feet an hour, and 48 robots assist in assembly.
  • Corvette Z06 and ZR1 frames are made at a separate facility in Hopkinsville, Ky. They have an aluminum frame with a magnesium engine well, so they're 150 pounds lighter than the standard C6 model. The ZR1 engines are built at the General Motor Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan.

Facts as of 2007:

  • The plant is over one million square feet under roof, or the equivalent of 22 football fields.
  • Production each day ranges from 150 - 170 Corvettes and approximately 16 XLRs.
  • There are 387 suppliers from which the plant receives 1,376 parts. Seventy-seven percent of the car is made in the USA and Canada.
  • From start to finish, each Corvette spends approximately 36 hours winding seven miles of conveyor systems in the plant.
  • In the paint department, body panels spend ten hours winding two miles on a conveyor system.
  • Body panels receive three coats of paint: primer, color and clear coat. Corvette and XLR body panels are composite fiberglass, except for the front and rear bumpers, which are urethane.
  • The Cadillac XLR was built on a separate line from the Corvette. They share the same frame and both use composite fiberglass body panels.

Directions:  The Bowling Green Assembly Plant is located in South Central Kentucky, approximately an hour north of Nashville, Tenn. Here are simple directions:

From Nashville, Tenn. International Airport:  Exit airport taking I-40 W towards Knoxville. Immediately take the Briley Parkway (215B) exit towards Opryland. Take the I-65 North Exit (15/16A) toward Louisville. Merge onto 1-65 N via Exit 16A on the left toward Louisville. Follow I-65 N to Bowling Green, Take Exit #28. Follow ramp and merge into right lane. At first stop light turn right. Go straight and turn right onto plant property. Follow the road to Lot E. Park in Lot E – the lot immediately before the Administration Building (building with flags/vehicles on display).

From Louisville, Kentucky:  Follow I-65 South towards Nashville, Tenn. Exit at the first Bowling Green Exit #28. Follow ramp and stay in the right hand lane. At first stop light turn right. Go straight and turn right onto plant property. Follow the road to Lot E. Park in Lot E – the lot immediately before the Administration Building (building with flags/vehicles on display).