With its car sales lagging (and pickups doing the heavy lifting), General Motors is looking to its iconic muscle car to beef up its bottom line.
The automaker announced yesterday that it will expand operations at its Bowling Green, Kentucky, assembly plant to support production of the latest Corvette iteration—the 2020 Corvette C8. GM will add a second shift and upwards of 400 hourly jobs. The plant currently has about 900 hourly workers.
The Bowling Green plant has exclusively produced Corvettes since 1981. The Corvette “owes so much to the men and women of Bowling Green, where it has been built exclusively for almost 40 years,” GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “This is the workforce that can deliver a next-generation Corvette worthy of both its historic past and an equally exciting future.”
GM has invested nearly $500 million in the facility since 2015, upgrading the paint shop, shipyard and utilities and increasing engine capacity.
The new jobs are a fraction of the more than 3,000 union jobs lost at four General Motors plants in the U.S., which have closed or are set to close this year. Workers at the closed plants, in many cases, were offered a placement another GM plant and a $3,000 relocation stipend.
United Autoworkers Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement that the union was pleased with the addition of 400 union jobs at the Bowling Green plant, adding that “we hope to see more of this in the future from GM, which is good for our members, their families, the community, and all of America.”
No word on whether laid-off workers at four recently closed General Motors plants would be eligible for relocation to the Bowling Green plant.