Perhaps, once the C8’s hype dies down

Chevrolet recently confirmed that the much-speculated and awaited mid-engine avatar of the Corvette is not a myth. The Chevrolet C8 will officially debut on July 18th. Since then, people have kept a keen eye on the proceedings of the C8. Now, Chevrolet has announced that it will add a second shift of workers, more than 400 hourly jobs, to its factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Although GM has added the additional workforce by speculating an unprecedented demand for the C8, will this strength be restricted to the C8 only?

Preparation Is Going Strong

Will GM's Strengthened Bowling Green Plant Work On Anything Beyond the 2020 C8 Corvette? Exterior Spyshots
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GM has increased its workforce by adding 400 more hourly jobs at the Bowling Green facility, bringing the total workforce strength to over 1,300. This is the only factory in the world where the ’Vettes are built. The 1.7-million-square-foot facility is built on 212 acres of land.

As of now, the facility has just one production shift in a day, two paint shifts, and three maintenance shifts. However, with the added workforce, GM will have two production shifts in a day. But, does this mean the extra workforce will work solely on the C8 Corvette?

Seems unlikely, because the Bowling Green manufactures four other models here, which may hope to see a rise in the sales with the help of the C8’s popularity.

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Currently, the Corvette Stingray, the Z06, Grandsport, and the ZR1 are being built here. Even the 6.2-liter V-8 engines for the LT1, LT4, and LT5 are manufactured here. Some reports also suggest that Chevrolet could move the engine production of the C8’s base trim here as well. The CTS-V used to be manufactured here as well, but the CTS series has been replaced by the CT5 Series which made its official debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show.

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Although there is no official word on the CTS-V yet, a test mule was spotted in 2018 that could possibly be the CT5-V.

One thing we are sure of is that the CT5-V will definitely make it production - as a natural replacement of the CTS-V - but not before 2020. So, there are chances that the CT5-V could be built here at the Bowling Green production facility.

I would have speculated the CT5 series’ production as a whole could be moved here, but GM has already said that the CT5 will be built at the Lansing Grand River Plant in Michigan. But, who knows what the future holds!

Since 2011, GM has pumped in about $900 million dollars in the creation of a new paint shop, body shop, and increased engine production capacity. GM also moved the Performance Build Center here from the factory in Flint, Michigan. The Bowling Green Facility is the Corvette’s third home in the U.S. The production first took off in Flint, Michigan, in 1953, where the first 300 Corvettes were hand built. The production then moved to St, Louis, Missouri, where these all-American cars were built for 28 years. And, since 1981, the Bowling Green factory in Kentucky has been home to the Corvettes. Interestingly, GM took over this facility and rebuilt it in 1981, prior to which this Chrysler had an air-conditioning factory here.

So, Corvettes Will Be Grown Here Itself

Will GM's Strengthened Bowling Green Plant Work On Anything Beyond the 2020 C8 Corvette?
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There were rumors that the company might be shifting the production to Mexico, but GM's CEO recently said that the Corvette will not be leaving the States.

The plant that has rolled out over a million Corvettes will continue to do so in the future as well. “The Corvette’s iconic status owes so much to the men and women of Bowling Green, where it has been built exclusively for almost 40 years. This is the workforce that can deliver a next-generation Corvette worthy of both its historic past and an equally exciting future, and today’s announcement gets us one step closer to its reveal on July 18”, Barra said.

The C8 Is Under A Lot Of Social Pressure Already

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The news of the C8 Corvette has created a furor amongst enthusiasts and they have got no chill whatsoever.

Why must they! This is one of the most anticipated cars in the recent history, I’d say, even more than the Toyota Supra. People have been waiting for a mid-engined Corvette to become a reality for as long as one can remember. To brief you a bit about its history, the mid-engined Corvette started off as a prototype back in 1964. Codenamed the XP-819 back then, Chevrolet never really put this prototype into production. We saw a lot of mid-engined prototypes being tested since then, but it was in 2016 when the ’alien’ was seen on road. Fast forward three years, and here we are, less than a hundred days away from its official launch.

What Is A Mid-Engined Car After All?

Will GM's Strengthened Bowling Green Plant Work On Anything Beyond the 2020 C8 Corvette? Exterior Spyshots
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You might be wondering why people are going nuts about the mid-engined Corvette.

In a conventional car, you have all the mechanicals like the engine, transmission, wiring, etc. spread all around the car. But with the C8, GM will be bringing all this together and as close to the center of the car possible. This changes the driving characteristics and dynamics to a large extent. This setup is largely present in high-end sports cars, and giving the ’Vette’s excellent ride quality, people were literally begging the company to launch it with this setup. However, this setup drastically restricts the automaker’s freedom to play around with the car’s design. From what we have seen in the spied camouflaged C8, every little thing present on the body is aerodynamically-inclined; be it the front fascia, the wing mirrors, or even the door handles!

This Is What We Know About The C8 Till Now

Will GM's Strengthened Bowling Green Plant Work On Anything Beyond the 2020 C8 Corvette?
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If rumors are to be believed, the C8 will feature a 6.2-liter, V-8 engine in the entry-level trim that produces 460 horses, and a 5.5-liter, twin-turbo V-8 engine that produces 755 ponies.

There might be a hybrid engine in the works too, which could see the Corvette breach the four-digit power figure mark. The C8 was initially expected to make its debut the 2019 Detroit Show in January. But some ’major electrical’ screw-up delayed the launch by almost six months. Earlier this year, there were rumors that C8 Corvette could be called the Zora.

Final Thoughts

Will GM's Strengthened Bowling Green Plant Work On Anything Beyond the 2020 C8 Corvette? Exterior Spyshots
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It is no secret that the Corvette's sales are dropping every year. In fact, the car has seen a consistent drop in sales figures since 2014.

Chevrolet was able to move merely 18,791 examples compared to the 34,839 examples it moved in 2014 in the U.S. To top it all, GM announced that 2019 will be the final year model for the C7, or the Stingray. The final example of the C7 will be auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson charity auction that will be held on 28 June this year. So, this adds more pressure on the C8 and Chevrolet will hope all the other Corvette models will benefit and contribute to the improvement of the dwindling ’Vette sales once the C8 arrives.

Further Reading

Will GM's Strengthened Bowling Green Plant Work On Anything Beyond the 2020 C8 Corvette? Exterior Spyshots
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Read our speculative review on the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8.

Will GM's Strengthened Bowling Green Plant Work On Anything Beyond the 2020 C8 Corvette?
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Everything We Know About The Mid-Engined 2020Chevy C8 Corvette

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Read our full review on the 2020 Cadillac CT5.

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