The Bowling Green Assembly Plant typically sees between 40,000 and 50,000 people per year who visit the plant via the public tour program which offers enthusiasts a chance to see the famous American performance car being built. If you were planning a trip to Bowling Green Kentucky including a tour of the Corvette plant, you will want to make sure that you are there before September 14th as that is when GM will suspend all plant tours as they prepare for the launch of production for the C7 Corvette.
In addition to the basic public tour, General Motors has offered a program where new Corvette buyers can pay an additional $400 to be there in person to watch their new American sports car be built but that program was officially suspended effective July 30th. It is unclear as to when any of the tours – be it public tours or new buyer tours – will start back up.
While all public plant tours will stop in Bowling Green around the middle of next month, production of the current Chevrolet Corvette will continue running as normal with one normal 8 hour production shift running Monday through Friday while a second shift works to provide plant maintenance. The suspension of plant tours will allow General Motors to begin the retooling process needed to prepare for the production of the next generation Corvette, which includes replacement of large components of the production line. For both security and safety reasons – it makes good sense that GM wouldn’t want the public in or around the plant during the retooling process.
The retooling process required to build the C7 Chevrolet Corvette will require GM to invest $131 million dollars in the Bowling Green plant, creating 250 jobs in the process.
General Motors has done an incredible job keeping any images or information pertaining to the next generation Corvette well under wraps – including when the new model will arrive. It is widely rumored that the C7 will debut at a 2014 model year vehicle with production beginning sometime after a debut next year. If I had to guess, I would expect that we will get our first public look at the C7/2014 Chevrolet Corvette at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit – giving the Motor City the first look at the new American supercar.
The best look that we have gotten at the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette came in July via a short video from Omega Tool Corporation – the company responsible for the machinery that stamps out the Corvette front fascia. You can click here to have a look at the Omega video that offers us our best look yet at the new front end of the Chevrolet Corvette. The still image above is captured from the Omega video.