Bowling Green, Kentucky – Torch Red, Shark Gray Metallic, and Laguna Blue Tintcoat, three popular palate choices on the 2015 Corvette, kept the marketers who make up names working late. Now they can dream about more painstakingly precise pigments, thanks to a new paint shop that is among $439 million being invested at the only plant in the world that builds Chevrolet’s sports car.
General Motors will retain 150 jobs and build a 450,000ft2 paint shop that is almost half the size of the entire current production facility. The investment builds on approximately $135 million GM has invested in the plant over the last four years for the new Corvette Stingray and Performance Build Center.
Construction of the new paint shop, which includes substantial technology upgrades, is planned to begin this summer and take approximately two years to complete. Corvette production schedules will be unaffected by the construction.
Along with new tooling and robots, the paint shop’s state-of-the-art environmental and efficiency enhancements include:
- Dry scrubber booth technology with limestone handling system designed to eliminate sludge water and waste
- Light-emitting diode (LED), lighting for process decks for improved visual inspection as well as energy savings
- FANUC robots with Versa-bell 3 electrostatic applicators for an extremely smooth finish and maximum transfer efficiency, saving 25% of the paint material used
- Longer, high-efficiency baking ovens for improved paint finish and lower energy use.
“With this major technology investment, we can continue to exceed the expectations of sports car buyers for years to come,” says North American Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. “These types of investments are evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make.”
Corvette production began in 1981 in Bowling Green following assembly in Flint, Michigan, and St. Louis., Missouri. Each has been an exclusive home of the Corvette, contributing to its distinction as the world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car. More than 1.6 million have been produced in 62 years.
The investments in Bowling Green are part of the $5.4 billion that GM said April 30 it would invest in U.S. facilities over the next three years.
Source: General Motors