May 23, 2015

Chevrolet Corvette Plant gets US$ 439-million in upgrades

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
US$ 439-million being invested at the only plant in the world that builds Chevrolet's iconic sports car.

General Motors (GM) announced the moves that include retaining 150 jobs and building the 450,000 sq-ft paint shop that is almost half the size of the entire current production facility. The investment builds on approximately US$135-million GM has invested in the plant over the last four years for the new Corvette Stingray and Performance Build Center. The announcement was followed by a groundbreaking event for the new paint shop.

"The Corvette is one of Kentucky's most-cherished icons," said. Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen. "Such a significant expansion of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will help the company remain competitive in the region and around the world."

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, or LED, lighting for process decks for improved visual inspection as well as energy savings
• State-of-the-art Fanuc robots with Versa-bell 3 electrostatic applicators for an extremely smooth finish and maximum transfer efficiency, saving 25 percent of the paint material used, which also benefits the environment
• Longer, high-efficiency baking ovens for exceptional 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," said North American Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. "These types of investments are evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make."

UAW Vice-President Cindy Estrada added, "This new paint shop will mirror the efficiencies and technologies of the new body shop, installed with the launch of the Stingray. Hardworking UAW members have proudly built vehicles in Bowling Green for more than 30 years, and we are pleased to be a part of such a significant facility upgrade."


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