Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Announces Major Renovation at GM Plant in Bowling Green
Exclusive home of the iconic Corvette to add 250 new jobs, invest more than $131 million
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (May 4, 2011) – Gov. Steve Beshear today joined community leaders and officials of General Motors in Bowling Green to announce the company will refurbish its Bowling Green facility, adding a new vehicle product program – the next-generation Chevy Corvette. The expansion will entail the creation of 250 new jobs and a capital investment in excess of $131 million in the Commonwealth.
“Kentucky has a longstanding, mutually beneficial relationship with GM and this significant investment further demonstrates the strength of our partnership,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are proud to be the exclusive home of the Corvette and look forward to continuing that tradition for years to come with the launch of the next-generation Chevy Corvette. We appreciate GM’s continued confidence in Kentucky’s workforce and business climate.”
Gov. Beshear met with senior GM executives last week in Detroit, Mich., to discuss the company’s potential investment in Bowling Green. Refurbishment of the plant, which will include new manufacturing machinery, equipment and tooling will commence this spring. The new Corvette model is expected to hit dealer showrooms in mid-2013.
“Our announcement today is possible thanks to our great partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Bowling Green community and the UAW,” said Mark Reuss, GM North America president. “It represents our commitment to this plant, this area, and this nation.”
General Motors began production of the Corvette in Bowling Green in 1981. The one million square-foot plant remains the exclusive home of the iconic Corvette, employing nearly 500 people. GM’s presence has a tremendous impact on Kentucky’s economy and is a major part of Kentucky’s rich automotive history. It was for this reason that in 2010, legislation was passed making the Corvette Kentucky’s official state sports car.
An economic impact study performed by the Cabinet for Economic Development shows the number of direct, indirect and induced jobs that will result from GM’s existing and new employment in Bowling Green is nearly 1,950 jobs. Those jobs will provide an annual $222 million boost to Kentucky’s Gross Domestic Product.
“This is a great development for the economy of the Bowling Green area,” said Sen. Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green. “This investment will bring new jobs and increased economic growth to the families of our region.”
“This is great news for our economy that the Corvette facility will be significantly upgraded and create 250 good-paying jobs in Bowling Green,” said Rep. Jody Richards, of Bowling Green. “The entire community is grateful that General Motors is demonstrating its confidence in us and our local workers.”
Kentucky has long been a hub for automotive activity and is currently the home of four major assembly plants, as well as more than 430 motor vehicle-related suppliers. The Commonwealth is the third largest manufacturer of cars and light trucks in America. In fact, 11.6 percent of all cars and trucks produced in the United States are made in Kentucky.
To encourage this investment by GM, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $7.5 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows GM to keep a portion of its investment over an eight-year period through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
“Bowling Green has been proud to be home to General Motors’ Corvette plant since the 1980s, and we’re grateful for all this company does for our economy,” said Bowling Green City Mayor Joe Denning. “The Corvette is a symbol of this community, and we look forward to many more years of partnership with General Motors. We congratulate the company on the announcement today.”
“It’s an incredible honor for our community to be linked to the Corvette, and we want to continue our strong partnership with General Motors in the future,” added Warren County Judge Executive Michael Buchanon. “We’re proud to show our appreciation for the economic impact that the local plant makes on our region. We also thank Governor Beshear, our federal and state lawmakers, and our Chamber of Commerce leaders for the resources they have provided to General Motors to assist in meeting the company’s needs.”
For more information on the Bowling Green GM plant, visit www.bowlinggreenassemblyplant.com.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.
A detailed community profile for Bowling Green (Warren County) can be viewed at http://thinkkentucky.com/EDIS/cmnty/index.aspx?cw=067.
Follow Governor Beshear on Twitter @Govstevebeshear, read the Governor's personal notes on his blog at http://blog.governor.ky.gov/, and view the Governor's weekly YouTube commentary at http://www.youtube.com/governorbeshear.