Wednesday, May 4, 2011

General Motors Corvette Plant in Bowling Green Kentucky to Undergo Major Renovation

General Motors Corvette Plant to Undergo Major Renovation

Corvette Assembly to Add 250 New Jobs, Invest More Than $131 million




BOWLING GREEN, KY - Governor 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 -- creating 250 new jobs and a capital investment of more than $131 million.

"Kentucky has a longstanding, mutually beneficial relationship with GM and this significant investment further demonstrates the strength of our partnership," said Governor 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."

Governor Beshear met with senior GM executives last week in Detroit, Mich., to discuss the company's potential investment in Bowling Green. Warren County Judge Executive Michael Buchanon and Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Ron Bunch, CEcD also attended the meeting to emphasize the community's support for the project.

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 on 212 acres has remained the exclusive home of the iconic Corvette for 30 years and currently employs nearly 500 people. In 2010, the plant produced 15,791 Corvettes.

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 naming the Corvette as Kentucky's official state sports car.

With this expansion, the South Central Kentucky region has announced the creation of 638 jobs and a capital investment of more than $158 million in 2011, already surpassing annual figures from previous years. Adding to the broad base of existing employment at the Corvette Assembly Plant, the 250 new jobs will create an additional 140 indirect jobs and $7.9 million in retail spending.

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.

GM's local plant has a tremendous impact on the economy in Bowling Green and South Central Kentucky. Not only are automotive suppliers located here to serve the GM plant, but car dealerships, tourism and many other markets also benefit from being located in the same region as the Corvette. In turn, they support GM's continued investment in the community by promoting the plant and taking pride in its location here.

To encourage the 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 (KBI) 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.

KBI is a part of Incentives for New Kentucky (INK), which was enacted by Governor Beshear and the state legislature, including Representatives Johnny Bell, Jim DeCesare, Jody Richards and Wilson Stone of Warren County, in June 2009 to revise previous incentive programs and create new incentive opportunities for economic development. Support given by these local legislators, as well as Senator Mike Wilson, to INK has enhanced business attraction, retention and expansion efforts throughout South Central Kentucky.

"Bowling Green has been proud to be home to General Motors' Corvette plant since the 1980's, 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."

Through a Job Development Incentive Program, the City of Bowling Green has established incentives that encourage economic development. The program helps maximize state incentives for companies creating new jobs in Bowling Green, such as GM's 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 legislators, and our Chamber of Commerce leaders for the resources they have provided to General Motors to assist in meeting the company's needs."

"The Chamber is a proud supporter of GM and is honored to be able to assist them in meeting any needs they might have. We congratulate the company on today's announcement, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them," said Rodney Rogers, Chamber Board of Directors chairman.

Rogers continued, "We also thank the City, County and State for partnering with the Chamber on this and all other economic development projects. Their work is invaluable in supporting our community's business-friendly atmosphere."

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.

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