GM Pauses Corvette Production As Tornado Causes Fire At Bowling Green Plant

Earlier last week, bad weather brought storms and tornados to parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. One area, in particular, was hit by a large tornado, taking out towns and demolishing buildings in its path. The Bowling Green plant in Kentucky where Chevrolet builds the new Corvette C8 happened to be in the way of this destructive weather.

Chevrolet Corvette production is paused this week

A white 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray with optional spoiler for non-Z51-equipped models
2022 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray | Chevrolet

Those waiting on on the new Corvette C8 are used to delays at this point. Production for the sports car has been delayed repeatedly due to semiconductor chip shortages and various pandemic-related delays. According to Automotive News, Corvette production is halted again due to the bad weather in the area. Saturday morning after the tornado, a fire broke out in the factory. This destroyed the building’s roof and damaged one of the employee entrances. Those who were inside the facility were able to get out safely.

Chevrolet has to get the building back in shape before it is safe for anyone to go inside. The building houses 1,200 hourly workers and 180 salaried workers, who will be out of work all week. Automotive News says that in the first nine months of the year, Corvette sales went up 95.8%. That is compared to January through September 2020. That’s 24,748 cars in the U.S. alone this year compared to 12,634 last year.

An additional 1,187 units were delivered to buyers in Canada, plus 120 vehicles in Mexico. Since offering the Corvette C8 in a right-hand-drive configuration, which has opened more doors for the sports car.

GM has shut down production of the Corvette a few times

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A GM rep told Automotive News that the fire “has caused damage to the facility, including the roof and an employee entrance. The small number of onsite employees are all safe.” The rep reiterated that having a safe work environment is the top priority right now. Teams will be working on getting the equipment and facility back up and running while it is closed this week.

GM has halted Corvette production at the facility three times in recent years. Once in March and again in October and November due to the pandemic.

A nearby candle factory in Mayfield, Kentucky, was one of the hardest-hit areas. The factory was leveled with more than 90 people inside. Eight of those staff did not make it out. Another Amazon factory in St. Louis had the roof ripped off while people were inside.

What are the trim levels for the 2022 model?

The 2022 Chevrolet Corvette 1LT starts at $62,195 and has a zero to 60 mph time of 2.9 seconds. The 2LT begins at $68,200. According to GM, the Corvette has a top speed of 194 mph, and 6.2L LT2 V8 is the most powerful Stingray ever produced. The Chevy sports car has 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque to offer drivers. There are various ways to customize the Corvette, but it isn’t clear when buyers will receive the sports car.

The top Corvette trim is the 3LT convertible, starting at $79,850. Reservations are closed for the speedy GM vehicle, but there’s always next year.

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