Open Menu
Open Menu

Corvette plant tours to be halted through 2018

Published in

Corvettes under assembly in Bowling Green, 2016. Photo by Sanford Myers, Courtesy of General Motors.

When GM’s Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant geared up for the switch from the C6 Corvette to the C7 Corvette in 2012, public tours of the factory were halted for a little over one year. After June 16, 2017, Corvette plant tours (now managed by the National Corvette Museum) will once again go on hiatus, this time for approximately 18 months as the facility begins the lengthy process of integrating a completely new paint shop and constructing a fresh tour route for visitors.

Each year, roughly 50,000 visitors from around the world tour the Bowling Green plant to watch Corvette models being pieced together. With the exception of blackout dates, three tours per day are generally offered, each taking about one hour and covering approximately one mile of walking. Those ordering a new Corvette can also watch the car being built before taking delivery at the nearby National Corvette Museum, and until recently, buyers of Corvette Z06 models could assist in the construction of its 650-horsepower supercharged LT4 V-8 as part of the Engine Build Experience.

In 2015, General Motors announced it would invest $439 million to modernize the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, home of the Chevrolet Corvette since its opening on June 1, 1981. A new paint shop is part of this most recent upgrade, and work on its construction began the same year, resulting in the occasional road closure or loss of parking at the plant, both just temporary inconveniences for visitors.

While both the Bowling Green Daily News and GM Authority report the duration of the upcoming closure as 18 months, the plant’s website is vague, saying only that, “We do not have additional details about when the tours will resume, but when more information is made available by the Assembly Plant it will be posted to our website and shared on social media.”

The Corvette Assembly Plant itself will be closed for three months as well, from August through October 2017, for maintenance work that can’t be performed while the production line is in operation. The shutdown will delay production of 2018 Corvettes ordered after June 12.

The R8C Museum Delivery program, minus the plant tour, will still be an available option during Bowling Green’s reconfiguration, but the Engine Build Experience has been suspended until further notice. For additional details, visit