Corvette Production Restarting Following Violent Tornado

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The deadly storm also caused facility damage.

The deadly tornado with winds hitting 150 mph that passed through the state of Kentucky last Saturday morning may be gone but there's still plenty of destruction. The Corvette factory in Bowling Green didn't escape without injury. Following the storm, General Motors confirmed the facility sustained damage by way of a roof fire and an employee entrance. There was no choice but to shut the entire building down until teams could properly evaluate the full extent of what happened and make any necessary repairs. That's reportedly been completed.

Production is set to resume at the plant this coming Monday. This is excellent news for all of the plant's 1,200 employees who were idled for a week.

David J. Schutt/Facebook
David J. Schutt/Facebook

Only about 90 workers remained on the job because their specific trade skills were needed. Monday's production restart won't be at 100 percent capacity but rather a so-called "cadenced return," meaning only certain employees will be called in. Everyone should be back on Tuesday, assuming all remains on schedule.

"A safe restart of Bowling Green Assembly is our top priority, along with ensuring production of the highest quality vehicles for our customers," said GM spokesman David Barnas. "Thanks to the incredible efforts of our employees at the plant - coupled with the additional assistance from other GM manufacturing locations - restoration efforts of the facility have quickly progressed this week."

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The automaker isn't saying how much it cost to repair the damage but it did acknowledge management worked with teams from other GM plants to quickly come up with an effective repair plan. Only 48 hours after the tornado struck, the carmaker had already transported some materials from other facilities, including the just-completed Factory ZERO in Detroit, to Bowling Green.

The Corvette Stingray and the new Corvette Z06 continue to remain in high demand. Bowling Green has been mostly unaffected by the semiconductor chip shortage crisis but did suffer previous setbacks due to supplier issues, the pandemic's onset, and the five-week-long UAW strike in September 2019.

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