BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WDRB) -- It is the only Corvette plant in the world and the only GM plant in Kentucky.
The plant and its workers have made a big comeback with a new and improved Corvette.
GM spent more than $131 million to retool the plant and retrain its workers to build the seventh generation Corvette which is now rolling off the assembly line in Bowling Green.
"We are very excited about this C-7 new generation Corvette," says plant manager Dave Tatman to WDRB News, "that we decided to use the name Stingray again, a hallowed iconic name in Corvette history."
The new C-7 Stingray is a radical redesign from the C-6.
"This car is unique in that there are only two parts in this car common to what we used in the C-6," says Tatman.
Five years ago in 2008 during the Great Recession and General Motors in bankruptcy, the future of the Corvette was very much in doubt.
But what a difference five years can make.
"We have moved way past that," explains Tatman, "GM is an all new company and as evidence of that we have the all new Corvette."
Because of the radical new design, earlier this year the plant had to be shut down for six months for the retooling.
But now jobs are being added.
"We've brought in more than 300 new employees to be part of the launching of this new car," says Tatman.
The plant now has about a thousand workers, more than double from three years ago.
The new Corvette has more of a European sports car look than previous models. Its 6.2 Liter V-8 engine has 455 horsepower.
The Corvettes aluminum frame and improved weight and balance should mean better handling.
"It is an eye catcher, performance wise it is on top of its game; it is just a well balanced, well designed vehicle."
Mark Thomas made the trip to Bowling Green from Columbus, Ohio to watch his red Corvette being built along the assembly line.
"I am very excited, I wish I could drive it off the line and take it home today," he said.
The sticker price for the new Corvette starts at $52,000.
The new Kentucky made Corvette started showing up in dealer showrooms last week.
By the way, public tours at the Corvette plant resume on Monday, October 14.
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