By on December 13, 2021

Chevrolet’s Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, will be seeing a week of downtime following the vicious tornadoes that swept through the United States over the weekend. With twisters populating Southern and Midwestern states, Kentucky became ground zero from some of the most devastating weather seen all year.

Governor Andy Beshear called for a state of emergency Saturday due to the extensive damage across the state, with Bowling Green yielding some of the most harrowing examples. While the Corvette factory was spared the total destruction endured by other buildings, General Motors has said the site will still need to remain closed so the necessary cleanup can be done.

“[A fire] has caused damage to the facility, including the roof and an employee entrance. The small number of employees that were on-site are all safe,” GM explained to Automotive News on Sunday. “Maintaining a safe work environment for plant employees is our top priority.”

From AN:

GM said first and second shifts at the factory would be canceled the week of Dec. 13 “as our trained teams work to get tooling, equipment and the facility space up to standard.”

The plant employs about 1,200 hourly workers, represented by UAW Local 2164, along with about 180 salaried workers.

U.S. sales of the Corvette sports car nearly doubled in the first nine months of the year compared with the same period in 2020. GM sold 24,748 Corvettes through September, compared with 12,634 a year earlier, when production was paused for eight weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Though this year’s output wasn’t seamless. GM stalled operations at the plant last March and a few times in the fall. These production hang-ups were all attributed to supply chain issues and parts shortages (specifically semiconductors), rather than acts of nature. However, following the 2014 incident where Mother Earth opened a sinkhole that tried to swallow the National Corvette Museum, one could be excused for thinking the planet might have something against Chevrolet’s halo car.

Toyota’s Kentucky operations may have shared a few of those component-related hiccups this year, but it doesn’t look as though its massive Georgetown production hub will be seeing downtime due to tornadoes. Despite the neighboring area similarly being subject to severe weather, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK), was said to be fully operational. Damage incurred by the facility was reportedly minimal, with only a few nearby suppliers seeing power outages.

[Image: General Motors]

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18 Comments on “Corvette Production Halted Over Kentucky Tornadoes, TMMK Okay...”


  • avatar
    redapple

    The Corvette Plant Tour and the Museum is not to be missed.
    See it when in the area. (and the kentucky bourbon trail.)

  • avatar
    JMII

    The C8 plant can’t seem to catch a break, they have strikes, delays, shutdowns, parts shortages… now a twister – in December?!?

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Sure seems to be cursed…however, I drove a friend’s C8 three weeks ago. Initial impression was really good – you can feel the difference in how the car wants to rotate with the heavy stuff behind you. Shifts were incredibly quick and the car just leapt off the line. However, I’m not in a hurry to own one. Our C7s are fantastic cars.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I saw a C8 in traffic yesterday in all black and swore it was McLaren at first glance. My wife is in LOVE with its aggressive looks but I think our C7s look better as they are clean and not so busy. For me a C8 is a long way off too, maybe in 5 years.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Late Friday night and into early Saturday morning was a bit nerve-wracking. Louisville was spared the tornadoes that levelled huge parts to the SW of here. The long-track tornado broke up before crossing into the urban area. For large parts of the night, winds were 60+ mph, sideways rain, and the feel that this should have been a storm that hits in the heat of August, not in December.

    I don’t think many in this area slept well Friday night with all of the alerts and the noise outside. But the destruction in the western part of the state is just total – it looks like someone picked up the towns and dropped them on the floor.

    If you can, donate blood – odds are it will make it to Kentucky because of the critical shortage and the number of injured people.

    And in the light of this horror show that we woke up to on Saturday morning, there is the story of the 80 year old photograph. It was sucked out by the tornado from a town that was almost totally destroyed and landed on a windshield in New Albany, IN – an Indiana suburb of Louisville. It was posted on social media and the owners of the photo came forward. The photo made a 130 mile trip to land on that windshield.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    No blog post over Time Magazine’s Person of the Year?

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Nah. Time offers a level of critical thinking that’s normally reserved for hosts of The View. Everything it said about Musk would have been things our audience was already aware of. The most I could contribute by mentioning it was that Elon’s haircut looked pretty busted in the video interview that followed.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    For those so inclined, you can donate to a relief organization such as Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Cthulhu is speculating on C8s and won’t rest until they are all sold.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    -going into full Young Codger mode- It’s not ugly, oh my sweet jeebus and for the sake of all that is holy, it’s not ugly. Gentlemen, as el- Scott’s pappy told him in his formative years, “Son, don’t wear, drive, or sleep with anything that’s ugly. Your life will be much improved with not much effort, just some good judgement.”

    Geely has seriously improved Volvo’s styling game. I do wax sentimental about the “bricks” of your. Across the spectrum almost everyone makes butt-ugly SUVs. On the NA domestic front, not even GM can eff-up the Escalade or the Suburban. However GM’s gotta GM and they’ll try their best. Lincoln blings up some Ford SUVs and tries to be the American Acura. Lincoln could be an upgrade or an advanced trim model, depends on how you look at it. Lincoln doesn’t have to make that much money unlike a whole division of GM. Heck, GM can’t even badge-engineer correctly and profitably. Steallantis should just sent some big checks to Lee Iaccoca’s kids, the Cherokee hasn’t changed since Lido was in charge.

    This now leads us to the sluttiest of the sluts. Most of the European SUV builders. The Ultimate Driving Machine is now a school drop-off lane SUV that handles a tad better than a John Deere. MB and “The Best or Nothing?” Err, what is the best and heavens forbid nothing when you’re driving something with the handling characteristics and attractiveness of a school bus? Let us not forget the hand made shoes crowd. Rolls Royce, Bentley and even Lamborghini are make “bespoke” SUVs. The automotive gods are split into warring camps over these be spoke SUVs: full, deep sobbing; sarcastic laughter, and some saying build it, the newly rich have no taste.

    Which leads us to what I call “The Pit”. Most SUVs look the same, drive, the same, post the same performance numbers and all are built at various degrees of ugliness. So you significant other has put down her well-shod foot and demanded the new popular with women SUV? Oh, you can try to guide her to a BOF, V-8 powered SUV that will last until you both have to to the nursing home. However those shoes slip off, and other things, and all of that has a great deal of sway over us. IN the end you end up with a somewhere on the ugly scale SUV and pretty woman. The ugly SUV will be gone in 6-8 years, 10 years top.

    You’ve just got an SUV that was born in the pit, will live in the pit and will die in the pit. You’ve got an SUV that’s the equivalent of a mall food court meal. It’s not that good, it’s gaudily colored, and fills a basic need. It doesn’t fill much else. You’re driving the moral equivalent of pick any car in the aisle at the car rental agency. Which car doesn’t really matter, you just want to dump your luggage in the trunk and put the Marriott address in the GPS.

    IMHO Volvo makes some of the best looking SUVs being sold today. GM makes exactly one good looking SUV and that’s the Escalade. Over the top, gloriously American, and filled with braggadocio. Lincoln SUV appeal to those who understand surgeons cuffs, leaving one button undone and saphir shoe cream. For Steallantis, to paraphrase Lido, if you can find a better SUV, buy it. We did, in droves Toyota and Lexus wooed a lot of people over. Lord help me, but I like the way the new Defender looks. -mumbling- you’ll work until you’re 80 keeping it on the road.

    My QOTD: What do you think is the best looking SUV?

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Much empathy to those affected by the tornados…
    That aside…
    In my lifetime, the Corvette, and Corvette owner, was synonymous with pretenders, fakers, idiots, misled enthusiasts, narcissists, … etc. It is only fitting that GM is the originator, and the endless huckster of all this. Some years in Detroit, those things had a 25% public discount off MSRP.
    Don’t forget the Corvette museum almost falling into a well-placed Karma sinkhole (cue the comparison to GM stock).

    But there’s more: Mark Reuss stuffed one in the wall in front of the whole world at the Detroit Gran Prix while in the pace car. Duh. Duuhhhhhh You can’t make this stuff up.

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