LOUISVILLE — General Motors plans to idle Corvette production in Bowling Green for six months to prepare for the next generation of the iconic sports car.
Production will halt sometime in February to make way for retooling, renovating the body shop and retraining employees, GM spokesman Monte Doran said. Production on the next model will begin in the third quarter of 2013, he said.
GM has retooled plants before while continuing production, but that wasn't feasible at the Corvette plant, he said.
That's because of the scope of the vehicle's redesign. The 2014 Corvette will have just two carry-over parts from the current model, Doran said: the interior cabin air filter and the rear latch for the removable roof panel.
Plant manager Dave Tatman said some temporary layoffs will occur during the production downtime but will last days and not months.
GM last year announced a $131 million investment in the plant, along with plans to add about 250 jobs. About 150 of those jobs have been added this year and the work force will continue to grow next year, Tatman said.