Corvette Factory Tours, which last about one hour and 15 minutes, are offered at the plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Visitors can watch both robots and factory workers, coming together to create America’s sports car at the General Motor’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant. Built in 1981, the plant is one million square feet large, covering 212 acres. New Corvette owners can even watch their very own car being made, which is then presented to them at Corvette Museum across the street.
World Renowned Reputation
With almost 400 production workers working one 10-hour shift daily from Monday through Thursday, the production plant is host to 50,000 visitors from around the world per year. Both the plant and the Corvette have won various awards and accolades for quality including those from J.D. Powers, Consumer Digest and Consumer Reports. In January 2011, the Corvette ZR1 was labelled as one of the top five most collectible cars.
Reservations Are Available
Depending upon the time of the year, Corvette Factory Tour reservations can be advantageous, although walk-ins are also welcomed. Reservations should be made at least 9 days in advance. Tickets are available at the front desk; however, visitors are advised to arrive at least 45 minutes before tour time. Those without reservations can wait one to two hours before going on the tour. There is a film on safety and an introduction to the plant to watch prior to beginning the one mile walking tour. New Corvette owners receive a special tour as they watch their car being built.
Groups are organized into 20 to 25 people. Private groups can be accommodated of up to 20 people. School children can visit as long as they are over 7 years of age. Strollers are not allowed nor are any children under the age of 7 for safety reasons. The plant is handicapped accessible. Phones, cameras, and backpacks are not permitted and must be left in the car since there are no guest facilities to accommodate their storage. For safety reasons, no sandals are permitted either, only closed toe shoes during Corvette Factory tours. The plant is closed most major holidays. Depending upon the time of day, visitors may see only a few workers since the tours run continuously and may run during workers? breaks or lunches.
Where It All Comes Together
The spaceframe and the engine are built in other locations; however, the Corvette is assembled at this plant. Robots weld and paint the initial spaceframe which is lighter than a regular steel car frame. Then the almost 400 production plant workers take over, aided with state-of-the-art tools and machines.
The Corvette is lighter than most cars since the side panels are made of fiberglass. The transmission is located at the rear of the vehicle instead upfront under the engine in order to balance out the weight and making the car faster and easier to handle.
The spaceframes are given the rear trunk and side panels first. Visitors watch the cars go from the preparation area to the attachment of the chassis to the installation of the engine in this walk through tour. After the car is assembled, it is tested to be sure that all parts, especially the engine, are in perfect working order.
After the tour, you’ll understand all that it takes to make America’s sports car the finely tuned machine that it.