GM Keeps Corvette Chassis Flowing, Even if They Can’t Turn Them Into Cars

While most of the auto industry has been completely shut down for the last two months, a few plants have kept the lights on. Because the cars must flow. One of those is the plant in Indiana that buts together the chassis of the C8 Corvette.

The Bedford, IN, plant is still running three shifts per day, says the New York Times, but things are far from normal (about 220 miles from Normal, but that’s a different story.) Instead of 250 hourly workers, just 20 per shift were pushing buttons and moving parts at the plant. A GM spokesperson told the Times that all of the workers were volunteers, continuing to get their usual hourly wage.

Corvette production is important for Chevrolet and GM, if as much for brand image as for profit. The much-anticipated C8 was already significantly delayed by last year’s strike, and dealers were told to start taking 2021 model year orders a month ahead of schedule starting the 21st of this month. But when production finally restarts at Bowling Green, again anticipated to happen later this month, there will be chassis waiting and ready for their fibreglass bodies and V8 engines. The plant has installed additional safety measures including temperature scanners and added social distancing protocols inside.

Bedford isn’t the only GM plant at least partially up and running. According to the NYT report, GM’s big SUV plant in Arlington, TX, saw workers return for 10 days to finish up the run of 2020 model year full-size SUVs in order to make the changes required to start the all-new 2021 Escalade, Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon.