Update: $439 Million Corvette Plant Upgrade Includes Massive Paint Shop

Matick Chevy Corvette Assembly Plant
About 150 jobs will be retained as part of GM's Corvette plant makeover.

May 21, 2015 — GM announced today that it will spend $439 million on upgrades at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Ky. This investment adds to the $135 million GM has already pumped into the facility over the past four years for the new Corvette Stingray and the Performance Build Center.

A new 450,000-square-foot, environment-friendly paint shop, almost half the size of the entire current production facility, will include substantial technology upgrades, new tooling and robots to improve efficiency.

Construction will begin this summer and last two years. Corvette production schedules will be unaffected by the construction.

“With this major technology investment, we can continue to exceed the expectations of sports car buyers for years to come,” said North American Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. “These types of investments are evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make.”

Matick Chevy Arvin Jones Corvette
GM's Arvin Jones detailed the upgrades.

Added UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada: “This new paint shop will mirror the efficiencies and technologies of the new body shop, installed with the launch of the Stingray.”

Corvette production began in 1981 in Bowling Green following assembly in Flint, Mich., and St. Louis, Mo. Each has been an exclusive home of the Corvette, contributing to its distinction as the world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car. More than 1.6 million have been produced in 62 years.

Since the launch of the all-new 2014 Stingray, the Corvette has won more awards than any other car in the industry, including the 2014 American Car of the Year, Car & Driver’s 10 Best and Automobile Magazine’s Automobile of the Year.

Building on that recognition, Corvette sales reached an eight-year high in 2014 with almost 38,000 cars sold globally. The plant welcomed a record 56,000 tourists last year.

The new Performance Build Center opened last year and in March began hosting customers in the Build Your Own Engine program. More information about Bowling Green Assembly is available at corvetteassembly.com.

The investments in Bowling Green are part of the $5.4 billion that GM said it would invest in U.S. facilities over the next three years.

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GM Plans $400 Million Makeover At The Corvette Plant In Bowling Green

Watch this morning's First Shift video report from Automotive News about the planned $400 million makeover at the Corvette Bowling Green, Ky. manufacturing facility, including a paint shop and other upgrades.

Click here to listen. There is a short video ad before the report.

GM is scheduled to make the announcement later today (May 21, 2015).

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‘Danny Boy’ Kellermeyer Adds Two C7s To Rev Up The New Racing Season

Matick Kellermeyer Corvette Racing
Danny Kellermeyer's #37 Matick Chevy-sponsored C6 wins again at Waterford Hills.

How's this for a winter project?

DJ Racing driver Danny Kellermeyer spent the off-season taking apart his four speedy Corvettes — piece by piece.

"This winter might have been long and cold, but that didn’t stop us from working in the shop tearing down, rebuilding, prepping and fabricating our race cars. Our yellow C6 and C5 were completely dismantled to the frame, checked, reassembled and prepped for the 2015 season," says the effervescent Michigan-based race champion.

At the same time, Kellermeyer added two new C7s to his stable of fast Corvettes —   one yellow and one cyber gray.

"These cars were torn down to every last screw and bolt, cages installed and built back from the ground up. We built these C7s just like all the past Corvettes we've customized,” says the legendary builder-driver.

"Every piece is looked at to see if it can be made stronger, lighter and better. The part is then modified, replaced or, if  nothing can be done, it is reinstalled as is. All new wiring harnesses are made as the engine and ABS are completely stand-alone systems. These Corvettes are complete racecars and easier to work on if problems occur.”

Kellermeyer says his first C7 is on target to hit the track for testing this summer. If preparations go as planned, his Matick Chevy/Corvette Central-sponsored yellow DJ Racings C7 speedster will be tearing up Midwest tracks soon.

Matick Kellermeyer C7
Sweet: Kellermeyer's new C7 racecar will be ready for racing later this summer.

Let's Race

With those new C7s still in the shop, Kellermeyer was able to run his C6 for the first race of the season on May 2-3 at Michigan's Waterford Road Racing course. Great weather conditions contributed to great track times as the racing was tight for all three events with four Touring 1 class cars leading the pack every time.

Two BMWs, a silver Corvette and DJ Racing's familiar #37 yellow Corvette were all nose-to-tail and side-by-side for most of the races. The lead seemed to change multiple times every lap, but it was the Matick Chevy-sponsored DJ Racing Corvette that prevailed at the finish line in all three races.

“This year started right where the last year season ended — very competitive. Just the way I like it,” reports Kellermeyer.

“Driver Tony Mac in his well-prepared BMW was tough and wasn’t afraid to mix it up on any corner. I just had to run it out until one of us had to drop back. We finished one race side-by-side with only a marker light setting us apart. The victory was just .043 seconds.

"I don’t think either of us knew who actually won that race. Now that is great racing," concludes an excited Kellermeyer.

Matick Kellermeyer Checked Flag Racing
Danny Kellermeyer takes another checkered flag in his first 2015 outing.

Photos by Mark Windecker

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John Heinricy Heads to Road Atlanta

Road atlanta
After traveling to Tampa, Florida for the final prep of two Corvette GT1 racecars sponsored by Exsys Eppinger, John Heinricy will be heading to the Road Atlanta racetrack for the SCCA Double Majors race on March 19-22. Road Atlanta is recognized as one the world’s best road courses and is situated on 750-park-like acres in the rolling hills of Northeast Georgia.

Heinricy will be racing the #97 GT1 Corvette, which is the same number he used to win the National Championship at Road Atlanta in 1993. “This is a bit of a homecoming for me. Or a ‘trip down memory lane,’ as some say.” The team owner Stewart Bachmann will drive the second GT1 Corvette.

There is expected to be about 12 GT1 cars in Heinricy’s class, including 2 Jaguars and the rest will be Corvettes. This class is often referred to as the “ground pounders” because of the awesome sound of the 800 HP engines accelerating down the straights. We asked Mr. Heinricy about his confidence level and he commented, “It will be very competitive and while I am certainly going for a win, this is our first time out so anything can happen. Our team is well prepared.”

Heinricy also talked about his plans for the first day at the track, “It will be a test day on Thursday March 19th and our goal is for Stewart and me to get acclimated to the racetrack.” Specific things Heinricy mentioned were evaluating the car setup and making appropriate changes to the chassis and gearing so the car will work well at Road Atlanta. Heinricy added that his team will probably bed in tires and brakes on that day as well so they have good hardware ready for the races on Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, Heinricy will be qualifying for the races. He will have two sessions on the track to establish his best lap times. These times then are used to establish the starting order for the Saturday race with the fastest starting in front “on the pole”. For Sunday’s race, the driver with the fastest time from Saturday’s race will start from the pole.

GT1 1993Road Atlanta is a very storied racetrack in a picturesque setting. It's fast with very challenging turns through many elevation changes. From talking with Mr. Heinricy, it sounds like he is ready to go back for another win. “It is one of my favorite racetracks in the world and I am really excited to be back in the seat of a Corvette racecar. It feels like home!”

For more information on Road Atlanta, including race details and schedule, please visit www.scca.com.

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Pothole Season is Here: What You Need To Know

It’s been a cold winter and, while it may not be completely over, we are starting to see the aftermath in the form of potholes and damage to roads. Potholes form when water seeps into cracks in the pavement, freezes and expands. Traffic over these areas as well as rain accelerates the process. Potholes can be a big problem for motorists, damaging wheels or rims, tires, suspension components, and even engines. While avoiding these hazardous parts of the pavement is ideal, it’s not always possible, as we all know. If you hit a pothole and suspect that there is damage to your vehicle it is best to follow the steps below.

Chevys Extreme Pothole Testing
1. Assess The Damage

We’ve all been there. The winter thaw has begun and you’re cruising when, WHAM! Your car plunges into a crater-like hole in the road. The first thing you should do is stop as soon as your can, safely, and assess the damage. Even if you hit a pothole and the car feels and sounds fine, it’s always a good idea to check. You might have a situation similar to this Corvette owner’s:

“Midway through the road trip from Bowling Green to San Francisco in the brand new C7, I change lanes to pass a semi and hit a pothole. The car felt fine and no warnings but we pulled over to check it out and I spotted the top of the front driver side suspension popped out and extending into the engine bay.”

2. File a Claim and Report

It may not make sense to file a claim if your deductible is more than the cost of repair, but if you do see major damage to your vehicle, you should file a claim with your insurance company. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of any damage as well as the pothole for later use.

Whether you intend to make a claim for damage or not, you should make it a priority to report the pothole to your local highway authority or jurisdiction so that the road can be repaired to prevent further incidents.

3. Take Your Vehicle to a Certified Service Technician

Some damage to your vehicle may not be visible by doing a walk around. After hitting a pothole, especially at high speeds, it’s advised to take it in to a certified service technician who can fully inspect and repair your vehicle. After driving through a pothole, bent rims to steering system misalignment or a full-on tire puncture may follow. If you are driving a car with a low profile, like a Corvette, there could be damage to the undercarriage. It’s best to have a professional run an inspection.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid hitting potholes this spring:
     - Prepare your vehicle by making sure that your tires are properly inflated.
     - Leave more room between the car in front of you to give yourself time to avoid        
     - If you cannot safely avoid a pothole, try to slow down your vehicle and drive        
       straight through. Make sure you keep a firm grip on the steering wheel, so that
       your vehicle does not suddenly change direction.
     - Avoid driving distractions and, above all, keep your eyes on the road.

If you have a run-in with a pothole this spring and are in need of repairs, contact the Matick Service Department at (866) 561-0521 to schedule an inspection by one of their certified technicians. You can also schedule a service appointment online.

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The Corvette “Engine Build Experience” Returns

Screen Shot 2015 02 27 at 4 27 17 PM

Chevy’s Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant in Kentucky resumes its one-of-a-kind “Engine Build Experience” this month for Z06 customers.

The in-plant adventure allows Corvette enthusiasts to be personally involved in assembling their own 650-hp supercharged LT4 engine for their new ‘Vette.

Participants will work for a full day alongside a skilled engine assembly technician inside the plant’s Performance Build Center.

The Engine Build Experience can be selected with order code PBC and is offered on all Z06 trim levels. After the order is submitted, personnel from the National Corvette Museum will handle concierge services for the customer, following up on the scheduled build date and handling logistics on the day of the build.

The $5,000 package (travel and lodging extra) also includes professional photos of the experience and a personalized engine plaque with the owner’s name and the date of the build.
It’s really a dream program for any Corvette customer, says Harlan Charles, Corvette product manager. Those who take part in the engine build won’t be leaving the plant with their finished Z06. “It’s important for customers to understand their engine won’t be installed the day after they built it,” he adds. “It will flow into the scheduling process for vehicle assembly, which depends on a number of logistical variables.”

Corvette buyers also can take delivery of their vehicles at the National Corvette Museum or watch their vehicles being built at the Corvette assembly plant.

Customers also can watch their Corvette being assembled through a special tour organized by the National Corvette Museum. They can also opt for Museum Delivery (order code R8C), which personalizes the buying experience with delivery at the National Corvette Museum, located near the Bowling Green Assembly Plant.
The assembly line tour and museum delivery are available for Corvette Stingray and Z06 customers.

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Z06 Packs Supercharged Features And Awesome Performance Tweaks

aero view

The amazing performance capabilities and advanced high-tech features of the new Z06 provide great selling points for Corvette dealers.

“It’s the luxurious next level of Corvette with awesome street and track capabilities,” says Rich Curran, who sells Corvettes for George Matick Chevrolet in metro Detroit.

“What makes the Z06 so unique are the engine modifications. It’s still a 6.2 V8, but it’s supercharged. It went from being about a 460-horsepower engine to a 650-horsepower engine with 650 pounds of torque,” he adds.

The 2015 Z06 is the industry’s only supercar to achieve 650 horsepower and offer a choice of two transmissions – a seven-speed manual or an all-new eight-speed paddle-shift automatic – as well as a choice between coupe and convertible.

Curran says the 2015 edition includes lots of small tweaks, taken straight from the racetrack to create better aerodynamic performance. Here are some key features that Curran thinks make the Z06 stand out:

• The vents in the front fender panel were designed to deliver the most possible airflow to the supercharger’s intercooler heat exchanger. The mesh grill directs more air into the engine bay than if the grille was removed.

front vent
• The aggressive spoiler on the back and additional air ducts also contributes to the vehicle’s amazing downforce performance. In fact, he says, the Z06 generates more downforce than any other car GM has ever measured.

• “A lot of buyers interested in the Z06 are waiting for the Z07 Performance Package to become available,” says Curran. “This option includes higher performance tires and more aerodynamic aids, like the end caps on the front splitter and an adjustable extension on the spoiler.”

spoilerThe Corvette expert says potential buyers might be waiting for the Z06’s other features to become available, such as the automatic transmission, the convertible model, and the Visible Carbon Fiber Ground Effects Package. “We also have many Corvette enthusiasts interested in the black wheels to match the Z06’s other performance parts.”

wheelFor details about the stunning new Z06 or to view several models on display in Michigan’s largest indoor showroom, contact Rich Curran at (313) 532-2053 or rcurran@matickchevy.com. You also can view Matick’s Corvette inventory here. GM’s Z06 website also can take you on an exciting spin beginning at www.chevrolet.com.

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What Does “Exempt Mileage” Mean?


One of the first questions when shopping for a used Corvette usually is: “How many miles does it have?”

Imagine searching the title for this information and seeing the term “Exempt Mileage.” That might be a warning sign for you as a buyer, but don’t be discouraged. The use of this term is actually quite common for cars 10 or more years old.

The Federal Odometer Act (FOA) of 1972 protected consumers from odometer fraud. Under this act, the seller is required to document mileage at the date of vehicle transfer. The seller is also required to disclose if there is incorrect miles shown due to odometer malfunctions or if the odometer has exceeded the display limit of 99,999 miles, or “rolled over.”

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For example, if someone purchased a classic Corvette with 70,000 miles and drove it for an additional 110,000 miles, the odometer would only display 80,000 miles instead of the true mileage of 180,000 miles. That’s because the odometer rolled over at 99,999 and re-started again at 0 miles.

Odometer malfunctions, such as cables snapping or gears rounding off, also are common in older cars. And in some cases, odometers can actually flip extra miles. All these issues make it difficult to reliably verify the mileage of older cars. That’s why sellers of cars 10 years or older are no longer required to report mileage at the time of sale. On the title under mileage, these cars will be marked “exempt.”

There are other ways to estimate mileage and, in most cases with older cars, how well it has been maintained can be more important than how many miles are on it. If you’re in the market for a classic Corvette, instead of focusing on mileage, look for these telltale signs:

• The condition of the console. A high-mileage car will usually show scratches and wear.

• The paint job. When looking at original paint, you can open the doors and hood and feel the edges to make sure there is not a ridge that would indicate a tapeline from paintwork.

• The door stickers. Original, low-mileage Corvettes should retain their original door stickers and show no evidence of overspray.


• The condition of the brake pedal and seat bolsters.

It’s also important to learn whether the Corvette was kept in a garage or if it had regular maintenance, such as oil and other fluid changes, new brakes or suspension work throughout its life. Answering these questions will help you get a better understanding of the car’s condition than simply knowing the mileage.

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“Heinrocket” And His Matick Chevy Sonic Racecar Capture Season-Opening Wins In Florida

sebringTwo big back-to-back wins! What a great way to start the racing season,” reported an excited John Heinricy (aka Heinrocket) as he wrapped up U.S. Majors Tour opening weekends in Florida.

First up was tough competition at the Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jan. 9-11) followed by Jan. 16-18 races at the legendary Sebring International Raceway, America’s oldest road-racing track.

At Sebring, Heinricy won his final two races, setting a new track record for B-Spec at 3:47.524. “We won all four races with our Matick Chevy-sponsored Sonic racecar at Homestead and Sebring. Our car ran magnificently both weekends without any problems this time out,” he said. sebring2However, there was one accident that happened during the race, which John's GoPro on his front bumper captured. Below is a short video from John's car at Sebring.

About 320 racecars competed at Homestead and close to the same number battled it out at Sebring. “These are very big fields in various classes,” Heinricy added. “At Homestead, there were 10 cars my B-Spec class, where I race the Sonic, which was good. The 10 competitors were Minis, Fits, a Fiesta, Mazdas and my Sonic. Other than some bumping and shoving at the start of the first race, I pulled out a good lead and held it to the end.” He did the same thing the next day.homestead2While in Florida, Heinrich also spent time coaching drivers for a racing client who had two C5 Z06s out for training at the Homestead and Sebring tracks. The client also had two GT1 Corvettes, which “are very fast racecars with 750 to 850 horsepower and weigh only 2,800 pounds.”

GT1For additional information on the Homestead Majors, including entry lists, results, and schedules, click here.

Additional information on the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour from Sebring International Raceway, including schedules, entry lists, live timing, PA streaming and streaming video, is available at SCCA.com/SebringMajors. Timing can also be viewed on the Race Monitor App for mobile devices.

Posted January 29, 2015

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Customizable add-ons are a great way to personalize your Corvette. Our previous Tech Thursday blog post focused on spoilers, windscreens and car covers. Today we offer three more options to help your Corvette stand out from the crowd.

Race-inspired decals can add a visual punch to your Corvette while fender hash marks in silver can give it a custom look. The race-inspired stripe package, designed to highlight the center section of the car, comes with a separate black self-adhesive center stripe and silver outer accent stripes so you can configure them any way you want.

These decals are not for use on Z16 Grand Sport models.

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Removable Roof Panel
This transparent roof panel provides an open-air feeling even with the roof in place. It is produced with the same tooling as the standard factory panel. A storage bag with logo is sold separately and helps prevent scratches when the top is stowed.

This fine-screen mesh, stainless steel grille insert dresses up the front of your Corvette while providing protection from road debris. It mounts behind the existing grille. Side cove Inserts and an exhaust plate screen are sold separately.


How to Order
There are plenty of other ways to customize your Corvette, both under the hood and to the eye. For more ideas, check out Chevy’s 2015 Performance Catalog. You can download your personal copy here and also subscribe to GM's FUEL Newsletter for car enthusiasts.

To order any of these add-ons, visit the online accessories store.

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