General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant

Lisa Autry

Some hourly workers at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green say they’ll remain on the picket line as long as it takes to get a fair contract with General Motors.  Some local workers are struggling financially but remain steadfast as a national strike enters week four.

After making some progress on major sticking points, talks broke down over the weekend, reportedly over moving production from Mexico to the U.S.  The UAW’s chief negotiator said bargaining had "taken a turn for the worse."

Lisa Autry

General Motors is restoring health care to hourly workers in Bowling Green, and across the nation, who are on strike for a second week. 

The reinstatement of medical benefits could signal that GM and the United Auto Workers union are closer to reaching a new contract that would end the work stoppage.

The nation’s number one automaker announced it would end company-paid health insurance the day after the strike began on September 16. 

General Motors

Like kids waiting for Christmas morning, Corvette enthusiasts are on the edge of their seats for a big reveal on Thursday. 

That’s when General Motors will unveil the next generation of the iconic sports car.  Described as a technical tour-de-force, the long-hyped C8 is generating plenty of buzz around the home of the Corvette. 

I recently went along for the ride as a sleek 2017 red Corvette Stingray did laps at the National Corvette Museum’s Motorsports Park in Bowling Green. It won’t be long before a newer, shinier, and more powerful toy hits the asphalt.


Lisa Autry

General Motors and the United Auto Workers Union begin negotiations on Tuesday over a new, four-year contract.  The talks will impact about 900 hourly workers at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green.

Despite announcing plans in November to close five U.S. plants, General Motors says it has no plans to move more production overseas.  CEO Mary Barra reiterated the claim in April during a visit to the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green.


Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development

Kentucky had a slight increase in exports to countries around the world in 2015, compared to the previous year. The Bluegrass State stands out nationally because even though exports increased by less than one percent, most states decreased their exports last year. That’s according to WISERTrade.org, a Massachusetts company that collects international trade data. 

Aerospace products are Kentucky’s number one export, by dollar value.

Jack Mazurak is a spokesman for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. He says $8.7 billion in aerospace products and parts were exported from a wide range of Kentucky companies.

“Small businesses that are engaged in extruding a plastic part that may be used on one particular plane, all the way up to multinational names, GE Aviation, GE Aircraft Engine Division. Boneal is another big name. Lockheed Martin has a facility here,” says Mazurak.

Motor vehicles were the state’s second most exported product, followed by pharmaceuticals. Exports from Kentucky last year totaled $27.6 billion dollars.

Canada held its place as Kentucky’s main destination for exports last year. America’s northern neighbor bought $7.2 billion in products and services from the Bluegrass State. Rounding out the top five destinations for Kentucky products are the United Kingdom, Mexico, China and France.

GM Addressing 2 Safety Issues With New Corvette

Sep 12, 2014
General Motors

General Motors says it is delaying shipments of thousands of 2015 Corvettes and telling dealerships that already have the new models to stop selling them for the time being.  A spokesperson at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant says two safety issues are at the heart of the decision.

One issue concerns rear parking brake cables, the other with the part used to connect the airbag and steering wheel.

Bill Visnic, senior analyst with edmunds.com says the entire auto industry, not just GM, has learned lessons in the last year about disclosing potential safety problems.

“There’s definitely erring on the side of caution in this case,” said Visnic. “But at the same time, it’s just more-or-less simply the right thing to do, particularly when you’re talking about a high-performance model where someone might be using the car in fairly extreme conditions, you want to make sure you have all the requisite safety items where you need them to be.”

GM

Long-time United Auto Workers Union President Eldon Renaud is out at the Bowling Green General Motors Plant. 

Spokeswoman Andrea Hales confirmed that Renaud is no longer employed at the plant.  Renaud had no comment when contacted Thursday morning by WKU Public Radio.  He served as the local UAW president since 1982 and had been a GM employee for more than 40 years. 

Renaud had been critical of Plant Manager Dave Tatman, who resigned abruptly in February.   In April, the union voted to authorize a strike if the plant didn’t resolve some safety and quality issues.  A strike never occurred.

Renaud also served as Bowling Mayor from 1996 to 2000. 

Clinton Lewis/WKU

The former manager of the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green has been tapped to lead the new Kentucky Auto Industry Association. The appointment of Dave Tatman as executive director was announced Tuesday. 

Tatman has been involved in the auto industry for nearly 35 years and led the Corvette Assembly Plant from 2010 until his retirement earlier this year. 

The state’s Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes chairs the Auto Industry Association, which was formed earlier this year by Governor Steve Beshear.  The group is tasked with promoting the auto industry in Kentucky, a state which produced more than a million vehicles in 2013.