General Motors said today it began shipping the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray from an assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky.
The cars should begin arriving at dealerships on Thursday, Chevrolet spokesman Monte Doran said.
The Bowling Green factory, where all Corvettes have been assembled since 1981, underwent a $131 million upgrade to make the new Stingray. The renovation included $52 million for a new body shop to manufacture the Stingray's aluminum frame.
"Corvettes are different," Doran said. "They can't be built on the same line as Malibus or Volts; they are built from the inside out, rather than the traditional method."
GM said it is has produced 1,000 units of the 2014 Corvette, which has a base price of $51,995 including shipping.
"The Bowling Green plant was always the spot we wanted these vehicles built," Doran said. "It is perhaps one of Kentucky's largest tourist attractions as nearly 50,000 people tour the plant [a year] to watch the new Corvettes being built."
Chevrolet also will sell a Corvette Stingray convertible, with a price starting at $56,995, including shipping. Production of that model will not begin until year end.
U.S. sales of the Corvette have skidded 24 percent this year through August, to 6,999 units.