Kai Spande, manager of the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, spoke Friday at the University of Northern Iowa!
James Mahoney, a salesperson at Runde Chevrolet in East Dubuque, attended the event with members of the Key City Corvette Club.
“It was really cool,” James said. “He gave us some insight on the factory and while he couldn’t give us too many details, he said they will be switching up things on how they build the 2018 vehicles. They will be shutting down the factory for a little bit to re-vamp it.”
The event attracted about 50 people, many of whom arrived in Corvettes. Corvette clubs from Cedar Falls, Dubuque, and Cedar Rapids were invited, but the rainy weather kept
some of the sports cars in garages.
“The drive over there would have been better if the rain would have stayed away,” James said. “But you can’t complain when you are driving a Corvette!”
Kai drove one of the new ZO6 models from Bowling Green. It had winter tires on it and an adjustable spoiler on the back.
An alum of UNI, Kai graduated from the school in 1991 with a degree in industrial technology. He joined General Motors the year he graduated and became manager of the factory in 2015.
“He was pretty down to earth,” James said. “He is from Iowa, he moved around a lot, I think he said 11 times. He spent some time overseas, and worked his way up.”
The students at UNI made Kai a molding of a Corvette emblem.
According to Kai, the plant employs about 1,000 people. There were 40,000 vehicles produced last year, most priced around $88,000. The plant earned about $3.5 billion.