Effective August 2023, Kai Spande, Plant Director of GM’s Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant, will retire after 32 years of dedicated service to General Motors. Kai joined GM in 1991 and, throughout his tenure, held positions in multiple locations including Michigan, Ohio, New York, Japan, Germany, and Italy, where he was active in both manufacturing and powertrain manufacturing engineering. In September 2015, he was appointed Plant Director of the Corvette Plant, rounding out his career in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
During his time at Bowling Green Assembly Corvette Plant, Kai has overseen the launch, success, and build out of the seventh generation Corvette Grand Sport and ZR1; the construction of a brand new state-of-the-art Paint Shop; the expansion of the product lineup of the Performance Build Center and C7 Build Your Own Engine program; retooling of the entire facility in preparation for the first-ever mid-engine Corvette platform; the addition of a second shift of production; launch of the eighth-generation mid-engine Stingray, first-ever right hand drive Corvette, first-ever flatplane crank Z06, and first-ever electrified Corvette E-Ray. Kai’s drive to make a positive impact on the team environment has resulted in various company-adopted initiatives, and his “why not” attitude has allowed those around him to grow and develop with both autonomy and support. His professional leadership, mindset to take quick action with integrity, willingness to go above and beyond for the customer, and genuinely fun disposition will truly be missed. Kai has always understood the value of a great team, and as this chapter of his career comes to a close, he is grateful to the Corvette team for continually rising to every challenge and bringing to life a product that has created a community like none other. He is dedicated to ensuring a smooth transition to the next Plant Director, which will be announced soon. “Having spent my last 8 years at the Corvette plant has been such a privilege. The complexity, constant innovation, and just excitement around this car has challenged me to utilize my every skill in order to succeed, even through my last day at the plant. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be surrounded by some of the best and brightest in the automotive world, to be part of a workforce that takes so much personal pride in what they do, and to have felt the passion of our customers with every car that rolled offline. How incredible to witness the community that, at its most basic level, a mode of transportation has created. It's been an amazing journey.” After more than three decades of vehicle-related work, Kai’s decision to retire will allow him to spend more time with his wife, children, family, and friends. He looks forward to tinkering with his own cars and will remain an integral part of the Corvette community through his position as National Corvette Museum Board Chair. "The National Corvette Museum would like to congratulate Kai Spande on his long and illustrious career with General Motors. With his dedication to the construction of America's Sports Car and continued Museum support as Board Chair, it has been an honor to partner with him and the entire Bowling Green Assembly Plant. We wish him all the best in his retirement and look forward to his continued leadership," said Sharon Brawner, National Corvette Museum President and CEO. Sharon Brawner and the Bowling Green Assembly Plant Leadership