The legendary Corvette name, around since the 50s, will live on after the current sixth-gen car expires. GM has announced that it will invest $131 million in the Bowling Green assembly plant to support production of the next generation Corvette.

The Kentucky plant is scheduled to continue building the current generation Corvette for at least the next two model years, including the 2012 car that begins this summer. Bowling Green is the exclusive manufacturer of all versions of the Corvette – Coupe, Convertible, Grand Sport, Z06, and ZR1 – and has been the birth place of Corvette since 1981.

About 50,000 tourists visit the plant annually to catch a glimpse of the manufacturing process, some even watching their new cars being completed before taking delivery from the neighbouring National Corvette Museum. By the way, did you know that the Corvette is the “official state sports car of Kentucky”?

“This is a significant day for anyone who believes that America should build world-class, high-performance products. Corvette has no domestic peer for performance and pedigree and stands alongside the world’s best supercars with almost 60 years of continuous heritage,” said Mark Reuss, GM North America president.

Click here for more pics of the recently released Centennial Edition Corvette.