• In the last 5 years, nearly 6.2 million
    vehicles have been produced in Kentucky

  • The automotive industry employs nearly 100,000
    workers at over 500 establishments

  • 1,316,137 Kentucky-made vehicle
    were produced in 2016

  • $5.4 billion in Kentucky-made vehicles and
    parts were exported in 2016

  • Kentucky is the #1 vehicle-producing state
    per capita, and #3 overall

Executive Director Update

KAIA is keeping the pedal to the metal in promoting the Commonwealth’s automotive industry and bringing value to our members.

After a board lunch with Gov. Bevin and the announcement of the state’s first automotive legislative caucus earlier this year, we immediately turned our attention to SPARK. You can read more below about this supplier conference, which included a speed networking component. We’d like to thank our sponsors, speakers, procurement reps and attendees for making SPARK a success.

But we’re not done yet. We’ve got big plans for our annual conference and a new magazine. We’re planning our second annual AutoVision for Sept. 12-13 in Lexington, KY. Make sure you save the date – and sign up for e-mail updates as we add speakers and firm up the agenda. Sponsorships and exhibit spaces are already available for those of you who’d like to get your company in front of a select, targeted group of auto manufacturing leaders.

And coming later this summer is AutoVision magazine, a quarterly publication to share news and updates about KAIA, our members and our industry. You can sign up for a free subscription here. If you have an idea for a story or photos, e-mail us at info@kyautoindustry.com. For advertising information, contact Innovative Publishing at 844-423-7272. The ad deadline for the first magazine is June 24.

We look forward to seeing everybody in September!


Kindling relationships at SPARK

SPARK, a conference focused on building supplier relationships, drew about 150 people from 10 states and Japan to Louisville in May.

A unique feature was a series of matchmaking sessions between smaller suppliers and procurement representatives from Kentucky automakers and larger suppliers. The conference also featured presentations and panel discussions covering topics such as how to spark a supplier relationship, top trends in supply chains, and an economic outlook for the auto industry.

“One question we kept getting from our auto suppliers in Kentucky was, “How do we get connected to the OEMs and Tier 1 companies?” said Dave Tatman, executive director of KAIA. “We really wanted to focus on answering that question. We created an intimate event that brought together suppliers with the people who buy their products.”

To see a photo gallery, click here.


Auto Suppliers, Vendors Meet at inaugural SPARK Conference

KAIA event draws about 150 to discuss building supplier relationships

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 23, 2016) – Every vehicle model is made with thousands of parts and components, and thousands of companies are vying to supply those parts and systems to automotive manufacturers and Tier 1 firms. That reality is what sparked the idea for the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association’s first event focused on bringing together suppliers and buyers.

The inaugural SPARK Conference was held Monday in Louisville with nearly 150 in attendance. The event drew attendees from 10 states and Japan. The presenting sponsor was Air Hydro Power.

Michael Robinet, managing director of IHS Automotive, talked about the economic outlook for the nation’s auto industry during Monday’s SPARK event.

“One question we kept getting from our auto suppliers in Kentucky was, “How do we get connected to the OEMs and Tier 1 companies?” said Dave Tatman, executive director of KAIA. “We really wanted to focus on answering that question. We created an intimate event that brought together suppliers with the people who buy their products.”

A key component of SPARK was a series of matchmaking sessions between smaller suppliers and procurement representatives from Kentucky automakers and larger suppliers. The one-on-one matchmaking sessions lasted 15 minutes each.

Tony Bryant, a representative with Pikeville-based Johnson Industries, said the matchmaking sessions were a great way to meet decision-makers at companies he otherwise might not reach.

Johnson Industries, a KAIA member, makes electric and diesel-powered vehicles used in the mining industry to transport coal. The company is now marketing a product that could be used in auto plants to transport parts and supplies.

“We are trying to diversify,” Bryant said. “We met with Toyota, and we are meeting with Ford and a couple of others. We have a lot of good equipment. If we can make something for the auto industry, it would be great.”

The SPARK event also included presentations and panel discussions from experts, including:

  • Lindsay Chappell, industry editor of Automotive News
  • Brian Miller, international trade specialist, U.S. Commercial Service
  • Leonard Fox, VP of Operations, Integrated Manufacturing and Assembly
  • Jean Marie Thrower, founder and CEO, Supplier Development Systems
  • Michael Robinet, automotive economy expert, IHS Automotive

Chappell, who delivered the keynote address, said SPARK provided a great opportunity for industry members to gain insights and build business relationships.

“This type of event generally offers the benefit of bringing together people who otherwise have no reason to get together,” Chappell said. “I can go offer my product to you, but I can’t go someplace with a lot of other people who are conversing, proposing and marketing to each other.

“It also illustrates the point that people all over the state in the auto industry have things in common,” he added. “They have common issues. They have common challenges.”

With information sessions on exports, cultivating diversity among suppliers and the economic outlook for the auto industry, SPARK also supported the overall goals of KAIA, Tatman said.

“It’s an exciting time for the auto industry in Kentucky,” Tatman said. “KAIA was created to advance and promote this growing industry, and we use events like SPARK to facilitate discussions about the challenges and opportunities that exist for our members.”


Kentucky Auto Manufacturers to “SPARK” Business at KAIA Conference

Louisville Forward sponsors speed networking with top manufacturers

FRANKFORT, Ky.  (April 4, 2016) – Every successful relationship begins with a spark – and the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA) is playing matchmaker at SPARK, a new half-day automotive conference in Louisville.

SPARK is designed for Kentucky’s robust automotive supplier sector, particularly procurement and supply chain representatives.

Manufacturers looking for a long-term relationship with that special supplier should try SPARK’s speed-networking session, which matches procurement representatives with potential suppliers for short one-on-one pitch meetings.  The KAIA conference, sponsored in part by Louisville Forward, also includes sessions with industry leaders on timely topics such as diversifying your supply chain and developing export connections.

“One of the benefits of KAIA membership is the continuous networking opportunities with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers,” said Dave Tatman, executive director of KAIA.  “SPARK will accelerate those potential relationships between suppliers, driving new business and partnerships among Kentucky’s world-class auto manufacturing facilities.”

SPARK’s novel speed-networking opportunity is a must for auto supplier businesses seeking new growth.  A limited number of attendees will meet one-on-one with procurement representatives from Ford, Toyota, Mubea, AGC Automotive, Akebono Brake, Asahi Forge, Hitachi Automotive, Sumitomo Electric, and more.  These speedy sit-downs will give each attendee about 15 minutes to make a connection with the professionals directly involved in materials and services acquisition.  Each attendee is guaranteed at least four matchmaking meetings.

For those who want to hear the latest automotive news and innovations from industry insiders, the SPARK sessions won’t disappoint.  Speakers and panel discussions will cover topics from sparking a supplier relationship to the global automotive economic forecast.

Lindsay Chappell, industry editor for Automotive News magazine, will serve as SPARK’s keynote speaker and panel moderator.  He will be joined by industry leaders including:

  • Michael Robinet, global advisory managing director, IHS Automotive
  • Laura Lyons, president, ATech Training
  • Jean Marie Thrower, CEO, Supplier Development Systems
  • Leonard Fox, COO, VP of operations, Integrated Manufacturing and Assembly
  • Joe Mazzeo, founder and owner, Integrated Lean and Quality Systems

Kentucky’s vast network of automotive manufacturing, supplier and service-related companies provide a significant impact on Kentucky’s economy, adding $14 billion annually to the state’s GDP. With four major auto manufacturing plants, the state is the third-largest producer of light vehicles in the country, topping more than 1.3 million cars, trucks and SUVs last year.

“KAIA is the only professional association designed just for Kentucky’s booming automotive industry, and conferences like SPARK show how KAIA provides real and repeated value to our members,” said Tatman.

SPARK will be held at Noah’s Event Venue at 12451 Plantside Drive in Louisville on Monday, May 23, from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is open at www.kyautoindustry.com/SPARK.

Tickets for the SPARK conference are $100 for KAIA members, $150 for nonmembers.  Ticket packages for the speed-networking session include the SPARK conference and at least four matchmaking meetings, and are $350 for KAIA members, $400 for nonmembers.  The speed- networking option cannot be purchased separately.

Executive Director Update: Spark

We kicked it up into overdrive for the first quarter of 2016, with no signs of slowing down for the rest of the year.

Our biggest news is that we’re launching a half-day conference in May called SPARK. You’ll find more details below, but a unique feature of this conference is a matchmaking component, where companies seeking to become automotive suppliers can schedule introductory meetings with key manufacturing companies in Kentucky – including Ford and Toyota. Exhibit space and sponsorships are also available.

We started 2016 with a trip to the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, where autonomous cars, fuel economy, lightweighting and a shift in safety focus to crash avoidance were hot topics.

In February, KAIA joined key state legislators in Frankfort to announce Kentucky’s first automotive caucus. We look forward to working with this bipartisan group over the coming years on issues important to our members – including workforce training, tax policy, technology and infrastructure.

A few days later, we released new statistics demonstrating our continued growth and importance to the Commonwealth’s economy. In 2015, the industry produced more than 1.3 million cars and light trucks, increasing production of passenger vehicles by 2.4 percent and maintaining its status as the nation’s third-largest producer of cars, light trucks and SUVs. Automotive employment grew from more than 85,000 to nearly 90,000 and the number of auto-related manufacturing facilities grew to more than 480. Keep up the great work!

Finally, I attended the South Carolina Automotive Summit in February and will participate in the Southern Automotive Workforce Solutions Summit in Huntsville, Ala., this summer. These conferences are invaluable in tracking industry trends, both globally and right here in the Southeast, which we can share with our members and at our own events.

We continue to work on building membership and bringing you programs like SPARK and AutoVision that add value in terms of networking and professional development. We’ve added several members this year. Let us know if you’d like to join. If you’re already a member, we’d love for you to help us by reaching out to potential members in your circle. Call me at 270-349-2355 to learn more.

I look forward to seeing you at SPARK in May and AutoVision in September!

Dave Tatman, Executive Director

Let us hook you up

KAIA is playing matchmaker on May 23 in Louisville with SPARK: Connecting Kentucky’s Automotive Industry. Lindsay Chappell of Automotive News, who did such a great job for us at last year’s AutoVision, will be the keynote speaker and moderate discussions, including building supplier relationships, cultivating diversity among suppliers, and more.

If networking in the exhibitor hall isn’t enough for you, a limited number of exclusive packages will allow you to schedule 15-minute meetings with several procurement representatives from Kentucky’s leading automotive companies. Companies sending procurement representatives include AGC Automotive, Akebono, Ford, Hitachi, Mubea, Sumitomo and Toyota.

Sponsorships and exhibit space are available, and we hope you’ll join us for what is sure to be an engaging conference.

Looking ahead

Speaking of conferences, we have set the date and location for AutoVision 2016: September 12-13 in Lexington, KY.

If you recall, the inaugural conference last year was a resounding success, and we’re looking to top it. We plan to bring you a larger, more integrated exhibit hall, and we’re lining up insightful speakers and panelists.

Thank you to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development for renewing its presenting sponsorship. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or reserving exhibit space for AutoVision 2016, you can download a sponsorship packet here.

Kentucky Auto Manufacturers Continued Driving Economy in 2015

State now has nearly 90,000 auto workers, billions more in investments coming

FRANKFORT, Ky. (February 22, 2016) – Kentucky’s already strong automotive industry continued its growth in 2015 thanks to continued investments by local, state, national and international firms.

The widespread effects of the industry are illustrated by new statistics detailing jobs, investments and production by automakers, parts suppliers and other auto-related manufacturers.

New numbers from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development show that if lined up bumper to bumper, the more than 1.3 million vehicles produced in Kentucky last year would span more than 4,000 miles. That’s nearly the distance from Frankfort, Ky., to Frankfurt, Germany.

The sustained power and growth of this industry maintained Kentucky’s status as the third-largest producer of cars and light trucks in the country.

But the industry’s economic power is even greater.

The Kentucky automotive industry is one of the strongest in the nation and vital to the state’s economy. In 2015, it:

  • Increased production of passenger vehicles by 2.4 percent, to 1,306,989 cars and trucks;
  • Employed nearly 90,000 people statewide – up from 85,552 in 2014;
  • Increased the number of auto-related manufacturing facilities to more than 480; and
  • Announced 79 new projects totaling $2.8 billion in investments.

For example, Toyota debuted its Kentucky-made Lexus ES 350 in October, which was expected to add about 750 jobs in Georgetown. In December, Ford announced that it would invest $1.3 billion to build 2017 F-Series Super Duty trucks at its Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, which is expected to create 2,000 jobs. General Motors announced a total of $483 million in facility upgrades at its Corvette plant in Bowling Green during 2015. A $439 million investment announced in May will bring a new 450,000 square-foot paint shop, among other changes, and a separate $44 million, 36-job investment announced in December will increase production capacity for the Corvette Z06 high-performance model.

Suppliers of automotive parts, services and technologies also announced 75 investments in new or expanding locations, which are projected to create 2,593 jobs, including:

  • a $13.4 million, 145-job project by Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems in Russell Springs
  • a $261 million, 450-job expansion by Bowling Green Metalforming in Warren County
  • an $84.5 million expansion by Robert Bosch Automotive Steering Systems in Florence, expected to add 212 jobs.

“The automotive industry is vital to the state, both economically and culturally,” said KAIA executive director Dave Tatman. “These are products that are made here and shipped all over the world, showcasing Kentucky workmanship to a global audience.”

Tatman noted that an economic impact study completed last year by the University of Louisville Urban Studies Institute showed that the Kentucky auto industry:

  • Contributes more than $14 billion to the state’s gross state product
  • Supports Kentucky families with an average wage that tops $58,000 a year
  • Directly or indirectly supports 1 out of every 18 jobs in the state
  • Ranks first in the nation in per-capita vehicle production

These statistics were recently presented to Gov. Matt Bevin and a newly-formed bipartisan legislative caucus. The Kentucky Automotive Caucus is made up of state lawmakers who have pledged to work with auto manufacturers on key issues such as business-friendly tax policies, technology development and workforce training. Gov. Bevin declared Feb. 2 “Automotive Industry Day” in Kentucky.

“No matter on which side of the political aisle you sit, or whether you drive a Toyota Camry or a Ford F-Series Super Duty truck, a thriving, growing automotive industry is good for the state and good for the families it employs,” said Tatman.


About the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association

The Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA) was established to advance and promote Kentucky’s automotive industry by providing leadership and creating collaborative partnerships. As the primary state association designed to unite Kentucky’s automotive manufacturers, suppliers and service providers, KAIA serves as a unifying voice that strives to anticipate and address common challenges and achieve shared goals. By creating a forum for best practice sharing, leveraging the expertise of world renowned automotive-related companies, the association seeks to further grow and strengthen the industry across the Commonwealth.

To learn more, visit http://kyautoindustry.com or follow the association on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/kyautoindustry) or Twitter (https://twitter.com/KYAutoIndustry)

KAIA, State Legislators Announce New Automotive Caucus to Support Flourishing Automotive Manufacturing Industry

Industry added new jobs, facilities in 2015

Governor ProclamationFRANKFORT, Ky. (February 2, 2016) – Kentucky’s automotive manufacturing industry is booming, and Kentucky legislators have launched the state’s first Automotive Caucus in order to work directly with the industry to keep the automotive manufacturing sector growing and strong.

This bipartisan group of lawmakers has pledged to collaborate with automotive manufacturers and the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA) on key issues in the coming years, including workforce training, business-friendly tax policies, technology development and more.

“When it comes to Kentucky’s automotive manufacturing industry, political party labels don’t apply,” said caucus co-chair Rep. Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green. “This is an industry that employs tens of thousands of Kentuckians and makes products known all over the world. We want to work with these manufacturers to ensure the industry’s ongoing success.”

“Automotive manufacturing is Kentucky’s largest manufacturing industry, and because of our central location, low energy costs, and outstanding workforce, our state is well-positioned to continue its record of success in building the cars and trucks the world wants to buy,” said caucus co-chair Speaker Pro Tem Jody Richards of Bowling Green. “In order to keep Kentucky at the forefront of auto manufacturing, we must work together to ensure these businesses have what they need to maintain that momentum.”

To symbolize the interconnected nature of the state’s auto manufacturing industry, lawmakers assembled a large puzzle of the state which showed industry statistics on each piece. Two out of every three Kentucky counties are home to at least one manufacturing facility, and 20 percent of the state’s exports are tied to the auto manufacturing industry.

As the state’s largest manufacturing sector, automotive manufacturers are keenly interested in developing the next generation of manufacturing workers, and are anxious to work alongside lawmakers, educators and others to develop manufacturing career paths for young Kentuckians. The average wage of an auto manufacturing worker is more than $58,000, and many of those jobs do not require a four-year college degree.

“Today’s manufacturing employee is a problem-solving multi-tasker, with adaptable skill sets in math, electrical engineering, personnel management and software development,” working in teams, collaborative settings, said KAIA executive director Dave Tatman. “KAIA sees real economic opportunities for Kentucky students at multiple levels of education, everything from some post-high school training in a trade all the way up to four-year college degrees.”

Over the last five years, about 340 auto manufacturing businesses have announced new locations or expansions in the state, representing 20,000 new jobs and nearly $4.5 billion in new capital investments. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development reported the industry added jobs and new businesses.

  • More than 136,500 people are employed by the auto industry in Kentucky.
  • Kentucky ranks third in the nation in car production.
  • Kentucky ranks second in the nation in light truck production.
  • Nearly 1.3 million cars and light trucks were assembled in Kentucky in 2014.
  • Kentucky exported more than $5.5 billion in vehicles and parts in 2014.

Members of the Automotive Caucus include:

Rep. Rocky Adkins
Rep. Linda Belcher
Rep. Johnny Bell
Rep. Robert Benvenuti III
Rep. Kevin Bratcher
Rep. George Brown
Rep. Tom Burch
Rep. Denver Butler
Rep. John Carney
Rep. Larry Clark
Rep. Hubert Collins
Rep. Leslie Combs
Rep. Will Coursey
Rep. Ron Crimm
Rep. Jim DeCesare
Rep. Mike Denham
Rep. Bob DeWeese
Rep. Jeff Donohue
Rep. Jim DuPlessis
Rep. Joseph Fischer
Rep. Jim Glenn
Rep. Jim Gooch
Rep. Derrick Graham
Rep. Jeff Greer
Rep. Cluster Howard
Rep. Kenny Imes
Rep. James Kay
Rep. Kim King
Rep. Martha Jane King
Rep. Thomas Kerr
Rep. Adam Koenig
Rep. Stan Lee
Rep. Mary Lou Marzian
Rep. Donna Mayfield
Rep. Tom McKee
Rep. David Meade
Rep. Michael Meredith
Rep. Russ Meyer
Rep. Suzanne Miles
Rep. Charlie Miller
Rep. Jerry Miller
Rep. Terry Mills
Rep. Phil Moffett
Rep. Brad Montell
Rep. Tim Moore
Rep. David Osborne
Rep. Sannie Overly
Rep. Marie Rader
Rep. Jody Richards
Rep. Steve Riggs
Rep. Bart Rowland
Rep. Steven Rudy
Rep. Sal Santoro
Rep. Dean Schamore
Rep. Rita Smart
Rep. Diane St. Onge
Rep. Wilson Stone
Rep. James Tipton
Rep. David Watkins
Rep. Gerald Watkins
Rep. Jim Wayne
Rep. Russell Webber
Rep. Addia Wuchner
Rep. Brent Yonts
Rep. Jill York
Sen. Dorsey Ridley
Sen. Dennis Parrett

Kentucky-Made Cars to be First to Drive Across New Lincoln Bridge

Caravan will represent each of Kentucky’s automotive manufacturers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (December 4, 2015) – A caravan of Kentucky-made cars and trucks will be the first vehicles to drive across the new Abraham Lincoln Bridge during Saturday’s public “Walk the Bridge” event in Louisville.

Kentucky Automotive Industry Association executive director Dave Tatman said the bridge opening is an unparalleled opportunity to showcase the state’s soaring auto manufacturing industry at an historic event for the region.

“The Lincoln Bridge is an absolute marvel – beautifully designed, engineered, and built with care by folks who live right here in the region. It makes perfect sense that the first vehicles on the bridge will also be beautiful products made with pride by Kentuckians,” said Tatman. “Plus, the new bridge is an essential link for logistics for our state’s auto manufacturers and suppliers. The Lincoln Bridge will be a vital part of delivering Kentucky’s outstanding auto products to consumers around the country.”

The caravan will begin on the Kentucky side and will carry federal, state and local officials to the formal ribbon-cutting. The caravan will then exit on the Indiana side to complete the trip across the span. Naturally, the first car in the caravan will be Ford’s Lincoln Navigator – a nod to the bridge’s new name.

Thousands of visitors are expected to tour the structure during the “Walk the Bridge” event this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Lincoln Bridge is expected open to traffic by Monday morning.

Kentucky is home to more than 460 automotive manufacturing businesses, including four major assembly plants. These businesses employ nearly 85,000 people and drive $14 billion in annual economic impact. Kentucky produced 1.3 million vehicles in 2013, ranking the state third in light vehicle production in the country.

The Lincoln Bridge Inaugural Caravan includes:
Ford Lincoln Navigator: A ruby red 2016 Lincoln Navigator built at Louisville’s Kentucky Truck Plant will lead the caravan across the Abraham Lincoln Bridge. The Navigator, North America’s original luxury full-size SUV, has been delivering uncompromising levels of luxury and capability since 1998.

Lexus ES 350: The Lexus ES 350 joined Kentucky’s automotive manufacturing lineup in October 2015, marking the first time a Lexus vehicle has been made in the country. More than 1.5 million training hours and an investment of $360 million went into bringing Lexus’ best-selling sedan on-line in Georgetown, Ky.

Corvette: Known around the world as America’s sports car, the Corvette is the world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car with more than 1.6 million produced. When the first Corvette rolled off the line more than 60 years ago, it was born an icon, and GM has continued this reputation for the car with six decades of refinement and innovation. GM began production of the esteemed Corvette at the Bowling Green, KY assembly plant in 1981, and the facility has remained the exclusive home of the Corvette for more than 30 years.

Ford Escape: The Louisville Assembly Plant is home to the redesigned Ford Escape. Every 42 seconds, a new Escape is driven off the Assembly line proudly built by the UAW/Ford employees. Since 2012, Louisville has built more than 1 million Escapes, making it the highest- volume producing plant in North America.

Toyota Camry: The Toyota Camry, America’s best-selling car for 13 years in row, comes out of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. in Georgetown and is the product of more than 7,500 Kentuckians. In 2015, Camry was named the most American-made car on the road by cars.com, with 75 percent of its parts sourced in the U.S., and a large percentage coming from right here in Kentucky.

Ford Super Duty: The bestselling truck for 38 years and running, a 2016 F250 King Ranch 6.7L Diesel Super Duty truck is built at the Louisville Kentucky Truck Plant. Just this week, Ford announced it will add 2,000 jobs and invest $1.3 billion to support production of the new aluminum-bodied Super Duty.

KY Automotive Industry Celebrates Production of State’s First Lexus in Georgetown

“Today’s first Lexus is a strong endorsement of Kentucky’s outstanding automotive workforce and manufacturing facilities,” said Dave Tatman, executive director of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association. “Toyota has continued to invest in Kentucky because they know that Kentuckians in the auto sector make outstanding products, with dependable suppliers and reliable infrastructure. That combination of talent, facilities and resources makes Kentucky an unbeatable location for the booming auto industry, and we at KAIA are proud to be part of today’s historic event.”

AutoVision a Huge Success


Our first-ever conference, AutoVision, exceeded our expectations, with a world-class agenda helping us sell out registrations. A post-conference survey confirmed the success, with 100 percent of respondents saying they would recommend AutoVision to others.

More than 240 people converged on the Downtown Marriott in Louisville, Ky., on Sept. 14 and 15. Manufacturers and suppliers represented at the conference included Akebono Brake, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Robert Bosch Automotive Steering, Toyota and many more. Participants represented about 115 organizations, including all three of Kentucky’s OEM’s and 44 suppliers. Officials from various government and economic development entities also attended.

“Our speakers brought fresh perspectives to topics of common interest and challenged traditional thinking about how we forge new roads ahead for our industry,” said Dave Tatman, KAIA executive director.

Industry executives, experts and analysts filled the two-day agenda. Participants also enjoyed a sold-out exhibitor hall and evening cocktail receptions, including one that showcased models from Kentucky’s OEMs: Ford’s Lincoln MKC, GM’s Corvette and Toyota’s Camry. Based on survey feedback, a larger, more integrated exhibitor hall is planned for 2016.

“We can’t thank our speakers and panelists – many of whom are KAIA board members – and our sponsors and exhibitors enough. Without them, this conference could not have been as successful as it was,” Tatman said. “We can’t wait for next year.”

If you can’t wait either, sponsorships for 2016 are being developed now and will be available soon.


Executive Director Update


We are still basking in the glow of our sold-out AutoVision conference. The Kentucky Automotive Industry Association’s first-ever conference earlier this month in Louisville was a resounding success, and we thank everyone who participated – whether as a registrant, speaker, exhibitor or sponsor. If you missed it, check out this photo gallery. Some of the presentations will be added to the AutoVision website soon.

The KAIA is already strategizing for the encore next fall, including a larger, more integrated exhibitor hall and more topics on workforce development. For those of you building your 2016 budgets, don’t forget to include an AutoVision sponsorship, which will be available soon. Call or e-mail me for more information.

For the rest of 2015, we’ll focus on building membership and planning a legislative platform to advocate for our members.

If you are interested in hosting an event or participating in the membership drive, please let us know. If you’re already a member and want to help in a small way, please share this newsletter with colleagues who have not yet joined, along with a testimonial. As business professionals, we all know that word of mouth is the best advertising.

Speaking of members, we want to be a unified voice to advocate for them and to highlight the significant role that the automotive industry plays in Kentucky’s economy. To that end, we’ll work to build relationships with legislators in Frankfort and beyond.

Thanks again for your membership and your support. Energized by our summer successes of the economic impact report, six regional forums and AutoVision, let us now turn our attention to making our organization – and our industry – even stronger.

Stay tuned.


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