• In the alst 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

Ford Futurist Maps Road Ahead for Automotive Industry at AutoVision 2015

Inaugural auto conference draws more than 260 for first day of programs

LOUISVILLE, KY (September 14, 2015) – More than 260 auto industry leaders from Kentucky and beyond gathered in Louisville Monday for the first-ever AutoVision Conference.

The two-day event, a creation of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, is bringing together auto industry experts, manufacturers, suppliers and other business leaders to discuss the future of automotive manufacturing and hear about changes that lie ahead.

The presenting sponsor of the event is the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

“I’m thrilled to see this conference come together and to see such a large crowd, because a strong and growing auto manufacturing industry is critical to the economic future of this Commonwealth,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in his welcoming remarks. “The Kentucky automotive industry contributes $14.3 billion to our gross state product. That’s one out of every $13. Auto-related products make up one-fifth of our exports. And the industry is linked to one out of every 18 jobs in Kentucky.”

“No other industry drives our state and national economy like automotive manufacturing and supply,” said Dave Tatman, executive director of KAIA. “We’ve had tremendous success building this industry, but it’s important to look ahead for potential opportunities and roadblocks so that we remain on the fast track.”

Experts talk about innovations, changing needs
The first day of programming included presentations by Ford Motor Co. Manager of Global Consumer Trends and Futuring Sheryl Connelly and Gary Silberg, KPMG’s national lead partner for the automotive industry.

Connelly said Ford is identifying and following emerging trends such as the needs of aging consumers, changing attitudes and physiology of car buyers and the growing “information addiction” that is driving changes in technology offerings in vehicles.

“To be innovative, the challenge is to imagine a future that hasn’t been imagined,” Connelly said.

Silberg described how the industry using technology and innovation, such as the development of autonomous vehicles, to change consumers’ lives.

“In our view, the winning companies are going to make your life better,” Silberg said. “It’s not just about mobility – getting from point A to point B – it’s about the experience in the vehicle and the flexibility to do other things while commuting. The winning formula is one that allows the vehicle to seamlessly integrate into our connected lives to make things easier and make us more efficient.”

The agenda Monday also included a panel discussion on developing lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The panel, moderated by Richard Curless of Five Machining Systems Inc., included:

  • Tom Boney, Vice President and General Manager, Automotive Value Stream, Novelis North America;
  • John Cardwell, Global Account Manager, Arcelor Mittal;
  • Dale Brosius, Chief Commercialization Officer, Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation.

AutoVision will have a full day of programs Tuesday, including a keynote address by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez.

Others industry leaders participating in presentations and panel discussions include:

  • Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief Economist, General Motors
  • Doug Cain, CEO, Mubea North America
  • Pierre Abboud, President and CEO, Bosch
  • John Bradburn, Environmental Engineer, Chevrolet Europe
  • Lindsay Chappell, Automotive News bureau chief
  • Laurie Harbour, President and CEO, Harbour Results
  • Thomas Croskey, Executive Director Manufacturing Strategy and Planning, General Motors.

Get more information and register at www.autovisionconference.com.

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 and 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 or Twitter.

 

Ford Futurist to Keynote Opening Session of AutoVision 2015 Conference

GM economist to discuss industry’s road ahead during Tuesday presentation

LOUISVILLE, KY (September 9, 2015) – Sheryl Connelly, Manager, Global Consumer Trends and Futuring for Ford Motor Co., will now offer her insights on the changing automotive industry during the conference’s opening session on Monday, Sept. 14.

Connelly will present, “Focused on the Future: Predicting Consumer Demands, New Technologies and Design Innovations,” from 2-3 p.m. Connelly had been schedule to speak Tuesday, Sept. 15, but the conference agenda was rearranged this week as a result of a scheduling conflict.

 

Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief Economist for General Motors Co., will now speak Tuesday morning. His presentation, “Boom or Bubble: What’s Ahead for the Global Auto Industry,” is scheduled from 10:15 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

He will join more than a dozen industry leaders presenting at the conference Tuesday, including U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Victor Mendez. Mendez will deliver the keynote address from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Time running out to attend conference

AutoVision 2015 is an inaugural event for automotive experts, manufacturers, suppliers and other business leaders from Kentucky and across the country. The forward-looking automotive conference will be held Sept.14-15 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown.

Among the topics to be discussed will be industry advances such as self-driving cars, lighter-weight vehicles and long-lasting electric batteries. Speakers at the event include leaders from Kentucky’s major automotive manufacturers including Ford, General Motors and Toyota.

The AutoVision conference was created by the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the presenting sponsor of the conference.

More than 200 attendees already have registered for the limited-seating event. Some walk-up registrations may be accepted. However, to ensure registration, attendees are asked to buy tickets in advance. Get more information and register at www.autovisionconference.com.

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 or Twitter.
 
 

U.S. Transportation Leader to Address Global
Automotive Conference in Louisville

U.S. DOT Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez to discuss innovation in transportation

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 6, 2015) – U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez, a longtime transportation leader, will deliver keynote remarks at the inaugural AutoVision Conference in Louisville on Sept. 15, the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association announced today.

victor_mendezMendez will discuss innovations in automotive technology and the critical role of the U.S. automotive industry. Before becoming Deputy Secretary, Mendez served as the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration and Director of the Arizona Department of Transportation.

During his time at FHWA, Mendez parlayed his lifelong interest in innovation and technology into launching the Every Day Counts Initiative, which gives states a range of tools and technologies to streamline construction projects and make them more cost effective.

“We are fortunate to welcome one of our nation’s most respected and experienced transportation officials,” said Dave Tatman, KAIA executive director. “Deputy Secretary Mendez will bring timely, cross-sector information about how transportation trends will affect our industry, and in turn, how we can be proactive in adapting to those changes.”

While serving at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mendez has also been a pivotal and supportive leader in major transportation infrastructure projects in the Kentucky and Indiana region including the $2.3 billion Ohio River Bridges Project, the emergency repair of the Sherman Minton Bridge, and a $24 million TIGER grant for a key segment of the Mountain Parkway Expansion in Eastern Kentucky.

About AutoVision 2015
Mendez is one of more than two dozen national and international leaders speaking at the AutoVision Conference on Sept. 14-15. The two-day conference at the Louisville Marriott Downtown is the creation of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, the organization representing the state’s $14 billion economic engine.

Major advances such as self-driving cars, lighter-weight vehicles and long-lasting electric batteries will be among the topics discussed by leading experts from across the nation and beyond. Leaders from Kentucky’s major automotive manufacturers including Ford, General Motors and Toyota will be among the presenters.

Gov. Steve Beshear, a leader in the expansion of Kentucky’s auto industry, will address the audience and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the presenting sponsor.

Speakers, panel discussions and breakout sessions will focus on cutting-edge technology and timely issues, including workforce training and regulatory changes, to help position business leaders for opportunities and growth.

Get more information and register at www.autovisionconference.com.

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).

AutoVision Conference Boasts Stars of Industry

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (August 3, 2015) – Engineering innovators, workforce development experts and energy visionaries are among the confirmed speakers at the inaugural Kentucky Automotive Industry Association’s (KAIA) AutoVision conference in September.  The conference will also include plenty of networking opportunities and exhibits.

KAIA released its current agenda today, with more speakers and events expected to be announced in the coming days.

“If your business wants firsthand and first-rate information about the future of the auto industry, you don’t have to go to Detroit.  Just be in Louisville this fall,” said Dave Tatman, executive director of KAIA. “We’re bringing the experts to our own backyard.  That gives our stellar manufacturing community an unmatched opportunity to collaborate with other industry leaders in shaping the future of our sector.”

The full conference agenda is available at http://kyautoindustry.com/AutoVision/agenda.php.

Presentations and speakers include:

  • “Boom or Bubble: What’s Ahead for the Global Auto Industry?” Mustafa Mohatarem, chief economist, General Motors
  • “2020 Vision: Autonomous Cars are Coming” Gary Silberg, KPMG’s national lead partner and author of “Me, My Car, My Life”
  • “Focused on the Future: Predicting Consumer Demands, New Technologies and Design Innovations” Sheryl Connelly, Manager, Global Consumer Trends and Futuring, Ford Motor Co.
  • “Ready for Launch: How Suppliers Survive Model Changes” Moderated by Lindsay Chappell, Bureau Chief, Automotive News; panelists Doug Cain, CEO, Mubea North America; Pierre Abboud, President and CEO, ZF Steering Systems, Bosch; and Jim Cuppy, Vice President, Quality Assurance, Hitachi Automotive Systems.
  • “Tooling Up: North America’s Position in the Tool and Die Competition” Laurie Harbour, President and CEO, Harbour Results
  • “Lean and Green: How the Industry is Embracing Sustainability” John Bradburn, Environmental Engineer at Chevrolet Europe, General Motors
  • “Automotive Talent: Who Will Drive Our Future?” Kristin Dziczek, Director, Industry & Labor Group, Center for Automotive Research (CAR)
  • “Innovation in Location: Site Selection in a Competitive World” Mike Mullis, President and CEO, J. M. Mullis, Inc.

Get more information and register at www.AutoVisionConference.com.

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.

New Global Automotive Conference Coming to Louisville Sept. 14-15

AutoVision 2015 will focus on industry future, technology breakthroughs, such as self-driving cars, lighter-weight vehicles, electric power

LOUISVILLE, KY (July 15, 2015) – Automotive experts, manufacturers, suppliers and other business leaders will gather in Louisville Sept. 14-15 for a new, forward-looking automotive conference called AutoVision 2015.

The two-day conference at the Louisville Marriott Downtown is the creation of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, the organization representing the state’s $14 billion economic engine.

AutoVision_logo

Major advances such as self-driving cars, lighter-weight vehicles and long-lasting electric batteries will be among the topics discussed by leading experts from across the nation and beyond. Leaders from Kentucky’s major automotive manufacturers including Ford, General Motors and Toyota will be among the presenters.

“Forget the rearview mirror. Find out what’s over the horizon for the auto industry,” said Dave Tatman, KAIA’s executive director.

Gov. Steve Beshear, a leader in the expansion of Kentucky’s auto industry, will address the audience and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the presenting sponsor. Speakers, panel discussions and breakout sessions will focus on cutting-edge technology and timely issues, including workforce training and regulatory changes, to help position business leaders for opportunities and growth.

Experts and leaders confirmed to date include:

  • Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief Economist, General Motors
  • Sheryl Connelly, Manager, Global Consumer Trends and Futuring, Ford Motor Co.
  • Doug Cain, CEO, Mubea North America
  • Pierre Abboud, President and CEO, Bosch
  • Mike Mullis, global site selection consultant
  • John Bradburn, Environmental Engineer, Chevrolet Europe
  • Lindsay Chappell, Automotive News bureau chief
  • Laurie Harbour, President and CEO, Harbour Results
  • Gary Silberg, KPMG’s national lead partner and author of “Me, My Car, My Life”
  • Thomas Croskey, Executive Director Manufacturing Strategy and Planning, General Motors
  • Dale Brosius, Chief Commercialization Officer, Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation

“The automotive world is changing rapidly, so communication is crucial to continuing economic success,” Tatman said. “As one of the nation’s top automotive states, we believe Kentucky has a responsibility to lead in thinking as well as doing. Bringing together some of the leading minds for a two-day summit will help the entire automotive industry — throughout the region, across the country and around the world.

Get more information and register at www.autovisionconference.com.

Hydro-Gear to Expand Operations in Princeton

Transmissions manufacturer to create 40 new jobs

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 9, 2015) – More jobs are coming to western Kentucky. Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that Hydro-Gear Limited Partnership is expanding its operations in Caldwell County.

Hydro-Gear, a designer and manufacturer of precision drive systems, plans to add up to 40 new jobs and invest $2.6 million into the project.

“Today’s announcement is a demonstration that Hydro-Gear continues to build on its growth as a leading global manufacturer in its field,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’ve worked hard with our community partners to make this region attractive to businesses, and that work is paying off. I’m proud of the new jobs and investment here. This is a great day for the Commonwealth, Princeton and Hydro-Gear.”

Hydro-Gear first located a manufacturing operation to Princeton in 2005. Now, the company plans to add more capacity, including the construction of a new 55,000-square-foot warehouse. This will allow Hydro-Gear to create more manufacturing space. The project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

“When you have great team, it is amazing what can be done,” said Ray Hauser, president of Hydro-Gear. “We joined the Princeton community in 2005 to support our growth. We have attracted outstanding people that truly care and are motivated to perform for our customers every day. This facility expansion will allow us to enhance our customer service and provide solid employment opportunities for the local community.”

Headquartered in Illinois, Hydro-Gear is a global leader in the design and manufacture of precision drive systems. Working in partnership with manufacturers worldwide, Hydro-Gear produces an extensive line of high-performance, efficient hydrostatic transmissions and transaxles for industrial, commercial and consumer markets. The company currently employs more than 120 workers in central Kentucky.

“It is exciting for our community that Hydro-Gear is expanding its Caldwell County operations, which will create new job opportunities and provide a healthy boost to the local economy,” said Sen. Dorsey Ridley, of Henderson. “It also speaks highly of our dedicated workforce that this company is willing to make this investment. Hydro-Gear is a good corporate neighbor, and I look forward to a long, prosperous corporate partnership.”

“Hydro-Gear is an important part of our manufacturing community in Princeton,” said Princeton Mayor Danny Beavers. “This investment will assure continued growth and give us 40 new jobs for our community. The city of Princeton greatly appreciates Hydro-Gear choosing our community for its expansion.”

“I am extremely pleased that Hydro-Gear has chosen Princeton for their latest expansion,” said Caldwell County Judge-Executive Ellen Dunning. “They are a great asset to our community, and we are looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship. We appreciate the confidence they have shown by choosing to expand their Operations in Caldwell County.”

To encourage the investment and job creation, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $800,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

In addition, Hydro-Gear is eligible to receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 4,100 Kentucky companies.

For more information on Hydro-Gear, visit www.hydro-gear.com.

A detailed community profile for Princeton (Caldwell County) can be viewed here.

Impact of Kentucky Automotive Industry Tops $14 Billion

Economic study says automotive producers and suppliers support 136,500 Kentucky jobs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 3, 2015) – Joined by Gov. Steve Beshear and industry leaders, the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA) shared results today of the first in-depth study of the significant fiscal and economic impact of Kentucky’s automotive industry.

The nearly six-month study was conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville Urban Studies Institute.

“This report underscores what many automotive manufacturers and suppliers have known for years – Kentucky is a great place to do business and a great place to call home,” Gov. Beshear said. “It details the tremendous contributions our automotive industry is making, bringing billions of dollars into our economy and supporting more than 136,000 high-paying jobs.”

“Kentucky’s automotive industry is more than Ford’s assembly plants in Louisville. More than GM’s Corvette plant in Bowling Green. And more than the Toyota and Lexus operations in Georgetown,” Beshear added. “This vital industry includes regional parts suppliers, tool-and-die shops, warehouses, trucking companies and metal-stamping operations throughout the Commonwealth.”

The U of L study is the first comprehensive look at the widespread and growing impact the automotive industry is having on the Commonwealth. It was commissioned by the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA), an organization formed last year to address the industry’s challenges and opportunities for growth.

KAIA announced the study results in Louisville during an event at Integrated Manufacturing & Assembly. The plant, which employs 120 full-time workers, supplies seats for the Chevrolet Corvette and seating assemblies for several Mercedes-Benz models.

“IMA is a great example of the impact our industry is having on communities across Kentucky,” said Dave Tatman, executive director of the KAIA. “Automotive manufacturers and suppliers do business in two-thirds of Kentucky’s counties, and many are expanding their operations in the Commonwealth to meet the growing global demand for cars and trucks.”

“We are pleased to provide the first clear picture of Kentucky’s auto industry to show citizens and leaders across the state who we are, where we are and how we are making Kentucky a national leader in automotive-related manufacturing and production,” Tatman added.

Key findings from the report include:

  • The industry contributes $14.3 billion to Kentucky’s gross state product (GSP). Roughly $1 out of every $13 in the state’s economy is tied to the automotive industry.
  • Kentucky’s automotive manufacturers and suppliers contribute $6.1 billion to payrolls annually.
  • The average annual wage of a manufacturing employee in the automotive sector is $58,280.
  • Automotive-related businesses directly employ 85,552 workers at more than 470 establishments in Kentucky.
  • Automotive-related manufacturers and suppliers support 136,500 jobs in Kentucky. Roughly 1 out of every 18 jobs in the state is supported by the direct, indirect or induced effects of automotive-related manufacturers.
  • $1 out of every $14 in state taxes results from the automotive industry. A total of $488 million annually in state income and sales taxes come from industry-supported jobs.
  • One-fifth of the state’s exports last year were tied to the auto industry. The value of Kentucky’s automotive-related exports totaled $5.9 billion in 2014.
  • Existing and new employers in Kentucky’s automotive industry have announced $5 billion in investments over the last five years, and nearly 20,000 new jobs have been announced.

“The results of this study solidify that we are moving in the right direction,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Not on cruise control, but with the knowledge that the automotive industry will lead us down the long road into the future with high-paying jobs and economic development opportunities for our city, region and state.”

Tatman said the KAIA and its industry members will use the results of the U of L study to further educate the public about the importance of the industry and to develop strategies to further expand automotive-related manufacturing in Kentucky.

A series of industry forums will be held later this month on KCTCS campuses across the state to facilitate discussions about the industry, its challenges and opportunities. Details about the events can be found at http://kyautoindustry.com/events/.

“These forums are an opportunity for industry members, local and state leaders and our educators to be part of the conversation about the future of the automotive industry in Kentucky,” Tatman said. “We hope these conversations will help pave a path to continued prosperity for our state and the automotive industry.”

Gov. Beshear also announced that the state will host its first-annual automotive conference in September. The event will be held in Louisville and feature international experts and leaders from the automotive industry. More details about the conferences will be announced in coming weeks.

“Kentucky is recognized around the world as a hot spot for automotive manufacturing,” Beshear said. “This international conference will allow Kentucky to bring together industry leaders from across our state and around the world to see what’s creating a spark for growth in the Commonwealth.”

###

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).

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Breaks Ground on Lexington Expansion

Wire harness manufacturer to construct new 440,000-square-foot facility

LEXINGTON Ky. (June 1, 2015) – Governor Steve Beshear joined company officials and other local leaders today to break ground on Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems’ new facility in Lexington.

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Inc., a leading supplier of wire harnesses, components and electronics to the automotive industry, is expected to create up to 10 new jobs and invest nearly $8.5 million into the project. The expansion also will allow the company to retain more than two dozen employees and provide work for many suppliers in the area.

“For 30 years, Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems has been a tremendous corporate partner and source of good-paying jobs in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “I want to thank the company for its continued investment and for helping the Commonwealth become one of the nation’s key players in the global automotive industry.”

“Employers like Sumitomo help keep our local and regional economy strong,” said Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. “After outgrowing its current facilities, the company saw the benefit of staying and continuing to add jobs in Lexington, which speaks to the value of our workforce and high quality of life.”

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems will construct a 440,000-square-foot facility on Remington Way, off Citation Boulevard. The company’s two current operations in Lexington – one in the Bluegrass Business Park and the other on Baker Court – will be consolidated into the new facility. The center will nearly double the company’s Lexington footprint, which will allow for better service to its just-in-time customers and ample space for future growth.

The company plans to move its current Lexington operations and its 28 employees to the new 30-acre site by the end of the year. Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems considered moving the operation to another state, but ultimately decided Kentucky was the best fit for the company’s future.

“In addition to the area’s strong and talented workforce, the proximity to key automotive customers provides a strategic location so that we can continue to grow our operations,” said Masayoshi Fuse, president of Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Inc. North America. “Without the generous support from the state, our local government and community, today would not have been a reality. We’re excited to be growing towards our goal of being the leading wire harness supplier in North America.”

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems is a global supplier of innovative electrical distribution systems to top automobile manufacturers.  In addition to Lexington, the Japan-based company has its U.S. headquarters in Bowling Green, as well as other Kentucky facilities in Edmonton and Scottsville. Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems has operated in the Commonwealth since 1985.

“I am pleased with the new investment Sumitomo has made into a rapidly developing business area of Lexington,” said Sen. Ralph Alvarado, of Lexington. “As a result, 10 new jobs will provide some wonderful new employment opportunities for our citizens, but more importantly, existing employees will retain their jobs. I thank everyone who helped attract this investment to my district, and hope the Sumitomo project is a blueprint for similar local businesses considering expansion.”

“I’m pleased to join our partners at Sumitomo as they announce plans to add good-paying jobs and renew their longtime commitment to our community,” said Rep. Sannie Overly, of Lexington. “Investments like these made here today illustrate the strength of Kentucky’s workforce. I can tell you there is momentum like this in local economies across the commonwealth, which is always a great sign that we are moving Kentucky forward.”

“I’m certainly pleased that Sumitomo is increasing its presence here in Lexington, which I think is further proof that we’re doing the right things to attract and support businesses in our community,” said Rep. George Brown, of Lexington. “This announcement also speaks volumes about our workforce and the positive things they have to offer. I want to thank Sumitomo for moving in this direction, and I appreciate the hard work of Gov. Beshear and our state and local economic development leaders in helping to make this possible.”

“Sumitomo has created an outstanding economic impact on our city and region,” said Bob Quick, president and CEO of Commerce Lexington Inc. “The new investment and added jobs are greatly appreciated by our economic development team, and we have enjoyed working with the international company from the first day they located in Lexington. Congrats to Sumitomo on its expansion.”

Kentucky’s automotive industry continues to reach historic heights. The Commonwealth is home to more than 460 automotive-related facilities, employing more than 85,000 people. Over the last five years, 350 motor vehicle-related projects have been announced in Kentucky, representing more than 20,000 new jobs and more than $5 billion in new investment.

To encourage the investment and job growth in Fayette County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $225,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

For more information on Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems, visit www.sewsus.com

A detailed community profile for Lexington (Fayette County) can be viewed here.

General Motors to Invest $439 Million in Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant

GM to build a 450,000-square-foot paint operation

A major expansion is in the works at the Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant.

Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen joined General Motors’ leaders and community officials to announce that GM will invest $439 million for facility upgrades, including a new paint shop. The 450,000-square-foot facility will be almost half the size of the company’s entire operation in Warren County.

“For more than three decades, Kentucky and General Motors have shared a deep connection,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “This expansion only makes the relationship stronger and will create a foundation for future growth. I want to thank GM for its continued investment in the Commonwealth, and I look forward to Kentucky being home to the Corvette for generations to come.”

“The Corvette is one of Kentucky’s most-cherished icons,” said. Lt. Gov. Luallen. “Such a significant expansion of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will help the company remain competitive in the region and around the world.”

The paint shop will receive substantial upgrades in technology, including new tooling, robots and state-of-the-art environmental and efficiency enhancements. Construction is planned to begin this summer and is expected to take approximately two years to complete. Vehicle production schedules will be unaffected by the construction.

“With this major technology investment, we can continue to exceed the expectations of sports car buyers for years to come,” said North American Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones. “These types of investments are evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make.”

This latest investment builds on approximately $135 million invested in the plant over the last four years for the new seventh-generation Corvette and Performance Build Center. Last month, GM announced it would invest $5.4 billion in its U.S. facilities over the next three years.

GM began production of the Corvette at the Bowling Green plant in 1981, and the facility has remained the exclusive home of the Corvette for over 30 years. 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 assembled.

Since the launch of the all-new 2014 Stingray, the car has experienced one success after another. Corvette sales reached 38,000 last year, and the plant hit a record year for public tours in 2014, welcoming almost 56,000 visitors from around the world.

“The GM Corvette Plant is one of the unique gems and sources of pride of Bowling Green,” said Sen. Mike Wilson of Bowling Green. “We celebrate the expansion of the plant and look forward to the increased production and job growth within the community.”

“I am very excited to see General Motors making a major investment in the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green,” said Rep. Jody Richards, of Bowling Green. “General Motors and Bowling Green have been great for each other, and this expansion demonstrates General Motors’ commitment to keeping that partnership going well into the future.”

“The roots of the Corvette have run deep in Warren County and south central Kentucky for many years, thanks to the hard working men and women who make the top sports car in America, and one of the top sports cars in the world,” said Rep. Michael Meredith, of Brownsville. “Today’s announcement and investment by GM means the Corvette will continue to be manufactured in our region for many years to come.”

“The Corvette has become one of the most recognizable symbols of America,” said Rep. Jim DeCesare, of Bowling Green. “Bowling Green continues to play a huge role in making the Corvette an outstanding sports car. Our relationship with the Corvette Assembly Plant, the only plant in the world to manufacture the Corvette, is special, and I’m pleased with the confidence GM is showing by making this large investment in Warren County to guarantee more cars will roll off the assembly line for years to come.”

“Since opening their doors in Bowling Green over 30 years ago, GM has been an excellent corporate citizen to our community,” said Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “We are delighted GM has chosen to expand here and are thankful for their support of Bowling Green. Today, I’m happy to congratulate GM on all of their successes and wish the company the best of luck in the future.”

“Yet again, GM has proven south central Kentucky is an ideal location for companies by finding great success and continuing to invest in our region,” said Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon. “GM has set the standard of a successful business, and it’s such a privilege to see their continued growth.”

General Motors also is a founding member of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA). KAIA is an industry-led organization that is driven by the needs of Kentucky’s expansive automotive industry. The association was formed hand-in-hand with Kentucky’s OEMs and suppliers to address the challenges and opportunities of the industry. Learn more about KAIA at www.kyautoindustry.com.

For more information on the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, visit www.corvetteassembly.com.

Warren County has been certified by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board as a Work Ready Community. The certification is an assurance to business and industry that the community is committed to providing the highly skilled workforce required in today’s competitive global economy.

A detailed community profile for Bowling Green (Warren County) can be viewed here.

Gov. Beshear Celebrates Kobe Aluminum’s 10th Anniversary in Kentucky

Japanese-owned automotive supplier invested $180M since locating in Bowling Green

One of Kentucky’s most prominent Japanese companies is celebrating a milestone.

Gov. Steve Beshear today joined company and local officials at Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC (KAAP) to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary in Bowling Green. The company’s leadership from Japan also participated in the event.

“Today is a celebration of success,” said Gov. Beshear. “Kobe Aluminum has grown in size and significance since establishing in Bowling Green 10 years ago. The company continues to be a crucial part of Kentucky’s thriving automotive industry and a source of quality jobs. I’m honored to join with Kobe’s officials from around the world to celebrate this landmark occasion.”

Since establishing in Bowling Green in 2003, KAAP has invested more than $180 million in its Kentucky operations. The company, which has undergone five additional expansions over the past decade, currently employs almost 400 Kentuckians.

The need for lighter vehicles is expected to accelerate over the next decade as cars and light-duty trucks will be required to increase fuel efficiency to meet stronger Corporate Average Fuel Economy (or CAFE) standards. With demand anticipated to continue growing for aluminum suspensions, KAAP is working to gain more orders for its aluminum forged parts.

Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC, a joint venture of Kobe Steel Ltd., Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation. There are 13 Kobe Steel subsidiaries in the United States, but the Bowling Green location is the only U.S. facility to forge aluminum suspension products for the automotive industry.

The Kobe Steel Group, a global enterprise built around Kobe Steel Ltd., founded in 1905, is engaged in business in a wide range of fields, with its major businesses concentrated on materials and machinery. The material businesses are comprised of iron and steel, welding, and aluminum and copper products, while machinery includes industrial and construction machinery, as well as natural resources and engineering and environmental solutions. Other important businesses are wholesale power supply and real estate. Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and Toyota Tsusho Corporation are among the biggest Japanese trading firms.

“We are so happy to celebrate this momentous occasion with KAAP and the Bowling Green community and we look forward to many more decades of fruitful partnership,” said Sen. Mike Wilson, of Bowling Green.

“I am delighted to see Kobe Aluminum celebrating 10 years of doing business in Bowling Green,” said Rep. Jody Richards, of Bowling Green. “When KAAP first located here, I believed the company would have a considerable economic impact. I have been very pleased with their progress and proud to see the growth KAAP has had over the past decade. I appreciate KAAP’s continued investment in the people and economy of Bowling Green.”

“Bowling Green has become a key center for our country’s automotive manufacturing industry, which is a testament to the outstanding business climate we offer,” said Rep. Jim DeCesare, of Bowling Green. “It’s why Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products LLC came to our region 10 years ago, and with further work to make Warren County more pro-business, we look forward to more companies calling our area home.”

“Over the last decade, Kobe has proven to be a valuable asset to the city of Bowling Green,” said Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “The company’s multiple expansions here show their loyalty to our community. For this, I’d like to thank Kobe, and wish the company the best for many more decades to come.”

“It’s always a bright day in south central Kentucky when we can celebrate a company’s continued success in our region,” said Mike Buchanon, Warren County judge-executive. “Kobe has proven to be an exemplary corporate citizen for the past 10 years and I’m glad to wish them a happy anniversary.”

Kentucky continues to have a strong relationship with Asian companies. The Commonwealth is home to more than 430 internationally based companies, including 170 from Asia. Last year, nearly a third of all new investment and 20 percent of jobs announced in the state was a result of foreign direct investment. Gov. Beshear led a delegation to Japan, Singapore and Taiwan last month.

For more information on Kobe Aluminum, visit www.kobeal.com.

Warren County also has been certified by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board as a Work Ready Community. The certification is an assurance to business and industry that the community is committed to providing the highly skilled workforce required in today’s competitive global economy.

A detailed community profile for Bowling Green (Warren County) can be viewed here.

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