• 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

Hendrickson USA LLC to Expand Operations in Somerset; Create 80 New Jobs

Company’s third Kentucky project this year

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 11, 2014) – Governor Steve Beshear today announced Hendrickson USA LLC will increase capacity at its facility in Pulaski County.

Hendrickson, a manufacturer of heavy duty commercial trailer and truck suspension systems, is expected to create up to 80 new jobs and invest $2.8 million into the project.

“This is a welcomed investment,” said Gov. Beshear. “The fact that Hendrickson decided grow here yet again is a further testament to Kentucky’s highly skilled workforce and strong business climate. Hendrickson has been a tremendous corporate partner to the Commonwealth and I’m excited for this latest expansion.”

The company plans to install new equipment in its facility in the Pin Oak Industrial Park. The new equipment will increase capacity for manufacturing semi-trailer suspension systems and related components.

“Our team members in Kentucky have proven their dedication, loyalty and determination in contributing to the success of the company in this area,” said Perry Bahr, Hendrickson’s vice president and general manager. “Those efforts continue to help expand the Hendrickson business while maintaining our reputation in the commercial transportation industry as a global manufacturer and supplier of durable, dependable and quality suspension systems. This project would not have been possible without the support of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. We look forward to an ongoing partnership with local and state officials to help Hendrickson, as well as the community, to continue to grow and prosper.”

Hendrickson, a Boler company, is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of medium and heavy-duty suspension systems, axle systems, springs, and bumper and trim components. In addition to the Somerset location, which opened in 2007, the company has an existing operation in Lebanon and opened a new 100,000-square-foot facility in Elizabethtown earlier this year. Hendrickson also announced an expansion of the Lebanon operation in September. In total, the company employs a combined 500 Kentuckians.

Sen. Chris Girdler
Rep. Tommy Turner

Mayor
Judge

To encourage the investment and job growth in Pulaski County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2 million 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 Hendrickson USA LLC, visit www.hendrickson-intl.com.

Lt. Gov. Luallen Celebrates Expansion of T.RAD North America in Hopkinsville

Japanese-owned heat transfer manufacturer to increase production, add 200 jobs

HOPKINSVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 2, 2014) – Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen today joined company officials and local leaders to break ground on T.RAD North America Inc.’s expansion in Christian County.

T.RAD, a Japanese-owned heat transfer manufacturer, is expected to create 200 jobs and invest $25 million.
Gov. Steve Beshear applauded the expansion. “T.RAD North America is a valuable asset to western Kentucky and our thriving automotive industry,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’re proud to be part of the growth and success we’re seeing today. The Commonwealth takes great pride in partnering with local businesses to help keep them competitive and prosperous right here in the Bluegrass.”

“This is an excellent opportunity for both T.RAD and Kentucky,” said Lt. Gov. Luallen. “Matching a great company with our excellent workforce provides a significant boost to our local economy. We’re proud of our relationship with T.RAD, and we know the company and its employees will continue to succeed here.”

T.RAD plans to construct additional manufacturing space to its 180,000-square-foot operation in Commerce Park. The expansion will increase production efficiency and reduce costs.

“Since 1988, when T.RAD decided to locate in Hopkinsville, we have experienced great cooperation from Kentucky and the local community in growing our company, beginning with 30 employees to our current 500,” said Tatsuya Kikuyama, president of T.RAD North America. “We are excited about our future and believe the Hopkinsville community will continue to provide us with an excellent workforce and good relationships with both the state and local governments.”

T.RAD North America designs and manufactures heat transfer and cooling systems for the automotive, motorcycle, construction and agricultural industries, as well as for the military. The company currently employs nearly 500 people in Hopkinsville.

This is the latest of several T.RAD investments in western Kentucky. In 2012, the company announced plans to invest $10.8 million to purchase new equipment to increase production capacity and meet the demand for lighter weight aluminum products.

Kentucky continues to be a hotbed for Japanese investment. More than 160 Japanese facilities are in Kentucky, employing more than 40,000 people. In the past two years, 52 Japanese companies have announced plans to invest more than $1.3 billion statewide.

To further strengthen those ties, Gov. Beshear traveled to Japan last month to meet with business leaders across multiple industries.

Kentucky is home to more than 460 automotive-related industries that employ more than 82,000 people. The Commonwealth ranks third highest in auto industry-related employment as a percent of total state employment among the top motor vehicle producing states in the United States.

“T.RAD is a valuable part of Hopkinsville’s industrial family, and I couldn’t be more excited about T.RAD bringing new jobs to Christian County,” said Sen. Whitney Westerfield, of Hopkinsville. “The positive economic impact on this region and the Commonwealth as a whole is immeasurable. T.RAD’s expansion means 200 new jobs and that translates directly into support for at least 200 families. It also is direct testimony that Kentucky’s automotive manufacturing industry and Hopkinsville’s workforce are worthy of investment.”

“T.RAD has been a great corporate partner, so I’m certainly pleased to see it make this investment and create so many new jobs for our community,” said Rep. John Tilley, of Hopkinsville. “This will be a big help for a lot of our families, and it offers further proof that our region is an ideal place for businesses to grow.”

“Today’s expansion is encouraging news for our local economy and our able workforce by creating nearly 200 new jobs for the area,” said Rep. Myron Dossett, of Pembroke. “T.RAD’s expansion also is a positive reflection not only on the economic base in Hopkinsville and Christian County, but on Kentucky as whole because of its status as a leader in the automotive manufacturing industry.”

“Once again we applaud T.RAD for making such a significant investment to grow their local operation,” said Hopkinsville Mayor Dan Kemp. “T.RAD continues to be an important part of our community by providing quality jobs for our citizens. The company recently celebrated 25 years in Hopkinsville-Christian County, and we look forward to many more to come.”

“The expansion of the T.RAD facility in Commerce Park is the result of a tremendous partnership formed with our community in 1987,” said Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble. “T.RAD North America is a world leader in the production of heat transfer products and we are proud of the company’s success. We congratulate T.RAD and all the employees at this facility for their hard work and the contributions they make to our regional economy.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in Christian County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $2.3 million 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.

KEDFA also approved T.RAD for tax benefits up to $200,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.

A detailed community profile for Hopkinsville (Christian County) can be viewed here.

Gov. Beshear Announces Kowa Kentucky Inc. to Establish Operations in Corbin

Kowa’s first operation in North America

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2014) – Further proving Kentucky is a great place for foreign investment, Gov. Steve Beshear today joined company officials and local leaders to announce Kowa Kentucky Inc. plans to open a facility in Knox County.

For Kowa, which specializes in metalworking and treatment, the southeastern Kentucky location will be the company’s first operation in North America. Kowa plans to create 30 jobs and invest $8.3 million into the project.
“Kentucky welcomes Kowa as its newest corporate citizen, one that will significantly enrich the southeastern Kentucky region, as well as the entire Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “The fact that Kowa has chosen Kentucky as the destination for its global operations speaks volumes about the pro-business climate and quality workforce we offer. I congratulate the company on this global expansion, and I look forward to building upon our partnership for years to come.”

Kowa plans to move into the Corbin Regional Speculative building in the Southeast Kentucky Business Park this fall. The new facility will focus on surface treatment for automotive suppliers, specifically a highly advanced process known as electroless nickel plating.

Kowa is a leading provider of hot dip galvanized coating, various surface treatments of metal and metalworking. Its parent company, Kowa Kogyosho Company Ltd., is based in Nagoya, Japan.

“We are excited about opening our first North American facility in Corbin and look forward to a long-lasting partnership with the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Toshio Muguruma, president of Kowa Kogyosho Co. Ltd.

“With our state-of-the art plating technologies, we hope to be able to expand our customer base in North America in coming years,” said Saetsu Sato, president of Kowa Kentucky, Inc.

Kentucky has been extremely successful in the attraction of foreign direct investment. The Commonwealth is home to nearly 450 foreign-owned companies. More than 160 of those businesses are Japanese-owned, and they employ 43,000 people statewide.

“This is great news for Corbin,” said Sen. Robert Stivers, of Manchester. “I applaud Bruce Carpenter, director of Corbin’s Economic Development Agency, for the hard work he has done, and all those who helped him at the state and local level bringing Kowa here. Kowa offers what all of Kentucky needs – skilled, well-paying positions providing good opportunities for the region.”

“Kentucky continues to set the bar for its growing automotive and automotive components manufacturing industry, including growing the number of research companies locating to the Commonwealth,” said Rep. Jim Stewart, of Flat Lick. “I’m pleased Kowa chose Knox County for its first facility in North America, and I’m happy to know that our people will be involved in discovering new ways to help automakers build a better vehicle.”

“Kowa Kentucky Inc. is definitely an economic boost for Corbin and the surrounding area,” said Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney. “We are truly excited and appreciative for Kowa locating and establishing its company here. We look forward to a long and great working relationship.”

“On behalf of the Corbin and Knox County, I would like to thank Kowa Kentucky Inc. for bringing its business here,” said Knox County Judge-Executive J.M. Hall. “We look forward to working with Kowa and helping to support its future in the Southeast Kentucky Regional Business Park with our capable workforce. This partnership will be a great opportunity for our county and the surrounding counties.”

To encourage the investment and job growth in Corbin, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives of up to $600,000 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.

KEDFA also approved the company for tax benefits up to $50,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.

A detailed community profile for Knox County can be viewed here.

Kentucky Automotive Industry Association Names Former Auto Executive as Inaugural Executive Director

Dave Tatman to lead industry-driven organization of auto manufacturers, suppliers

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 1, 2014) – A Kentucky resident with extensive automotive manufacturing experience has been tasked with elevating the state’s position as a global leader in the automotive industry.

The Kentucky Auto Industry Association announced today Dave Tatman, former general manager of the General Motors Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, will serve as the inaugural executive director of the organization.

“I am delighted and humbled to serve as the first executive director for the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association,” said Tatman. “I am very excited to draw on my 34 years of automotive experience to work across the Commonwealth for the common good of the industry. We have long needed a united voice on matters of mutual concern, and the association gives us the platform for that voice.”

Tatman was appointed executive director by the association’s 12 member board of directors, which is chaired by Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes.

“Dave is the best person for the job,” said Hayes. “His experience in the industry and his strong relationships with manufacturers and suppliers throughout the state will be invaluable assets as we further strengthen our position as a leader in the global automotive marketplace.”

Tatman joined GM as a college graduate in training in 1980 and progressed through several locations and leadership positions in the U.S., Canada and South America. Tatman became general manager of the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green in 2010 and retired earlier this year.

The Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, which was announced by Governor Steve Beshear earlier this year, will create a unified voice for an industry sector that is profoundly important to the state’s economic health and growth. For the first time, auto manufacturers, suppliers and supporting entities will work together to share best practices and encourage meaningful dialogue and action. The association will take a leading role in developing collaborative partnerships that will advance the auto industry now and in the future.

With more than 1.2 million vehicles produced in 2013, Kentucky ranks third overall in light vehicle production and first per capita. Kentucky’s 460 motor vehicle-related establishments employ nearly 82,000 people. In the past five years, nearly 300 motor vehicle-related projects have been announced statewide, representing more than 17,600 new jobs and $4 billion in new investment. Kentucky’s motor vehicle exports reached a record $5.5 billion last year.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is providing support to the Kentucky Auto Industry Association as the organization establishes its structure and framework. To learn more about the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, visit kyautoindustry.com

Gov. Beshear Announces Launch of Kentucky Automotive Industry Association

Organization to tackle industry challenges and opportunities; elevate state’s position as a leader in the global auto industry

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 7, 2014) – To make the Commonwealth an even more prominent automotive powerhouse, Governor Steve Beshear is bringing together Kentucky auto manufacturers, suppliers and supporting entities to create the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association.

“The goal of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association is to create a unified voice for an industry sector that is profoundly important to our state’s economic health and growth,” said Gov. Beshear. “The association will play a vital role in addressing the challenges, solutions and opportunities facing the industry. It will also allow us to highlight successes and elevate the state’s contributions to the global automotive industry.”

For the first time, these groups can work in concert with each other, creating a forum to share best practices and encourage meaningful dialogue and action. The association will take a leading role in creating collaborative partnerships that will advance the auto industry now and in the future.

A 12-member inaugural board of directors, consisting of industry and government leaders, will develop the association and set its strategic goals and activities. Larry Hayes, secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development, has agreed to serve as the inaugural chairman.

“Recognizing the widespread impact of the automotive industry in our state, we sought to create a platform that will further strengthen our position as a leader in the global marketplace,” said Hayes. “The Kentucky Automotive Industry Association was formed hand-in-hand with Kentucky’s auto manufacturers and suppliers. It’s a partnership that I have no doubt will create an environment in which we’ll see tangible results and continued growth for Kentucky’s economy.”

Board members include:

  • Larry Hayes, Secretary, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
  • Mike Goss, general manager for external affairs, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc.
  • Gabby Bruno, regional director for state government relations, Ford Motor Company
  • Eric Henning, regional director for state government relations, General Motors Company
  • Joe Adamcik, director of planning and strategy, AGC Automotive Americas
  • Jim Rachlin, president, Metalsa Light Vehicles USA & Australia
  • Rich Whitaker, vice president, Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Inc.
  • Mike Hirsch, vice president of operations for passenger car steering systems, ZF Steering Systems LLC
  • Doug Cain, CEO, Mubea North America
  • Brandon Kessinger, vice president and general counsel, Akebono Brake Corporation
  • Toru (Richard) Kamioke, president & CEO, Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Inc.
  • Kurt Krug, vice president of North American human resources, INOAC

With more than 1.2 million vehicles produced in 2013, Kentucky ranks third overall in light vehicle production and first per capita. Kentucky’s 460 motor vehicle-related establishments employ nearly 82,000 people. In the past five years, nearly 300 motor vehicle-related projects have been announced statewide, representing more than 17,600 new jobs and $4 billion in new investment. Kentucky’s motor vehicle exports reached a record $5.5 billion last year.

Learn more about Kentucky’s automotive industry here.

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Founding Partners
Cabinet For Economic Development Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Toyota General Motors Ford INOAC Metalsa Mubea Akebono Bosch Hitachi AGC