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.