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AutoVision 2017

The inaugural AutoVision Conference, an initiative of KAIA, was another success in 2017! Geared to showcase the future of the automotive industry from a wide variety of perspectives – experts were on hand to discuss new trends, designs, materials, opportunities and challenges for the industry, and provided insight on how best to take advantage of the constantly changing automotive industry landscape.


AutoVision 2017 conference to provide high-octane insight, networking

August event offers more matchmaking opportunities than ever in its third year

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 11, 2017) – With the AutoVision 2017 conference less than a month away, the best opportunity to register for the state’s premier automotive-related event, hosted by the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association, is now.

In its third year, the conference will address issues facing the auto industry including a growing focus on autonomous technology, fuel-efficiency standards, a proposed border adjustment tax and innovative new workforce strategies.

The event, scheduled for Aug. 7-8 at the Griffin Gate Marriott in Lexington, will feature a multitude of networking and matchmaking opportunities for parts suppliers and OEMs within the automotive sector, as well as public discussions featuring top industry executives and experts that will help attendees position themselves and their companies for future success.

“We at KAIA could not be more thrilled to get AutoVision 2017 underway,” said Dave Tatman, the association’s executive director. “The conference has been a remarkable success each of the past two years, and we have more opportunities than ever to bring industry leaders together to help further company and industrywide goals. I cannot wait to see what’s next, and that’s what this event is all about.”

Autonomous technology and its growing presence within the auto industry will be a focal point at the conference with a panel discussion on the topic hosted by Lindsay Chappell, industry editor at Automotive News. Gary Silberg, national sector lead partner with KPMG, is back by popular demand following captivating discussions during each of the first two sessions to discuss the changing automotive landscape.

Jon Coleman, Ford Motor Co. fleet sustainability and technology manager, will illuminate ways the company is helping its fleet customers improve their results. Lawrence E. Brown, executive director of LIFT consortium, will highlight progress in lightweighting. Joseph McCabe, president and CEO of AutoForecast Solutions, will discuss current market trends and the industry’s overall direction. These are just a few of the industry leaders who will be on hand to share their knowledge, experiences and views for the future.

“We have some great events on the slate for this year’s conference, and I look forward to hearing what each of the speakers has to say about where the automotive industry is headed,” said Mandy Lambert, KAIA board chair member and commissioner of the Department for Business Development with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. “However, it is the additional matchmaking opportunities at AutoVision 2017 that set this event apart from previous editions. It is our hope that this event not only assists attendees to determine the appropriate next steps within their respective companies, but also sets the foundation for those steps to be taken sooner rather than later.”

Those new opportunities to connect members of the auto industry come in the form of the SPARK Matchmaking event, which will be held on Monday, Aug. 7. The event provides an opportunity for attendees who purchase one of the limited matchmaking packages to hold exclusive one-on-one meetings with leading OEM and tier 1 company executives. The inaugural SPARK event was held separately in 2016, and the success of the conference led to its incorporation into AutoVision 2017.

AutoVision this year offers additional networking opportunities, including a tour of the new Bluegrass Community and Technical College training center and of the new Creform Material Handling Systems facility in Georgetown, lunch at Country Boy Brewing’s new operation in Scott County, and the Mubea-sponsored DinnerView reception and dinner, which requires separate registration.

The event’s breakout sessions will focus on workforce initiatives, a Soft Skills Boot Camp, financial benefits of using renewable resources and leveraging efficient-vehicle R&D.

The conference follows prior successful AutoVision events from 2015 and 2016. After last year’s event, 100 percent of surveyed participants say they would recommend the conference to others, while 88 percent noted valuable connections made at AutoVision.

AutoVision is an initiative of KAIA. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the presenting sponsor of this year’s event.

For more information on, or to register for, AutoVision 2017, visit

For inquiries about sponsorships or exhibit space, contact Dave Tatman at [email protected] or (270) 349-2355.


Members of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association,

I write to make you aware the Kentucky General Assembly passed and Gov. Matt Bevin signed right-to-work legislation that may affect you and your employees.

As many in state government, economic development and private industry have said in recent days, this law aims to improve Kentucky’s business climate and attract additional business investment and jobs.
For the automotive industry, this is generally seen as a success, though I recognize we have great union partners in a number of our member businesses.

You can read text of the law, HB1, here.

Please consider the KAIA as a resource for your company going forward and don’t hesitate to be in contact.

Dave Tatman
Executive Director
Kentucky Automotive Industry Association
Email: [email protected]
Email: [email protected]

Industry Update

December 5, 2016
Dear automotive industry leaders:
I wanted to make certain you are aware of a recent, important announcement from the EPA regarding adoption of more stringent CAFE standards for model years 2022-25.  The move is not yet final, but it appears that the EPA is fast-tracking these regulations to ensure implementation before the new President takes office.
We at KAIA join the opposition to this overreach by the EPA, because we understand that these standards could slow the promising growth in our industry as well as hinder consumer choice. This move by the EPA should be especially alarming in Kentucky, the third largest producer of cars and light trucks in America and where the industry supports about 90,000 jobs.
The proposed standards, if finalized, would require that for the 2022-2025 model years, automakers must produce car and truck fleets that average more than 50 miles per gallon (MPG).  As you well know, this is a very challenging standard for manufacturers.  Current consumer preferences for larger cars and vehicles combined with low gas prices make the EPA goal especially onerous.
If these fuel efficiency standards are approved, every auto manufacturer and supplier will be forced to invest significant time in engineering and design for new models to meet these difficult regulations – and those costs will be passed along to consumers.
At a time when our auto industry is growing and providing thousands of jobs in Kentucky, we are dismayed that the EPA is willing to impede industry growth and interfere with consumer choices by rushing this decision.
Our state government leaders also oppose the EPA action.  Energy and Environment Secretary Charles Snavely pointed out that the EPA is circumventing its own process, and said, “the rules … are subject to review by April 2018 but the EPA is proposing that the agency cut short the public comment period and issue a final decision by the end of the year that would keep the stringent standards.”  Read his full comments at this link.

As the executive director of KAIA, I’m proud to be your voice on important issues like these, and I will share our positions with state and federal leaders so they understand potential impacts on your businesses and Kentucky’s economy. Please contact me if I can be of further service.
Dave Tatman
KAIA Executive Director
(270) 349-2355
[email protected]

AutoVision Conference Nearly Sold Out

Ticket sales outpacing last year; more than 250 expected in Lexington

LOUISVILLE, KY (September 6, 201) – The Kentucky Automotive Industry Association’s second annual AutoVision conference is nearly sold out, less than a week before manufacturing leaders gather in Lexington to share insights into one of Kentucky’s signature industries.

AutoVision, a forward-looking conference of automotive manufacturers, suppliers and other business leaders, will be held Sept. 12-13 at the Lexington Center downtown. The event is presented by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

“We’ve built a conference that reaches even more deeply and more creatively into the issues and challenges that make auto manufacturing the beating heart of Kentucky’s economy,” said Dave Tatman, executive director of KAIA. “We enjoyed tremendous positive response from our first conference last year, and we are determined to deliver an even more engaging and energizing AutoVision this time.”

Wil James, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) is AutoVision’s keynote speaker.

KAIA moved its signature conference to Lexington to increase capacity and expand its robust exhibit hall.  The move also allowed the conference to offer a free, limited-ticket tour of Toyota’s Georgetown manufacturing facility on Monday morning.

Monday evening’s “DinnerView”, a limited-ticket opportunity for conference attendees to enjoy dinner and cocktails with the conference’s speakers and panelists, is already sold out.

AutoVision’s agenda pushes attendees to reckon with the emerging trends and technologies that will reshape the automotive industry – everything from 3D printing to Internet-connected factory floors to rethinking machine downtime.

Major national automotive leaders Mustafa Mohatarem, chief economist of GM, and Gary Silberg, national sector lead partner of KMPG, return to AutoVision after widely praised presentations at the inaugural conference.  They will be joined by emerging entrepreneurs, engineers, and scholars and other manufacturing thought leaders who will offer provocative, challenging topics for the AutoVision crowd.

Tatman encouraged local manufacturing facilities to snap up remaining tickets quickly.  “We expanded our conference capacity and yet still are outpacing ticket sales compared to last year.  That tells me that our state’s automotive manufacturers and suppliers see the value of this conference to forge the new paths of Kentucky manufacturing.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Wil James, President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK).

Other presentations and panels include:

Greg Haye (above), general manager of Local Motors, and Drura Parrish, CEO of MakeTime, will lead discussions on disruptive technologies in auto manufacturing.
  • “Global Perspective: an economic outlook on the worldwide auto industry,” Mustafa Mohatarem, GM chief economist.
  • “New Kid on the (Engine) Block: Industry innovators designing, building autos,” Greg Haye, Local Motors general manager.
  • “What’s next for 3D printing?” Moderated by David Guilford, Automotive News; panelists include Rick Neff of Cincinnati Inc.; Isaac Mathew, UPS; and Sundar Atre, University of Louisville.
  • “The Clockspeed Dilemma: Responding to the melding of consumer and automotive technologies and the rise of mobile services,” Gary Silberg, KMPG
  • “Wearables on the Factory Floor: JIT in the information economy,” Ankur Gopal, Interapt
  • “The Internet of Cars: Connected technologies are changing drivers’ experiences and expectations.” Moderated by David Guilford of Automotive News; panelists include Alan Ewing of Connected Care Consortium; Chan Lieu of Venable; and Andrew Stess of dashradio.
  • “Factories of the Future: how connected technologies can drive personnel, process and profits in manufacturing”. Tony Fink, iGear.
  • “Changing Faces, Changing Places: how the automotive workforce drives improvements and advances in the production process.” Moderated by Dana Cosby, HRD Strategies; panelists include Jean Marie Thrower, Supplier Development Systems; Tierra Kavanaugh Wayne, TKT Associates; and Lamar Rucker, GM.
  • “Disruptive Drivers: dramatic changes in the supply chain create new opportunities,” Drura Parrish, MakeTime
  • “Understanding international cultures and workforce best practices in a global industry.” Moderated by Bill May, High Value Consulting; panelists include John Nunneley, Hitachi; Torsten Langguth, Dr. Schneider Automotive; and Woody Iddhibhakdibongse, Thai Summit.
  • “Election 2016: the impact of the fall presidential election on the auto industry.” Moderated by Mark Green, The Lane Report; panelists include Curt Magelby, Ford; Ann Wilson, Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association; and Paul Ryan, Global Automakers.

The full conference agenda is available at

*Media note:  Reporters may register free for the conference.  Contact Kerri Richardson ([email protected] or 502.386.2421) to confirm attendance.

Kentucky - Third Largest Auto Supplier

Third-largest auto-producing state in the country? It’s Kentucky

Kentucky - Third Largest Auto Supplier

Tom Martin talked with Dave Tatman, executive director of the Kentucky Auto Industry Association. Tatman completed 34 years with GM as plant manager for the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green. He also is an associate vice president for advanced manufacturing at Western Kentucky University and co-author of the book on leadership, Building Cathedrals: The Power of Purpose. Dave and his team are preparing for AutoVision, the association’s annual conference coming to the Lexington Center Sept. 12 and 13.

Click here to read the full article

KAIA Launches ‘AutoVision’ Magazine

Publication chronicles crucial and thriving state industry that employs 90,000 Kentuckians

FRANKFORT, KY (July 25, 2016) – No matter what kind of vehicle you drive, chances are good that it has Kentucky fingerprints – everything from wheel axles to sunroofs, and engines to exhaust systems are made right here in Kentucky.  Kentuckians have built vehicles and parts here in the Bluegrass State for more than a hundred years.

AutoVision Magazine

Because Kentucky’s automotive industry is such a crucial part of our state’s economy and the fabric of our communities, the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association has launched its first ever magazine, AutoVision. This quarterly magazine focuses on Kentucky’s surging automotive manufacturing industry, the third largest in the nation. It profiles innovative suppliers, interviews national experts and offers tips to Kentucky managers on how to keep the best employees

AutoVision highlights Kentucky’s leadership in a key national industry and explores the successes and challenges facing Kentucky’s auto manufacturers and suppliers,” said KAIA executive director Dave Tatman. “Whether you’re a plant manager worried about recruiting skilled employees, or an economic development official wondering how national automotive trends will affect local manufacturing, AutoVision has the answers you need.”

The free magazine will be distributed to KAIA members, leaders of automotive manufacturing facilities and their partner firms, elected officials and economic development leaders.

Kentucky’s automotive industry is consistently among the strongest in the nation, and is a vital leader of the state’s economy. In 2015, the state’s auto manufacturing sector:

  • increased production of passenger vehicles by 2.4 percent, to 1.3 million cars and trucks;
  • employed nearly 90,000 people statewide – an increase of nearly 5,000 jobs over 2014; and
  • announced 79 new projects totaling $2.8 billion in investments.

AutoVision shares its name with KAIA’s annual conference, which will be held this year on Sept. 12-13 in Lexington, Ky.  This year’s conference will feature a keynote presentation by Gary Silberg of KPMG on emerging automotive trends such as self-driving cars.  Silberg, the author of “Me, My Car, My Life”, is KPMG’s national sector lead partner for the automotive industry.   AutoVision magazine’s first cover story is an interview with Silberg about how changing demographics and changing technology will affect the future of driving.

Other articles include a recap of KAIA’s spring event, Spark, which connected suppliers with OEM and Tier 1 procurement representatives, reports on the latest new and expanding manufacturing facilities in Kentucky, and a profile of a KAIA member facility.

The magazine is committed to a fall and winter edition for 2016, with quarterly editions beginning in 2017.

If you’d like a copy of the magazine, or information about advertising opportunities, visit

Registration information for the 2016 AutoVision Conference can be found at


KAIA AutoVision Conference Grows, Welcomes Top Tier Experts

GM chief economist, Local Motors executive among speakers at Lexington event

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 5, 2015) – After last year’s sold-out event, the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association (KAIA) is gearing up for an even larger, more dynamic AutoVision conference this fall. Registration is now open for the second annual AutoVision event to be held in Lexington on Sept. 12-13.

Mustafa Mohaterem
Mustafa Mohaterem

AutoVision 2016 offers a stellar lineup of national automotive leaders, presenting a broad range of topics including changing consumer demands, developing and investing in human capital, and disruptive technologies reshaping the manufacturing industry.

“AutoVision is a phenomenal opportunity for our auto industry leaders to learn from one another, sharing insights about everything from regulations to workforce,” said Dave Tatman, KAIA executive director.  “We’ve built a quality conference that continues to attract top-level speakers and panelists, and this year is shaping up as an extraordinary collection of cutting-edge speakers and topics.”

The two-day event, presented by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, includes auto industry leaders such as Local Motors general manager Greg Haye and General Motors chief economist Mustafa Mohatarem.

Local Motors, best known for its 3-D printed car, is an American auto manufacturing company using micro-factories to build cars based on open-source vehicle designs.  Local Motors reflects a new edge of technology-driven manufacturing in the automotive industry.  General manager Greg Haye will discuss Local Motors’ motivation and techniques for producing cars in a revolutionary new way.

Mohatarem has served as the chief economist of General Motors Corporation since 1995, and leads a team responsible for analyzing economic growth trends and vehicle sales worldwide. He will offer an up-to-the-minute global economic forecast for the auto industry and interpret the impact of pressures such as consumer demands and federal regulations.

Main stage speakers and panelists from some of the world’s top automotive manufacturers and support services will discuss topics including workforce development, technology and connectivity, and supply chain challenges.  A session will be devoted to a discussion on the impact of this year’s presidential election on the manufacturing sector.

In its first year, AutoVision’s world-class agenda attracted a sold-out crowd of industry executives, insiders and analysts for a two-day conference and exhibitor hall. The event earned rave reviews from attendees, speakers and exhibitors alike.

For a full list of topics and speakers visit  Additional speakers will be announced throughout the summer. Premium additional events, such as a tour of the Toyota plant in Georgetown, will be available to a limited number of registrants.

Register now

Last year, AutoVision sold out well in advance of the conference, so attendees are strongly encouraged to register early. Early bird registration (before August 1) saves $50 per attendee.

KAIA AutoVision Conference

Sept. 12-13

Lexington, KY

Save $50 by registering before August 1

Member registration - $299

Non-member registration - $349

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 [email protected]. 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.


SPARK: Connecting Kentucky’s Automotive Industry

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.

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.