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

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