New association created for Kentucky's auto industry - WDRB 41 Louisville News

New association created for Kentucky's auto industry

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The auto industry in Kentucky is strong, but Ky. Gov. Beshear says he would like it to become even stronger.

So on Monday, Beshear announced the creation of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association to, as he puts it, "elevate the state's position as a leader in the global auto industry."

Louisville is, of course, home to two large Ford plants that have about 8,000 workers.

Toyota and General Motor's Corvette plants also make vehicles in the state.

According to the governor's office, Kentucky has 450 auto-related businesses with nearly 82,000 employees, many of those businesses are parts suppliers.

But Beshear says the industry needs a unified voice to address the challenges facing auto and parts companies.

"The fact that Kentucky ranks number three in the U.S. in auto production still comes as a surprise to many people," said Beshear. "This lack of recognition complicates our efforts to attract new investment and to ensure our automotive industry has what it needs to compete in the global marketplace."

State government will help create the new association. It will be headed by Larry Hayes, the Secretary of the State's Economic Development Cabinet, but it will be made up mostly of representatives from the auto industry.

Public money will be used to help set up the new organization, but it has not yet been determined how much taxpayer money will be needed to do that. The organization will eventually become self-supporting.

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