Kentucky eager to expand its auto industry - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky eager to expand its auto industry

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As consumers test drive the latest models at the Louisville Auto Show this weekend, Governor Steve Beshear will be meeting with auto industry leaders in Germany and Sweden.

Beshear will speak at the international CAR-Symposium in Bochum, Germany, where he will discuss Kentucky's prominence in the global auto industry. He'll then head to Sweden where he'll continue to meet with global executives.

"If there is an automotive company that wants to expand their operations, we want them to come to Kentucky," said Joe Hall, spokesperson for the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development.

Kentucky is already home to two Ford plants in Louisville, a Toyota plant in Georgetown and General Motors' Corvette plant in Bowling Green. Add in the parts manufacturers, and the auto industry employs 85,000 Kentuckians.

"[Kentucky] makes some of our key products, but it also has a lot of suppliers that make the key parts and pieces for the cars," said Ford spokesperson Judd Templin.

Economic development leaders say there is still room to grow the auto industry.

"If there is an automotive company that wants to expand their operations, we want them to come to Kentucky," said Hall.

When asked last week about a Financial Times report that said Kentucky was being considered for a new Volvo plant, Beshear said he couldn't comment.

"We're constantly working with companies to try and attract them here, and we obviously follow a process of not discussing those conversations," he said.

Hall said there are two sites available to auto makers interested in Kentucky: The Glendale megasite in Hardin County, and a site near I-24 in Western Kentucky.

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