Hoping to give the industry a "common voice," the newly created Kentucky Automotive Industry Association launches this week.
Association Director Dave Tatman says the Commonwealth's number three national ranking in the auto industry is not widely recognized around the state. "So we've got to create that kind of brand identity for Kentucky as the place to do business for automotive businesses, not only for the ones that are here, but the ones that are considering coming here. I think North America is searching for the next automotive cluster outside of Detroit and I think we could be that," said Tatman.
Given that Toyota, Ford, and GM already have a foothold on auto manufacturing in Kentucky, Tatman doesn't anticipate another original equipment manufacturer, coming to the state. "But, I think our best opportunities exist in really, two fold, in growth of existing businesses because the automotive market continues to expand and do well throughout the globe, so growth of our existing businesses and then attracting new supplier businesses to the Commonwealth."
When it comes to state or federal legislation and regulation, Tatman says he views the new association as an automotive advocate.
He adds, workforce development is also priority as more and more current plant workers retire.