Monday, 08 05, 2013
Mandy Lambert 502-564-4886
light vehicle production on pace to shatter last year’s total and mark third
year in a row of growth
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 5, 2013) – Consider this: if every car and
truck produced in the Commonwealth this year represented a person, those
newly-produced vehicles would rival the population of Jefferson County.
It’s no surprise, then, that this powerful growth has added to Kentucky’s
reputation as an automotive powerhouse. Today, Gov. Steve Beshear announced the
Commonwealth ranks third in the nation for mid-year auto production numbers –
and is on pace to crush last year’s production tally of more than one million
With more than 657,000 vehicles produced so far in 2013, Kentucky trails
only Ohio and Michigan as a top vehicle producing state. On a per capita basis,
Kentucky ranks first in light vehicle production in 2013.
“This is good
news for Kentucky, not just for the folks in our automotive industry, but for
all of us. More production means more jobs, more investment and ultimately a
stronger economy here in the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “We take great
pride in the quality of work we do here in Kentucky, and our workforce
continues to impress. No matter the product, Kentuckians manufacture them to
the best standards in the world.”
With 657,587 light vehicles produced by mid-year, Kentucky is outperforming
last year’s total at this time (478,110 vehicles) by more than 37 percent. The
Commonwealth is on pace to produce about 290,000 more vehicles than last year’s
total of 1,025,730, which was the highest output in Kentucky in five years.
Kentucky’s automotive industry today boasts more than 450 motor
vehicle-related facilities across the state, including four major assembly
plants: Ford’s Louisville Assembly Plant and Kentucky Truck Plant in
Louisville, Toyota’s Georgetown operation, which is the company’s largest
production plant outside of Japan, and the General Motors Bowling Green
Assembly Plant, which has been the exclusive home of the iconic Corvette since
mid-year 2013 ranking of third in the nation sustains its recent history of
gains in production and national ranking. The Commonwealth rated fourth
overall in 2012 for auto production and fifth in 2011.
Production investments help fuel Kentucky’s success
With a recent $1.2 billion investment in its two
Louisville plants, Ford has ramped up production in Kentucky, especially with
the popular Ford Escape, which grew from a production of 40,943 in the middle
of 2012 to more than 198,000 so far this year. Production numbers are also up
for the Expedition, the F-Series Super Duty, and the Navigator, which are all
made in Kentucky.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) is investing
more than $531 million to add new vehicle production and assembly lines in
Georgetown, where the company produces the Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, Camry, Camry
Hybrid and the Venza.
General Motors’ investment of $131 million to retool the
Bowling Green Corvette Plant will also mean increased production. The
enhancements to the plant have resulted in a slowdown with 3,155 vehicles this
year compared to 7,784 this time last year, but the
numbers should increase when production of the highly-anticipated 2014 C7
Corvette Stingray goes into high gear.
A driving force for the road ahead
Ford’s production continues to grow in Louisville. The company announced
in late 2010 it would transform the Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) into the
company’s most flexible high-volume plant in the world, adding a second shift
and 1,800 new jobs at the plant. In fall 2011, Ford brought a third shift and
another 1,300 jobs to LAP. Ford unveiled the revamped plant last year and
announced it would employ approximately 4,500 workers on three crews. Today, the plant has
the flexibility and capability to produce six different types of vehicles at
the same time.
is on the way for Toyota. Earlier this year, Toyota announced it will produce
about 50,000 Lexus ES 350 vehicles a year at its Georgetown plant, starting in
2015. The Lexus expansion represents a $360 million investment and will create
750 new jobs in the Commonwealth. Toyota is investing an additional $171.2
million in other plant refurbishments. The addition of about 50,000 Lexus
vehicles a year will bring TMMK’s annual production capacity to more than
550,000 vehicles by 2015.
In addition to
the re-tooling of the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, General Motors announced it
will move its Performance Build Center, which specializes in hand-built, high
performance engines for the Corvette and Camaro, from Michigan to Bowling
Green. The move is set for the first quarter of 2014 and is backed by a $3.5
on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans
of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s
“This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.