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Bevin, Gill to promote state at auto show

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Matt Bevin and Cabinet for Economic Development Sec. Terry Gill are in Detroit today, promoting Kentucky and speaking with automotive industry leaders at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

NAIAS, which runs through Jan. 22, is considered one of the world’s largest and most prestigious automotive industry showcases. More than 800,000 people expected to attend. The event features dozens of concept and new-vehicle introductions, a showcase of technology for the rapidly evolving mobility industry, interactive displays by suppliers and hundreds of production vehicles.

“We’re here today at the North American International Auto Show to promote Kentucky as the top location for automotive engineering, manufacturing and distribution,” said Gov. Bevin. “Kentucky’s newly enacted pro-business laws are being well received as we meet with executives from global vehicle manufacturers and automotive suppliers, and discuss opportunities that can lead to new jobs and investments. A new day is dawning for Kentucky’s engineering and manufacturing industries and the future is looking bright.”

Sec. Gill, recently named to lead the Cabinet for Economic Development, said the trip provides key exposure for the state at the internationally attended event.

“Kentucky’s automotive industry is a pillar of its economy, and it’s crucial we continue to grow and expand it,” he said. “Kentucky already has more than 500 automotive-related facilities that employ nearly 95,000 people, but we believe we can grow those numbers even more. Our meetings at this show will create and solidify relationships that we expect will lead to more growth.”

The trip is the Governor’s second time attending NAIAS on behalf of Kentucky and comes just days after the General Assembly passed and Gov. Bevin signed legislation making Kentucky a right-to-work state. Already a premier location for businesses thanks to its central location, robust logistics and distribution industry and low costs of conducting business, this latest business tool holds the promise of further accelerating Kentucky’s economic growth, boosting employment and supporting the creation of better jobs and higher wages for residents.

Kentucky’s automotive industry continued to grow rapidly throughout 2016. The industry announced nearly 70 new-location or expansion projects totalling more than $923 million in investments. Those are projected to create nearly 3,200 new full-time jobs.

The automotive jobs and investment account for a significant portion of the 16,200 jobs and $3.1 billion in investments announced in Kentucky manufacturing, service and technology industries last year. The state is the number one vehicle-producing state per capita and among the top vehicle producers in the U.S.

Last year, the show featured the introduction of 61 vehicles, the majority of which were worldwide debuts, with more than 5,000 journalists from 60 countries in attendance. The public show runs Jan. 14-22. For more information on NAIAS, visit NAIAS.com.

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