South Korean manufacturer establishes first US plant in West Kentucky’s Calloway County
Frankfort, KY — Governor Matt Bevin congratulated leaders of South Korea’s DAE-IL Corp. and the Murray community as officials broke ground for the company’s $50 million, 120-job automotive parts plant in West Kentucky.
“We are grateful for DAE-IL’s decision to build its first US manufacturing facility here in the commonwealth, and we congratulate them on starting construction in Murray,” Gov. Bevin said. “Kentucky has a proven track record of successfully attracting and integrating businesses into our economy, and our relationship with another South Korean company set the stage for this opportunity. DAE-IL’s significant investment will create great jobs for citizens of Calloway County and West Kentucky, and we are confident that they will thrive and grow in the commonwealth.”
Company leaders expect the 295,000 square-foot plant, being built in the Murray-West Industrial Park, to open in May 2019. Employees at the new facility will manufacture automotive transmission gears.
“We are very happy and excited to be in Murray. We would like to thank everyone that has played a part in this,” said DAE-IL President and CEO Johnny Kim. “They have made us feel very welcomed here. We look forward to a long, successful partnership with the community.”
Founded in 1976 and headquartered in Ulsan, South Korea, DAE-IL Corp. manufactures and sells powertrain parts for automotive, heavy equipment and motorcycles. Its products include gears, car transmission and engine parts, heavy equipment products – such as transaxles, drive axles and transmission and excavator products – and motorcycle transmission and engine products. The company’s primary export markets include the US, China, Europe and Japan.
DAE-IL joins four other South Korean owned companies in Kentucky, which already employ about 400 people. The state’s automotive industry includes 522 facilities employing more than 100,000 people. Kentucky’s gateway position between the automotive hotbeds of the US Midwest and South make it a top location for parts production, component manufacturing and vehicle assembly.
Sen. Stan Humphries, of Cadiz, expressed gratitude for the company’s arrival to Calloway County.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome DAE-IL Corp.’s first US manufacturing facility to Murray,” Sen. Humphries said. “This $50 million facility that looks to create 120 new Kentucky jobs is huge for our region. I want to congratulate and thank DAE-IL for choosing Murray for their new facility, and thanks to the Cabinet for Economic Development for helping make this project possible.”
Rep. Kenny Imes, of Murray, thanked the company and economic developers who made the project happen.
“The addition to Murray of the first US manufacturing facility for DAE-IL will reap huge rewards for Kentuckians in the entire region,” Rep. Imes said. “A $50 million shot in the arm for our economy and 120 new jobs in the booming auto industry are huge news, and I commend everybody involved in making this happen. Western Kentucky is on the right track to surge into future success.”
Calloway County Judge-Executive Larry Elkins said the nature of the positions being made available at DAE-IL will greatly benefit the local workforce.
“Both I and the fiscal court want to express how pleased we are to see this project come to Calloway County,” Judge-Executive Elkins said. “Creating jobs that are high tech and with good pay supports families and makes our community a great place to live. Not only will this company provide production jobs but there will be opportunities for engineers, technicians and other skilled professionals.”
Murray Mayor Jack Rose acknowledged the group effort necessary to make a project such as this possible.
“This is indeed a great day for Murray and Calloway County. The EDC has been working on this with the Cabinet for Economic Development and TVA for quite some time, and it is great to see everything come together,” Mayor Rose said. “We have a great team in place and we look forward to helping DAE-IL become an integral part of this community.”
Mark Manning, president of the Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corp., said the company has strong leadership that will be beneficial in integrating into the community.
“I have come to know Mr. Kim and his staff quite well over the last year and can say without hesitation that they are the kind of people who will fit well in Murray,” Manning said. “We will do our very best to help see that they are successful and happy here for many years.”
To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) in December 2017 preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $3 million through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved DAE-IL for up to $500,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
In addition, DAE-IL can receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. In fiscal 2017, the Kentucky Skills Network provided training for more than 120,000 Kentuckians and 5,700 companies from a variety of industry sectors.
A detailed community profile for Calloway County can be viewed here.
Information 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, follow on Twitter and watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.