A Korean automotive parts maker and local officials ceremonially broke ground on Monday on a $50 million facility in Murray.
South Korea-based DAE-IL Corporation (DIC) is building a 295,000 square-foot facility in the Murray West Industrial Park. Construction has already begun and is expected to take between 12-14 months to complete. The company plans to hire 120 full-time employees within five years.
DIC President Jung Ryol "Johnny" Kim said the company manufactures parts, gears and components for the automotive and heavy equipment industries. Customers include GM, Tesla, Hyundai, Kia and others.
"As the global demand for our product is growing rapidly, we wanted to have this new facility here in the United States to satisfy our U.S. customers," Kim said. "I heard that Kentucky is at the heart of the automotive and aerospace industries and it has already achieved great technological investment and... has contributed growth to the national economy. With the highly skilled workers of the community, we will continue this trend for sure."
He said DIC is planning to produce in Murray various gears of the powertrain for internal combustion engine vehicles. The company will then manufacture gear boxes and differential assemblies for new cars. "With these additional products, DIC will be at the forefront of the advancement of electric vehicles."
He expects the company will reach an annual sales of $100 million within six years. "As our business grows, we will expand our investment and be hiring to meet the demands," he said.
Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corporation President Mark Manning thanked numerous local and state officials and project partners for helping the development come to fruition. Calloway County Judge Executive Larry Elkins, Murray Mayor Jack Rose and TVA representative Stephen Surls also delivered welcoming remarks.
MCEDC chair and former state Senator Ken Winters said the project is "the largest start-up investment" Murray has ever had.
Winters said the new jobs include forging, heat treating and machining gears and drivetrain parts. The company will be hiring engineers, technicians and office staff, he said. Winters also noted local entities getting involved through metal recycling, accounting and insurance services.
Governor Matt Bevin delivered a congratulatory video message from an airshow conference in London, U.K. Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Terry Gill said developing partnerships with Korean companies is an "incredibly important relationship to the commonwealth" and noted that DIC is the fifth that has chosen to locate in Kentucky.
The remarks on Monday were made in the spec-building located in the industrial park. Officials estimate the size of the adjacent DIC facility will be roughly five times the size of the spec building.
The groundbreaking ceremony was hosted by Murray-Calloway Economic Development Corporation, the Murray-Calloway Industrial Authority and the Town & Gown partnership between the City of Murray and Murray State University.
DIC President Johnny Kim also noted that the groundbreaking ceremony coincided with his birthday. Murray-Calloway County Chamber of Commerce President Michelle Bundren led the packed room in singing the 'Happy Birthday' song.