Volkswagen Controversy Provides Opportunities for Kentucky's Automotive Inudstry
Kentucky economic officials don’t expect the recent Volkswagen emissions controversy to have a large impact on the state’s automotive industry, which contributes $14.3 billion to Kentucky’s gross state product according to a report from the University of Louisville Urban Studies Institute.
Murray Calloway Economic Development Corp Executive Director Mark Manning said he is still looking into the overall situation and the effect on German automotive supplier IWIS’ Murray plant.
“I certainly don’t see any direct impact to Calloway County and iwis because iwis is basing their presence here at least initially on contracts with General Motors and not Volkswagon,” Manning said.
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development spokesperson Jack Mazurak said his agency does not foresee any major negative impact on the Commonwealth, though there are some Volkswagen suppliers in the state. He said the controversy actually offers opportunities for the Kentucky-produced Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid, and Ford Escape to pick up some of Volkswagen’s market share.
“Every day Volkswagen is losing market share because of the decisions it made. And there’s opportunities for both the suppliers and OEMs [Original Equipment Manufacturer] here in Kentucky, Toyota and Ford, to take some of that market share,” Mazurak said.
Mazurak said Kentucky’s strong automotive industry puts the local companies that supply Volkswagen in a good position to contract with other automakers.