Community and business leaders from throughout Murray and Calloway County joined state officials Monday for a huge welcome ceremony to the South Korean based DAE-IL auto parts manufacturing.
DAE-IL is establishing the first functioning manufacturing facility in the Murray West Industrial Park in the extreme northern portion of the city. A spec building was completed at the park late in 2017, but while it is designed to someday contain an industrial facility, none is in place.
That said, the spec building is seen as a main reason DAE-IL decided to establish its first-ever facility in the United States in Murray.
“When we broke ground for this building about two years ago, I said at that ceremony that this building has got to make a big statement, because it will be the entrance to the park,” said Murray-Calloway County Economic Development Corporation Board Chairman Ken Winters in front of a crowd numbering about 200. “In looking at the drawings of this new building that is going to be coming, we now have our second statement, and we’re proud to have it.”
The DAE-IL plant will be much larger than the spec building, measuring at 300,000 square feet, about five times the size of its predecessor building at the park. Its main role will be the manufacturing of powertrains for engines. Companies with which DAE-IL is associated include General Motors, Hyundai, Kia, Dana, Tesla and more.
The huge show of support clearly moved DAE-IL President and CEO Johnny Kim as he took the podium on a special day, his birthday.
“I don’t know what to say,” Kim remarked as he looked at the throng in front of him that stretched to the back wall of a large room on the first floor of the spec building. “Today is really special for me. In 1989, I never guessed that I’d have this type of job with this type of ceremony 30 years later.”
In his remarks, Kim talked of how the Murray plant will play a vital role in the company’s quest to be the best powertrain maker in the world, which is its motto.
“I believe our motto will be fulfilled here at Murray, Kentucky,” he said. “Initially, we targeted for $50 million in investments in hiring and training employees in five years. I cannot guarantee what our sales figures will be for the first five years, but I am confident we will reach $100 million in six years. We will expand our investment and be hiring to meet the demands. this plant.”
The plant is expected to create about 120 jobs.