Ground was broken Wednesday for the Warren County-based Kentucky Transpark's fifth speculative building in the past seven years.
All four previous buildings have been sold to manufacturers after being on the market for less than a year. The first spec building was bought in 2007 by American Howa Kentucky before ground was broken.
Most recently, Austrian-based plastic packaging company Alpla, Inc. purchased the fourth Speculative Building , bringing $22.3 million in capital investment and 72 new full-time jobs to the region. The Transpark employs more than 1,100 total.
An automotive supplier is opening a plant in south central Kentucky that will create more than 100 jobs. Germany-based Dr. Schneider Automotive Systems will build a new manufacturing facility in Russell Springs, creating 155 full-time jobs and investing $29 million dollars in the commonwealth.
Dr. Schneider produces parts for companies such as Ford, GM, BMW, and Volkswagen.
Russell Springs was chosen over 69 other potential sites adding to Kentucky’s growing list of foreign investors.
“At the end of an intensive selection process, we decided to choose Russell Springs,” said Wilhelm Wirth, member of the Dr. Schneider board of directors. “The decisive factors included the quality and expandability of the facility and the competitive location costs.
The announcement marks the third German-owned company to locate in the commonwealth this year, all three of which serve the auto industry.
So far this year, Kentucky ranks third nationally for light vehicle production and first on a per capita basis.
General Motors says it is investing $350 million and will create and retain at least 1,800 jobs at its plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.
While the automaker isn’t saying what new vehicles will be made at the plant, GM announced Tuesday that it will add two midsize vehicle programs to the facility, making good on a promise to the United Auto Workers union during negotiations in 2011.
The Tennessean reports that some analysts have suggested the vehicles might be the Cadillac SRX, which is currently made in Mexico, and the Buick Anthem, which GM has in development. The Spring Hill plant served as the headquarters and main assembly facility for GM’s now-defunct Saturn brand before production was halted in 2009.
The UAW says the jobs generated by the new auto production will be filled mainly by local hires, as opposed to the union’s normal practice of transferring displaced workers from other areas.
The news comes on the heels of a recent report showing Tennessee is, for a fourth consecutive year, ranked No. 1 in automotive manufacturing strength in the nation.