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Ford battery park will economically impact the state of Kentucky

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Posted at 6:30 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-05 09:53:00-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Economists anticipate Ford's $5.8 billion battery park in Hardin County will have a major economic impact on the entire state.

"We know that it's going to add a certain amount of jobs, which obviously feeds into our tax base, it feeds into so many other areas, which is really how we see the huge economic opportunity," said Jacqueline Pitts, Vice President of Communications Kentucky Chamber.

Ford motor's annual revenue for 2019 was $155.9 billion and $127.144 billion in 2020. They expect nearly 40% of global sales annually will be electric cars by 2030. Many of those cars will be powered in part by batteries made at the two new Kentucky plants.

"It'll attract different companies who will feed into the Ford plant, it'll create new jobs to build these new plants, it'll start a ripple effect because when you look at our manufacturing at different manufacturing hubs in the state, Toyota, Ford, they have so many other companies that go along with them," said Pitts.

To figure out the total financial impact on a state, Dr. Mike Clark, Director of University of Kentucky's Director for Center for business and economic research, says he looks at a variety of factors.

"Primarily what you're looking at is the amount of investment that's being made, and the type of an amount of employment that's going to occur," said Clark.

Ford plans to employ 5,000 people in Kentucky. That's not including construction, supplier, or dealership jobs.

"You'll tend to see your spending initially show up in terms of the workers that flows into potentially state and local governments, but it also flows into the other businesses as those workers take their income and spend it in global economies, the restaurants, the grocery stores, the entertainment venues and so forth," said Clark.

According to the Beshar administration, a 2020 economic impact report estimated that Ford's gross domestic product impact in Kentucky was approximately $11.7 billion.

Ford has directed more than $6.3 billion in investments and upgrades to Kentucky since 1987.

This latest $5.8 billion investment is more than triple the previous largest single investment announced in Kentucky.

"The fact that Ford has chosen to invest in Kentucky. In this type of meaningful way, opens the door for other companies to say, this is where we need to be," said Pitts.

Even though production begins in 2025, Kentuckians should see money start to pour in as soon as construction begins.

"We're really excited for what this means for the future of Kentucky," said Pitts.