LOUISVILLE, Ky. (June 27, 2012) – Westport Innovations Inc. on Wednesday announced the official grand opening of the Westport Kentucky Integration Center (WKIC). Home to the new Westport WiNG Power System assembly center, the new facility is capable of installing up to 20,000 systems per year.
“Louisville was a natural choice for the location of our newest Westport facility,” said Douglas Mann, Director of Manufacturing, Westport LD. “Westport has had a warm welcome from the state and the community, and we’re very pleased to be supporting economic growth and establishing new jobs and technologies in the region.”
As a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM), Westport LD has developed an advanced, fully integrated, bi-fuel system that meets or exceeds original equipment manufacturing (OEM) standards. The WiNG Power System is designed, built, installed and delivered Key-Ready™ to customers through Westport LD authorized Ford dealers/distributors. The Ford vehicle warranty remains intact and the additional components are warranted by Westport LD to the same levels.
The Westport Kentucky Integration Center is located across the street from the Ford Motor Company Kentucky Truck Plant. The WiNG Power System-powered Ford trucks are a ship-through OEM product: the trucks are taken directly from the Ford Plant to WKIC where the natural gas fuel system is installed. The trucks then head back to Ford and are delivered using the Ford transportation system Key-Ready™ to Ford dealerships.
“Westport is a global leader in fuel technologies, and we’re proud to have a company of its caliber here in the commonwealth,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The automotive industry is thriving here in the Bluegrass, and the addition of Westport only strengthens that ever-growing industry.”
Westport has been approved for tax incentives of up to $750,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments.
“It is important that our companies are flexible and innovative in order to be competitive on a global level, and Westport LD has done just that with working with Ford to fit their vehicles with their natural gas fuel systems,” said Ted Smith, director of the city’s Department of Economic Growth and Innovation.
To establish the center, Westport has invested in both infrastructure, through renovating a previously vacant building, and product training and skill development for its 40 new employees. Westport LD also employs another 60 people in its Plymouth, Mich., technical center as part of its global operations.