Cabinet for Economic Development

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, July 02, 2008  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Riverport site selected for new facility, University of Louisville Foundation to purchase existing property

 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 2, 2008) – Governor Steve Beshear, joined by Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson and University of Louisville President Dr. James Ramsey, today announced the expansion of a longstanding Louisville business. Kentucky Trailer will relocate from its current site at 2601 South Third Street to a new location in Riverport. The move will allow the company to retain its existing 286 jobs in Louisville and ultimately create new manufacturing jobs in the community as the economy and trailer industry improve.

We are thrilled that Kentucky Trailer will be keeping these quality jobs in Kentucky,” said Gov. Beshear. “With the company’s rich tradition and history in Louisville, we wanted to be sure Kentucky Trailer had the resources they needed for continued success here in their hometown.”

Kentucky Trailer was approved for up to $13.5 million in tax incentives under the Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act (KIRA) to retain existing jobs and create the new jobs. The incentives were approved during the June 26 meeting of the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA).

 “Today’s announcement is a shining example of how state and community officials were able to pull together to ensure one of our longstanding corporate citizens could continue to operate and grow right here in the commonwealth,” said John Hindman, secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development.  “We’re delighted Kentucky Trailer will utilize the KIRA incentive program to make this expansion possible.”

Kentucky Trailer President and CEO Gary Smith also announced today that the company had reached an agreement with the University of Louisville to sell its current property on South Third Street to the University of Louisville Foundation for future campus expansions.

“This is a significant day in our company’s history,” said Smith. “The Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing was founded on this location nearly 130 years ago, and we are proud that the property will be supporting the University of Louisville’s future growth.”

Smith added, “We truly appreciate the cooperation and support we have received from the University of Louisville’s leadership, the Commonwealth, Louisville Metro Government and from GLI to make this important expansion possible for Kentucky Trailer.” 

“Today’s announcement marks a major milestone for the University of Louisville,” said U of L President James Ramsey.  “It opens the door for a dramatic transformation as our Belknap campus grows from 287 acres to nearly 320 acres.”

The new Kentucky Trailer facility will be located at 7201 Logistics Drive in the Jefferson Riverport. It is scheduled to be operational in the new Louisville facility by March 2009.

“This was a truly unique win all around for our local economy with Kentucky Trailer being able to modernize and expand local operations, maintain and grow jobs, as well as find the perfect buyer for their current property,” said Mayor Abramson.

The partnership between Greater Louisville Inc. – The Metro Chamber of Commerce, Louisville Metro Government and state government brings new economic opportunities to the community. Through June 2008, the innovative public-private partnership has helped 33 companies locate new operations or expand existing ones in the area. These projects have created 1,392 new jobs and nearly $79 million in new investment.

“The expansion of existing local companies such as Kentucky Trailer is positive news for the regional economy,” said Joe Reagan, president and CEO, Greater Louisville Inc.  “Kentucky Trailer is a great example of a locally-based company successfully negotiating their way through today’s complex economic climate.”

About Kentucky Trailer

The company was founded in the 1870’s, as Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing Company. In 1936, the company became known as Kentucky Trailer.  The manufacturing and headquarters of the company has been located on South Third Street since its establishment 72 years ago. 

The company manufactures custom built truck trailers for several industries including moving and storage, snack food, package delivery, auto transport, mobile medical, mobile command and other custom-designed uses. The company also has a Louisville Division, Kentucky Trailer Services, that provides trailer repair and refurbish service, after-market parts sales and used trailer sales.

Additional information is available online at