Bowling Green’s Holley Performance Products was named Manufacturer of the Year by the Kentucky Association for Manufacturers (KAM) at the 2015 KAM Manufacturer and Employee of the Year Awards ceremony.
This award is presented annually to a manufacturer in the state that showcases exceptional entrepreneurial spirit, community leadership and policy contributions to enhance the overall prosperity of the Commonwealth.
Tom Flynn, General Manager of Holley’s Bowling Green Operations, accepted the award at a banquet luncheon at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in Louisville, KY.
“We’re extremely excited and humbled to be recognized as a Kentucky Manufacturer of the Year. There are a lot of great manufacturers in Kentucky and to be recognized out of all of them is a great achievement for our team. Thanks to the Kentucky Association for Manufacturers for this great award and thanks to our team in Bowling Green for making it happen,” said Flynn.
“The field of nominees for Manufacturer of the Year Award in the mid-sized category was large and excellent, making our Selection Committee’s job more difficult than usual. We are so pleased to congratulate Holley Performance Products as this year’s mid-sized winner,” stated KAM President & CEO Greg Higdon. “They personify the best of the best in manufacturing in Kentucky, and we congratulate them on a well-deserved award!”
Holley Performance Products began in Bowling Green in 1951 producing the Visi-flo carburetor, and has since moved on to be the industry leader in high performance exhaust products, standalone EFI systems, carburetors, intake manifolds, superchargers, water pumps, plumbing components and fuel pumps for street and race applications. Holley now manufactures products under the famous brand names of Holley, Hooker Headers, Flowtech exhaust, Earl’s Plumbing, NOS Nitrous Oxide Systems, Diablosport Tuners and Weiand intakes and superchargers. Today, Holley focuses primarily on the high-performance aftermarket where its world famous carburetion has won more races than all others combined. Holley has powered every NASCAR team since the 1960s with products made in Bowling Green including their current EFI throttle body.
In 2014, Holley announced the creation of a new research and development facility at their Bowling Green Headquarters. The new facility is a revolutionary R&D work cell for designing industry leading exhaust systems that incorporates assets and employees needed to develop and prove new designs, as well as processes and manufacturing techniques. With the addition of an R&D focused cell, Holley is well positioned to continue to lead the market in both the development and manufacture of high-performance automotive products.
The new R&D facility brought an investment of $1,325,000 to South Central Kentucky and created 20 new jobs. Holley has launched over 600 new products in the last year, which has led to increased staff hires in engineering, R&D, sales, tech, and operational support.
“Holley has redefined the business climate of South Central Kentucky and their continued confidence and investment in the region has served as a foundation for a thriving automotive industry,” said Chamber CEO Ron Bunch. “In addition to a strong business model, Holley also has their eyes firmly on the future, and I look forward to continuing our relationship with Holley for many years to come.” Holley is deeply involved in the South Central Kentucky community. In the summer of 2014, when choosing a summer camp, you always took a group of local businesses and education officials to Virginia to learn more about how they have capitalized on the assets in their area. When they returned, a Motorsports Steering Committee was formed to look strategically at our own motorsports assets. Bill Tichenor, Director of Marketing at Holley, and Jason Bruce, Vice President of Business Development, both serve on that committee and are active in helping to develop a strategic plan to grow our economy through our rich motorsports heritage.
This past year, Holley announced a partnership with the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College and Warren County Area Technical Center in a Motorsports Education initiative called On Track. The commitment of On Track is the development of talent for the future workforce of South Central Kentucky. On Track introduces critical STEM concepts in a practical setting that will help develop a highly skilled talent pipeline to continue to fuel the already strong South Central Kentucky economy. Holley’s partnership in this initiative further reinforces their commitment to the education of the workforce in South Central Kentucky.
As a market leader in high-performance race products, Holley annually brings the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion to Beech Bend Raceway. The 3-day event brings in about 20,000 visitors and pumps an estimated $4 million into the Bowling Green economy. The Holley National Hot Rod Reunion features a wide variety of activities, including quarter-mile nostalgia drag racing with some of the sport’s most famous, historic cars and drivers racing in such classes at Nostalgia Top Fuel and Funny Car.
In addition, Holley also holds their amazing Holley LS Fest in Bowling Green which brings thousands of competitors, spectators and media from around the country to Bowling Green each year. The recent 2015 LS Fest was by far the largest incarnation of the event yet with over 12,000 in attendance and nearly 700 participating cars from all over the country powered by GM’s incredible LS engine.
“Holley Performance Products continues to make significant contributions to our community; both to our economy and to improve the quality of life here in Bowling Green,” said Mayor Bruce Wilkerson. “We are grateful to have companies like Holley that care about their community and help make Bowling Green, Kentucky a great place to be. I congratulate them on this great achievement. ”
On September 27th, Holley announced the acquisition of more top companies in the automotive performance aftermarket including the world’s premier ignition manufacturer – El Paso, TX based MSD Group. That acquisition also included several other top brands/companies including Mr. Gasket, Accel, Superchips, Edge, Racepack, Mallory, Hays, QuickTime, and Lakewood, securing Holley’s position as the world’s largest manufacturer of high performance automotive products.
“Holley Performance Products has long been one of Warren County’s best kept secrets. Since 1951, we’ve had the manufacturing and since 1994 the world headquarters of the premier performance automotive products company right here in South Central Kentucky. They’re a very humble group, but their success and their contribution to the growth of business and innovation here is truly outstanding,” stated Judge-Executive Michael Buchanon. “We are so proud that Holley Performance Products chooses to call Warren County home and we hope they continue to grow with us for 50 more years. Congratulations to Holley for this well-deserved honor.”
For more information on Holley Performance Products, visit https://www.holley.com/.
For more information on KAM, visit http://www.kam.us.com/.
Holley was founded in 1903 around the advent of the automobile and has been a supplier to every major American OEM automobile manufacturer. Holley supplied half of the fuel systems in WWII including those for land vehicles, marine, and aircraft. Its primary focus today is in the high-performance aftermarket where its world famous carburetion has won more races than all others combined. Holley is proactive in developing EFI systems for street users and professional racers alike. Holley manufactures products under the famous brand names including Holley, Hooker Headers, Flowtech, Earl’s, NOS Nitrous Oxide Systems, Demon, Weiand, and Diablosport. For more information about Holley, visit https://www.holley.com/.
About the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM)
Established in 1911, KAM is Kentucky’s most effective advocate for manufacturers. KAM’s mission is to create and protect a manufacturing-friendly environment in Kentucky. In addition to advocating, KAM educates, connects and provides cost-saving programs and products to members. For more information, visit For more information on KAM, visit http://www.kam.us.com/.
About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce
Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,200 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.