Holley Building Exterior
Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
October 23, 2015
Photos By: Courtesy Of Holley

The Kentucky Association for Manufacturers (KAM) awards its Manufacturer of the Year title annually to manufacturers within the state. This award showcases the entrepreneurial spirit, community leadership and policy contributions to enhance the overall prosperity of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The award is offered to small, mid-size, and large businesses within the state. Holley Performance Products was announced as the winner of the mid-size business category. 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 on October 2nd, 2015. “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 manufactures products under several famous brand names including 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 other carburetor brands combined. Holley has powered every NASCAR team since the 1960s with products made in Bowling Green, including their current EFI throttle body that is now in use on all NASCAR race cars.

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, the Bowling Green Area Chamber took a group of local businesses and education officials to Virginia to learn more about how they have capitalized on the motorsports 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 brings the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion to nearby Beech Bend Raceway annually. The three-day event brings in roughly 20,000 visitors and delivers an estimated $4 million dollars into the Bowling Green economy thanks to the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion’s popularity. 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.

“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. ”

Just last month, on September 27th, Holley announced its acquisition of the world’s premier ignition manufacturer—El Paso, TX based MSD Group. Besides the core ignition brand, the purchase included MSD’s sister brands 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 www.holley.com and for more information on KAM, visit www.kam.us.com.