Sánchez recognized Superior Battery for taking advantage of state and federal resources — like the U.S. Commercial Service’s Gold Key matching program and State Trade and Export Promotion grants — that helped the company identify prospects in export markets and create partnerships in those countries.
“As a result, [Superior Battery] has been able to add jobs and increase its market share, and I have to say that’s always music to my ears,” Sánchez said.
Superior’s exports have grown from less than 3 percent five years ago to 30 percent of total revenue today. In 2012, the company exported to 26 countries and added jobs because of the increase in trade.
Superior CEO Randy Hart says Superior’s commitment to increasing exports has helped the company successfully navigate a difficult economy.
"While a large portion of the U.S. manufacturing market has been unstable since the beginning of the recession, our growth in export markets has allowed Superior Battery to support and maintain our employee base,” Hart said.
During the ceremony, Sánchez and Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher signed a Memorandum of Understanding that creates a partnership between the ITA and the city of Louisville to improve local exports. The Metropolitan Export Initiative was created in 2011 in an effort to localize President Barack Obama’s national initiative to double exports in the United States by 2014. The ITA will partner with these cities to help them create a plan that helps small businesses compete globally. Eight cities have joined the effort.
“All of us want to give Kentucky businesses the opportunity to go after the 95 percent of the world’s consumers that live outside the United States,” Sánchez said. “This means, if we do it right, more opportunities for Kentucky businesses. It means they sell more products, and when you sell more products, you have more revenue to reinvest in your business and hire more workers and create more jobs. Clearly, exporting is a key to economic growth.”
State exports set an all-time annual record in 2012 with $22 billion in sales of Kentucky-made products and services. With exports to 199 nations, the record represents a 10 percent growth from 2011, more than double the U.S. average growth rate of 4.5 percent. The United States also set a record in 2012 with $2.2 trillion in export sales.
This is the third export award for Superior Battery in as many years. The company received the Kentucky World Trade Center Governor’s Award for International Trade Excellence in 2010, and was named Exporter of the Year in 2011 by ThinkGlobal Inc., publisher of Commercial News USA.