The president of Ford Motor Company will be the keynote speaker at the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development in Kansas City next month. But the governor insists we shouldn’t infer that that means Ford has made a decision about Claycomo’s future.

State lawmakers in the special session approved tax incentives which could total $100 million over ten years for Ford to maintain full production at its Claycomo plant in Kansas City. No word has come from Ford on whether those tax breaks have proven effective, whether it will re-tool Claycomo to manufacture another line beside the F-150 pick-up line there.

Governor Nixon deflects suggestions that the announcement that Ford President Alan Mulally will speak at his economic development conference indicates Ford has made a decision to invest in Missouri.

“I’m not sure that he’ll have an announcement that day, although we have been in continuing contact with them. It’s been nothing but positive since the special session was completed,” Nixon says.

Nixon says these are big decisions.

“I don’t know if that would be the exact time. I certainly don’t want to speak for Ford,” Nixon says. “It’s a good sign that he’s accepted the invitation and we’ll look forward to hearing his vision of the future of auto manufacturing and something I quite frankly support. And I think that it’s a great thing for the state.”

The annual conference, sponsored by the Department of Economic Development, will be held in mid-September in Kansas City.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:60 MP3]