CARMEL - KAR Auction Services Inc. (NYSE: KAR) Chief Executive Officer Jim Hallett says a planned $80 million investment in a new Carmel headquarters will serve the company's existing needs and boost talent attraction. Some 900 employees are located at the company's current HQ, and KAR says the new space will house 400 new workers that will be added in the coming years. Hallett says "we're all in a fight for talent," especially in the technology space. He calls central Indiana a "hotbed" for tech and says he considers KAR a tech company, but "we just happen to sell automobiles around the world."

The company has a presence in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom and provides "end-to-end" services for sellers and buyers in the wholesale used vehicle industry through physical, online and mobile marketplaces. It has customers in 110 countries and employs approximately 17,400 worldwide.

During an interview with Inside INdiana Business Multimedia Journalist Mary-Rachel Redman, Hallett said the investment will also help build on KAR's global diversity. "So if you think about it and you think about creating an environment where Millennials and young talent -- and some of our recent graduates that I talk about -- how we can retain those graduates from our great universities in Indiana and keep them right here in the state. Then, be able to attract people from outside the state and then be able to attract people from outside the country," he said.

The new jobs are expected to pay wages 50 percent higher than the state average. The new 250,000 square-foot facility will house innovation, technology and data-as-a-service divisions. It will also be U.S. headquarters for its TradeRev mobile app subsidiary. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. is offering a package totaling nearly $8 million in conditional tax credits, training grants and funds for Hamilton County to make necessary infrastructure improvements. The IEDC says the city will also consider more assistance.