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Piston Automotive Expands Jefferson County, Kentucky, Plant

Piston Automotive, a provider of automotive assemblies, including advanced electric and hybrid vehicle battery systems, will further expand its operations in Jefferson County, Kentucky. The $26.3 million project is expected to create 117 jobs.

The company will lease a facility on Technology Drive and install new equipment to accommodate a new production line and increased capabilities to support growing market demand. In 2019, Piston initially announced a $1.5 million expansion of its current Jeffersontown facility with a commitment to create 50 full-time jobs. Company leaders now expect to significantly increase the planned investment and job creation and relocate the operation within Jefferson County.

“We are thrilled to be able to further invest in the Louisville community,” said Bob Holloway, president of Piston Automotive. “The expansion of our facility and our team is an exciting milestone within our organization that will provide a solid foundation to successfully launch newly awarded products and provide additional capacity to support our continued growth at Piston Automotive.”

To encourage investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) today gave final approval of a modified 10-year incentive agreement with the company under the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based agreement can provide up to $1.65 million in tax incentives based on the company’s investment of nearly $26.37 million and annual targets of creation and maintenance of 117 Kentucky-resident, full-time jobs across 10 years and paying an average hourly wage of $22.06 including benefits across those jobs.

By meeting its annual targets over the agreement term, the company can be eligible to keep a portion of the new tax revenue it generates. The company may claim eligible incentives against its income tax liability and/or wage assessments. In addition, Piston Automotive can receive resources from Kentucky’s workforce service providers. Those include no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job-training incentives.

“It is great to see existing businesses grow in the commonwealth, and even better when those expansions exceed initial projections,” Governor Andy Beshear said. “I’d like to thank Piston Automotive for growing its footprint in Jefferson County as the company increases its support of the automotive market, including electric and hybrid vehicles. We will continue to see this sector grow in the months and years ahead, and I am glad that growth includes Piston Automotive.”

Piston Automotive is a subsidiary of Piston Group LLC, which is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan. Founded in 1995, the company is led by industry magnate and former NBA champion Vinnie Johnson and is among the largest African-American-owned automotive suppliers in the United States. Over the past 27 years, Piston Automotive has grown from a small-corrugated pallet manufacturer into a major provider of automotive assemblies. Other entities of Piston Group include Irvin Products and Detroit Thermal Systems. Today, Piston Group employs 11,000 people at 23 locations across the U.S.

“Piston Automotive’s new expansion, less than three years after its initial expansion commitment, demonstrates the strength of Louisville’s advanced automotive manufacturing industry, which helps keep our economy running in high gear,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We welcome this continued growth and congratulate the Piston Automotive team on its success.”

Piston Automotive is among the approximately 525 motor vehicle-related facilities currently operating in Kentucky, which employ over 100,000 people full time. In 2021, automotive companies announced new-location and expansion projects creating 7,200-plus full-time jobs with nearly $6.7 billion in new investments. Piston has operated since 2011 in Louisville, where it currently employs 104 people. The company also maintains a facility in Georgetown, which employs 68.

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