Piston buys Ohio braking plant, becomes a Honda supplier


Piston Group, the Detroit supplier of chassis and electronics assemblies, has added Honda to its customer list by acquiring Marion Industries from Ernie Green Industries.

From its plant in central Ohio, Marion is a key supplier of assembled brake corners to Honda’s U.S. operations. Piston Group, controlled by Detroit businessman and former NBA star Vinnie Johnson, hopes to broaden the Ohio plant’s Honda business beyond brake assemblies.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We already do chassis and brake corner assemblies for FCA, Toyota and Ford,” said Bob Holloway, Piston Automotive president. “This provides an opportunity for us to continue to diversify with a new customer.”

Piston Group also supplies module assemblies for other vehicle components for its other customers, including high-voltage battery modules.

“We hope to bring some of our other module assembly expertise to grow with Honda, whether it’s interior, exterior, powertrain cooling or electrification,” he said.

Marion has been a successful and growing business for Ernie Green Industries, a certified minority-owned business enterprise headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. But Holloway said Ernie Green offered to sell Piston Group the brake operation in order to shift its focus to its primary business in injection-molded plastics.

Piston Group reported 2018 revenues of $2.88 billion and employs about 10,000 people. The Marion operation is the company’s ninth automotive plant, all of which are in the United States.

Holloway said no changes are planned for the Marion operation, beyond putting up a new sign at the plant that will read “Piston Automotive Marion.”

“They have been a strong business, with an excellent record of quality and delivery,” Holloway said. “We don’t intend to change anything. They have some key product launches coming up, and we will work with their existing launch plans.”

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