Takata Corporation, a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems, announced that it has sold its subsidiary, Irvin Automotive Products Inc., to Detroit entrepreneur and former NBA star Vinnie Johnson, chairman and CEO of the Piston Group, in an all-cash transaction. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Irvin will operate as a separate company within the Piston Group.

Irvin, which is headquartered in Pontiac, Michigan, has approximately 7,000 employees and five manufacturing and warehouse facilities in the U.S. and Mexico, is a market leading producer of automotive interior trim products, including seat covers, headrests, cargo shades, center and door armrests, sun visors and bolsters. Irvin is separate from Takata’s safety products group, which provides airbags, seat belts and steering wheels.

Irvin Automotive Products Mexican facilities are located two in Ciudad Acuña and another in Sabinas, both in the northern border State of Coahuila. 

Shigehisa Takada, Chairman and CEO of Takata, said, “Today’s announcement is the culmination of a very thorough process, with the assistance of our financial advisors, Moelis & Company and SMBC Nikko Securities Inc., to find the right strategic buyer for Irvin. We believe that, under the stewardship of the Piston Group, Irvin will be able to accelerate its successful growth and development, and continue to meet the needs of automotive customers. For Takata, this transaction gives us additional financial flexibility and enables us to focus on our safety operations, with a particular focus on managing the complex, global airbag recalls alongside our automotive customers and regulators.”

As a group, Johnson's companies now rank among the top five privately owned automotive suppliers in southeastern Michigan, according to Crain's Detroit Business. Piston Group customers include FCA US, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Toyota and ZF.  

Irvin Automotive adds Black Diamond, Delta Airlines, Golden Technologies, Nissan and Southwest Airlines to the group's customer list.

Vinnie Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Piston Group, said, “We are thrilled to acquire this outstanding business that manufactures high quality interior products for some of the world’s leading automakers. Irvin and its employees share our commitment to not only building world-class parts, but developing and maintaining long-term partnerships with our customers and adding value throughout the production process. Irvin will be a highly complementary addition to the Piston Group family, and we look forward to providing the resources to continue growing this business and building on its already excellent reputation in the market today.”

You can watch a corporate video from Irvin Automotive at this location.

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