Aptiv mum on $42M high-tech project in Hamilton County with 350 new jobs

A technology firm that focuses on safety systems for self-driving vehicles apparently is planning a $42 million facility in Hamilton County that could create as many as 350 jobs, which would trigger more than $8 million in tax credits from the state of Indiana.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. entered into a contract in September with an affiliate of Dublin, Ireland-based Aptiv Plc that outlines the firm’s $42 million investment in the project and commits the state to granting tax credits when jobs are filled.

But beyond the very broad parameters of the project spelled out in the contract, officials for Aptiv and the IEDC aren’t sharing any information, including whether the company has secured a specific location. Asked by IBJ to disclose more details, they either declined to comment or didn’t respond.

The project could be connected with the long-planned relocation of Aptiv operations—potentially involving hundreds of employees—from Kokomo to a facility in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. The company hasn’t revealed a site, but it reportedly has been looking on the north side of the metro area, which would include Hamilton County.

Sarah McKinney, vice president of media relations for Aptiv, didn’t respond to IBJ’s multiple requests for information about the Hamilton County project or its relation to the firm’s Kokomo operations. Erin Sweitzer, communications director for the IEDC, said that all she could confirm about Aptiv’s plans, outside of information in the contract, “is that they have committed to growing in Hamilton County.”

Aptiv’s deadline for eligibility for receiving tax credits for creating the jobs is Dec. 31, 2025, according to the contract.

Aptiv was formed in May 2017 when Delphi Automotive Plc spun off its Powertrain Systems segment, which included its engine management systems and aftermarket operations, into Delphi Technologies Plc.

The remaining company was renamed Aptiv, which kept Delphi’s work on technology related to self-driving vehicles. Delphi Automotive had about 1,200 employees in Kokomo at the time, and they were split between Delphi Technologies and Aptiv.

At the time, company officials said Aptiv was considering building a campus or occupying a facility on the north side of Indianapolis, according to the Kokomo Tribune. In 2018, Aptiv posted job listings confirming that it would move to “the north side of Indianapolis/Westfield area” by the latter part of 2019 or early 2020.

In the meantime, Aptiv has announced plans to open an engineering lab in Westfield where it intends to create 50 jobs. As IBJ reported in October 2019, the company plans to lease 53,000 square feet inside the Westfield Business Centre and invest more than $9 million in property and equipment.

The jobs created will pay an average wage of almost $80,000 annually, the city said last year. Work in the lab will include environmental testing, product/material analysis and on-vehicle development.

Vicki Duncan Gardner, communications director for Westfield, said Monday that the city was unaware of any plans from Aptiv for a $42 million Hamilton County facility.

Aptiv reported full-year 2019 revenue of $14.4 billion. It has more than 160,000 employees in 44 countries.

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