By Liz White, UT staffDearborn, Michigan-Automotive Components Holdings llc began operations 1 Oct. after assuming control of 17 plants and six other facilities in the US and Mexico from Visteon Corp.Ford Motor Co. said that Automotive Components Holdings-a temporary business managed by Ford-"is being created to protect the flow of critical parts and components in the near-term, and over time improve Ford's sourcing flexibility." Troubled Visteon has been struggling with these plants since it was first spun off from Ford and had to continue paying wages at the high rates of the United Auto Workers-while competing with companies in automotive supply paying much lower wage rates. The car maker added that the new operation's mission is "to prepare most of the acquired businesses for sale to companies with the capital and expertise to supply Ford with high-quality components and systems at competitive prices."Given our business conditions, we believe this is the best strategy to protect the flow of parts to Ford and, longer term, to help address Ford's material costs by preparing most of these facilities for sale as efficient, high-performing business units," said Al Ver, Ford vice president and chief executive and chief operating officer, Automotive Components Holdings llc.ACH will have no employees of its own in the US. About 5000 Visteon salaried employees, mostly at facilities that are part of the transfer, will initially be leased from Visteon and work directly with ACH. About 80 Ford salaried employees have been assigned to the new company, along with some 18 000 Ford UAW hourly employees who work in the former Visteon facilities. Ford is expected to implement 5000 buyouts over time for UAW employees at ACH facilities.The three Mexican affiliates of ACH will employ about 1850 hourly and salaried personnel.The 17 plants of Automotive Holdings include one at Chesterfield Township, Michigan, which makes seating foam and the Saline Plant, also in Michigan which moulds interior parts, some from polyurethane. "