By Rhoda Miel, Plastics News staff
Shanghai, China -- China's Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd is making its biggest move yet to become a global auto supply force with an agreement in hand to buy the interiors operations of its joint venture partner.
Visteon Corp. announced in a 30 Nov news release that it has signed an non-binding agreement with Yanfeng Visteon's parent company, Huayu Automotive Systems Co. Ltd, to sell the majority of its global interiors JV with YFV. Transaction details were not released.
Once the deal is complete, YFV would oversee global operations worth more than $4000 million in sales, with more than 60 facilities in 16 countries.
"Our technical and manufacturing footprint will give us unmatched capability to serve our customers in key growth and emerging markets," said Ma Zhengang, Yanfeng Visteon's standing deputy general manager.
Shanghai-based Yanfeng Visteon has been making steady moves toward becoming a global player, including opening its first US injection molding operation this year in the Detroit suburb of Harrison Township, making door panels for General Motors llc. That site is already slated for an expansion in 2012.
Yanfeng Visteon opened as a joint venture in 1993 with Visteon Corp., based in the Detroit suburb of Van Buren Township and tooling company Yanfeng, part of Huayu Automotive Systems -- itself the parts company within automaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Since then, Visteon has reduced its interiors operations within the US, while Yanfeng Visteon has sought an expansion.
The new Detroit-area operation is wholly-owned by the Chinese firm.
Taking over Visteon's global interiors business would provide YFV the global presence it wants as part of its corporate strategy, while Visteon would be able to concentrate on core competencies in other parts, including electronics and climate control.
The companies expect to complete a final acquisition agreement in early 2012.
(This article first appeared in our sister publication, Plastics News)