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Visteon says employees to stay put at U.S. HQ

By: Dustin Walsh

January 14, 2013

DETROIT (Jan. 14, 11 a.m. ET) — Despite a deal that will consolidate its climate business in Asia, Visteon Corp. says employees at its headquarters in suburban Detroit will stay put.

Visteon announced this week that the South Korea-based joint venture Halla Climate Control Corp. will buy the supplier’s automotive climate business. Visteon owns 70 percent of Halla Climate.

Once consolidated, the joint venture will be renamed Halla-Visteon Climate Group and led by a Korean management team and traded on the Koreas stock exchange.

However, Visteon’s 300 employees supporting the climate control business will remain here, Jim Fisher, director of corporate communications, wrote in an email.

Visteon’s 400 employees at its Halla Climate plant in Alabama also will stay put under the deal, he said.

“While the Visteon employees supporting climate in Michigan will now be supporting Halla Visteon Climate Control (once the transaction is completed), they will remain based at the (Michigan) facility serving customers as they do today,” Fisher wrote in the email. “As long as Visteon serves customers in the U.S., we require resources in the U.S. to support those customers.”

The supplier also expects to sell its stake in the Chinese joint venture Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd., Visteon CEO Tim Leuliette said in an October 2012 interview.

Leuliette said the Southeast Michigan headquarters would remain at least a technical center, but he would not speculate whether it would remain Visteon’s global headquarters.

“We don’t have a huge presence in Southeast Michigan today; it’s just basically our headquarters, and we have some U.S. debt and some unfunded pension,” Leuliette said then. “We’re asking the question, ‘Where’s the best place for us to be?’”

Visteon’s headquarters currently houses 830 employees, Fisher said.