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JCI forming JV with China's Yanfeng Automotive Trim

By: Don Loepp

May 18, 2014

Johnson Controls Inc. and SAIC’s Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co. Ltd. are forming a global joint venture that will be the world’s largest supplier of automotive interiors.

Glendale, Wis.-based JCI and Yanfeng, a subsidiary of Huayu Automotive Systems Co. Ltd. (HASCO), announced the deal on May 18. HASCO is part of Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.

The non-cash transaction will create a company with sales of approximately $7.5 billion. Yanfeng will own 70 percent of the joint venture.

“Joining our two interiors businesses is a natural extension of our already very successful existing partnership with Yanfeng in automotive seating, which has flourished over the past 15 years. It creates a strong combined company with a market leading position and a foundation for sustained global growth,” said Alex Molinaroli, JCI’s chairman and CEO, in a news release.

“This also aligns with Johnson Controls’ corporate commitment to China, which is increasingly becoming a major center for the global automotive industry,” Molinaroli said.

The JV will be based in Shanghai with engineering, development and customer centers in the United States, Europe, China, Japan and India. Its product portfolio includes instrument panels and cockpit systems, door panels and floor consoles.

The deal is scheduled to close in the first half of 2015.

The deal comes just a few months after Yanfeng took full ownership of interiors operations in North America and China it previously operated in a joint venture with Visteon Corp.