Auto supplier Visteon Corp. is increasing its job cuts and continuing to look at other ways of saving money as it struggles in volatile conditions that saw its sales fall 43 percent in one quarter.
Visteon posted $1.5 billion in sales for the final three months of 2008, down from $2.7 billion. For the full year, it saw its sales fall to $9.07 billion from $10.7 billion in 2007. Overall, it had a loss of more than $663 million, after losing $348 million in 2007.
The collapse of the global automotive market in the fourth quarter had a significant impact on Visteon's financial results, said Chief Executive Officer Don Stebbins in a Feb. 25 conference call. The speed, severity and breadth of the changes greatly exceeded our expectations.
Visteon makes interior, climate-control and electronic auto parts, using injection molding for a variety of products including instrument panels.
Executives did not take questions from analysts in the quarterly conference call, and have not provided any outlook for future performance. The company, based in the Detroit suburb of Van Buren Township, has not had its share price top $1 since Oct. 23 and was trading at 13 cents per share as Stebbins spoke. The company has warned that it is in danger of breaking its debt-level requirements.
New York-based Standard & Poor's Rating Service cut Visteon's rating in January to CCC from B- with a negative outlook, predicting it could need to restructure its finances.
The company is continuing to look at ways to cut costs, Stebbins said. It is cutting 1,000 salaried positions, up from an earlier target of 800 jobs, and is looking for more opportunities to sell business lines or facilities.
Visteon did manage to complete a three-year manufacturing restructuring ahead of schedule, and has decreased its reliance on former parent Ford Motor Co. to the point that Ford now represents 34 percent of its global sales, down from 38 percent in 2007. South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. together accounted for 22 percent of its 2008 sales.
We're in the middle of an extraordinary time in our industry, Stebbins said.