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 Nov. 30 news release that it has signed a non-binding agreement with Yanfeng Visteon's parent firm, Huayu Automotive Systems Co. Ltd., to sell the majority of its global interiors venture with YFV. Details were not released.
Once the deal is complete, YFV will oversee global operations worth more than $4 billion 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. It opened its first U.S. 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 Van Buren Township, and tooling firm Yanfeng, part of Huayu Automotive Systems — itself the parts arm within automaker Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Since then, Visteon has reduced its U.S. interiors operations, while Yanfeng Visteon has sought an expansion.
The new Detroit-area operation is wholly owned by the Chinese firm. The sale will allow Visteon to concentrate on areaslike electronics and climate control. It is expected to close in early 2012.