DETROIT (May 31, 4:45 p.m. ET) — Ford Motor Co.'s Automotive Components Holdings LLC unit reached an agreement to sell its headlamp and taillight business to a unit of Flex-N-Gate Corp.
The sale includes ACH's injection molding plant in Sandusky, Ohio, which will operate as Ventra Sandusky. Under the deal announced May 30, Ventra Sandusky will also operate ACH's automotive lighting service parts operation in Bellevue, Ohio.
Terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to be completed June 30, Ford said.
Ventra Sandusky said it will offer jobs to most of the 1,100 salaried and hourly workers at the Sandusky and Bellevue sites.
The Sandusky sale follows a deal announced earlier in May to sell the interior parts business of ACH housed in Saline, Mich., to French auto supplier Faurecia SA. The sale will leave ACH with one operation: a climate-control business in Plymouth Township, Mich., near Livonia, with 700 employees.
Ford continued to invest in new production in Sandusky, including an addition of two injection molding presses in 2011 to make taillights.
Ford reacquired 17 automotive parts plants and 2,500 workers in 2005 as part of a financial rescue of its former Visteon Corp. unit.
A Ford spokeswoman said eight of the plants and part of another factory have been sold, five sites were closed and two plants were transferred to Ford.
“Our aim was to ensure an orderly transition for employees and provide ready access to high-quality components for Ford, even while we restructured and prepared these operations for sale or disposition,” Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, said in a statement. “We have been working our plan and living up to our commitment for six years.”
Tony Brown, head of global purchasing for Ford, said the deal will ensure financial stability and diversity in Ford's supply base, while aiding minority suppliers.
In 2011, Ford spent more than $5 billion — a company record — in purchases from minority-owned businesses.
Flex-N-Gate is considered a minority supplier by Ford because its CEO — Shahid Khan — is a Pakistani-born businessman who owns the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League.
Flex-N-Gate, a privately held supplier based in Urbana, Ill., said the acquisition will strengthen the company's vehicle lighting business. Its previous acquisitions included exterior plastics supplier Ventra Group Inc. of Oakville, Ontario, in 2001. The former Ventra plants have continued using that company's name, and the Sandusky facility will become part of that group.
“This … provides us with terrific opportunities to continue our successful growth with Ford, our employees and local Ohio and Michigan communities,” Khan said in a statement.
Plastics News staff reporter contributed to this story.