News Column

Ford to Sell Last of Parts Businesses

Oct. 30, 2012

Alisa Priddle

auto parts

Ford has agreed to sell the last of its Automotive Components Holdings businesses, a divestiture that has been years in the making.

Detroit Thermal Systems is buying the climate control business on Sheldon Road in Plymouth. DTS is a joint venture between French supplier Valeo and V. Johnson Enterprises, a Detroit supplier owned by former Pistons player Vinnie Johnson. The new owners intend to move production from the Sheldon Road plant to a new DTS facility in Romulus in mid-2013.

Production of climate control systems for Ford vehicles in North America is to start in the third quarter of 2013 and current ACH employees at the Sheldon Road plant can apply for jobs at the new DTS plant.

"We are very proud to announce the creation of Detroit Thermal Systems. Our team is committed to manufacturing world-class climate control systems and to creating employment opportunities for the talented workforce in the Detroit area," said Johnson, CEO of Detroit Thermal Systems.

"The growth of our new organization will help to revitalize local communities by creating new job opportunities for minorities, military veterans and others hard hit during the economic crisis," Johnson said.

ACH started in October 2005 with 17 components plants that Ford took back from Visteon, the former Ford parts unit that was spun off in 2000. Now Ford has sold or closed all of them.

Ford wanted to get out of the parts business to focus on its core business of building and selling cars, now down to two brands: Ford and Lincoln.

Valeo sees the deal as "a strategic breakthrough," that will strengthen its ties with Ford, said CEO Jacques Aschenbroich. It "also enhances our presence across North America," he said.

"This new joint venture will enable Valeo to broaden its offering of innovative thermal system products and support its customers in meeting their CO2 emissions reduction challenges," Aschenbroich said.


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Source: (c)2012 the Detroit Free Press Distributed by MCT Information Services