Ford sheds plant in 'win, win, win' deal

May 3, 2012 at 4:51 PM
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DETROIT, May 3 (UPI) -- Ford Motor Co. said it had agreed to sell French auto supplier Faurecia its Saline, Mich., parts business in a deal that will add jobs to the Detroit area.

The deal involves three parties, Ford, Faurecia and Rush Group Ltd., the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.

Faurecia and Rush Group will form a joint venture called Detroit Manufacturing Systems that will do injection molding and assembly work, putting together the interiors for the Ford Mustang, Expedition and Navigator, the newspaper said.

That business is expected to hire 500 workers.

Faurecia, meanwhile, will lease Ford's parts plant in Saline, where 2,100 are employed.

That deal is part of an asset disbursement program Ford put together in 2005 after buying parts company Visteon when it was struggling a decade earlier.

Ford created the Automotive Components Holdings subsidiary to sell or shutter 23 Visteon plants, the newspaper said.

In the deal announced Thursday, Faurecia will lease the physical plant from ACH.

About 1,000 workers in Saline will be displaced, but Ford said it will hire those workers to ramp up production at other plants this summer.

"I am pleased that the sale of the Saline ACH business ensures the retention of jobs for United Auto Worker members and communities surrounding the Saline plant while helping rebuild Detroit," said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, who directs the union's Ford division.

Andra Rush, who runs the Rush Group, said the DMS plant would be owned 55 percent by Rush and 45 percent by Faurecia.

Production at the plant is expected to begin by August, she said.

"It's a win-win-win that generates value for all the constituencies. Ford also is proud to play a role in helping to revitalize Detroit at this critical time for the city," said Tony Brown, Ford's group vice president for global purchasing.

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