DETROIT -- Visteon Corp. posted $4.7 billion in sales for the first quarter of this year, up 5.3 percent from the year-ago quarter, and reported a net loss of $15 million for the quarter, improved from a $338 million loss in the first quarter of 2002.
"Although it represents an improvement, we are not satisfied with these results," CEO Peter Pestillo says. "2003 will continue to be a tough year. We'll concentrate on things in our control: getting costs down, winning new business, improving margins."
Visteon says it has a record number of launches this year, with 70 so far and 127 in the second quarter. Visteon is targeting $1 billion in non-Ford Motor Co. new business this year. So far, more than 90 percent of the supplier's new business is non-Ford, and 40 percent is outside North America. Ford, which spun off Visteon in June 2000, makes up 79 percent of the supplier's business.
Pestillo declined to predict the supplier's second-quarter performance. Given the flood of incentives on new vehicles, he says, he's not convinced that Ford will cut second-quarter production by as much as it has said, 15.4 percent. Ford's North American production was down 20,000 units from last year's first quarter.
To improve margins, Visteon dumped its seating business in the first quarter. It expects to record pretax charges of about $225 million in the second quarter.
The supplier's next focus will be to exit steering column production at its Indianapolis plant. Discussions with Ford and the UAW are under way. The business has annual revenue of $175 million to $200 million and basically breaks even, CFO Dan Coulson says.
Visteon continues to restructure its operations.
"In the European Plan for Growth, we've rearranged products in plants, and we'll continue to do that," Pestillo says. "Our objective is to get geographic dispersion, which will get us customer dispersion."
Visteon expects the European restructuring to be completed by early 2004. At that point, it will realize a pretax benefit of $100 million annually, Coulson says. North American restructuring is ongoing.