DETROIT – Relieved of its most unprofitable businesses, newly streamlined US supplier Visteon will be a much more European and Asian company.
About 60 percent of new business from 2002 through 2004 came from outside North America, and overseas growth will continue at that rate, CEO Michael Johnston said.
And the company will get a lot smaller.
“We’re looking at being a much smaller supplier – but maybe 10th-largest in the world,” Johnston said. Based on preliminary 2004 results, Automotive News rates Visteon at No. 6 globally, No. 20 in Europe.
As part of the Ford Motor Co. bailout announced May 27, Visteon said it will become a company with $11.4 billion (E 9.14 billion) in annual revenue, down from a projected $18.9 billion this year.
Almost all the business being divested is Ford work in North America. None is in Europe.
Shifting the mix
Visteon now generates 63 percent of its revenue in North America and 37 percent in Europe, South America and Asia. Under the new plan, North America will account for 39 percent.
Visteon’s business with Ford will decrease to 50 percent of volume, down from 64 percent now. Visteon, formerly part of Ford, was spun off in 2000.
Contracts with non-US overseas automakers such as Renault-Nissan, Hyundai-Kia and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen account for much of Visteon’s list of newly booked business.
Visteon will focus r&d, business development and marketing on three core automotive businesses: climate control, interiors and electronics, Johnston said.
Visteon trails competitors in many of its core areas, such as lighting. By its own estimates, Visteon ranks seventh in the global lighting business. In another core area, heat ventilation and air conditioning, Visteon ranks fourth in Europe with 6.9 percent of the market, according to consulting firm CSM Worldwide.
Donald Stebbins, Visteon’s newly hired president and chief operating officer, ran Europe, Asia and Africa for Lear Corp. before joining Visteon on May 23.
Johnston said Stebbins’ experience in those regions will help Visteon with its more balanced global footprint.