Visteon Corp. has landed a lucrative -- and potentially more lucrative -- contract to supply instrument panel modules to Honda Motor Co. in North America.
Visteon, which was forced to seek a financial bailout from Ford Motor Co. this year, is moving deeper into business dealings with Honda, an automaker renowned for its stern scrutiny of suppliers.
Visteon will begin supplying the next-generation Acura MDX with the modules in 2007 in a contract that one industry forecasting firm estimates to be worth $30 million a year.
The award also puts Visteon into an auspicious position: The MDX SUV platform is shared by the big-volume Honda Pilot SUV. Honda will begin awarding supplier contracts for that nameplate's next generation later this year.
While the MDX is on track for sales of about 70,000 a year, the Pilot is being forecast for 2008 model-year sales of 190,000 a year, according to CSM Worldwide, the Farmington Hills, Mich., forecasting firm. That's up from 128,158 U.S. sales in 2004.
A spokesman for Honda of America Manufacturing Inc. in Marysville, Ohio, which manages North American purchasing, declined to comment on future MDX plans or to discuss what will become of the suppliers to the current program.