Visteon is the visionary-sounding name Ford Motor bestowed on its automotive components unit when it was spun off in 2000. One of the largest auto parts makers in the US, the company has evolved to operate two business groups: Climate Control (climate systems, powertrain cooling systems); and Electronic Products (audio systems, driver control systems, infotainment systems, powertrain and feature control modules). Ford represents more than 25% of sales; Visteon also provides products and services to aftermarket customers. More than 80% of its sales are made outside the US.
Visteon has corporate offices in Van Buren Township, Michigan; Shanghai; and Chelmsford, UK. It operates through 120 facilities worldwide in 28 countries. Asia is its largest market, accounting for 50% of its total sales in 2014. Europe and North America follow, with 27% and 20% of sales, respectively.
Visteon's Climate Control segment makes climate systems and powertrain cooling systems and generates 67% of total sales in 2014. Electronic Products offers audio systems, driver control systems, and powertrain and feature control modules, and generated 31%.
Sales and Marketing
While Ford represents more than a quarter of Visteon's business, the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group tops that, commanding around 36% of the company's revenues. Visteon provides components to a lion's share of the top global automotive OEMs -- Daimler, Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen is the short list.
The company’s revenues has grown over the last three years. In 2014, Visteon's revenues grew by almost 1% due to the full year acquisition results of Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Electronics and the electronics business of Johnson Controls; along with an increase in customer volumes and product mi, related to the company's Climate and Electronics segments; and currency changes.
Visteon suffered a loss of $295 million in 2014 (compared to net income of $690 million in 2013) due to an increase in expenses, which included selling, general and administrative expenses (which were affected by acquisitions); and lower equity from net income. Thes wer partially offset by a small increase in revenues.
In 2014, the company’s operating cash flows were $284 million, (down from $312 million in 2013) due to decreased net income, an increase in outflow of $23 million pension settlement gain, and accounts receivable that were sold as part of the Interiors divestiture.
Expanding the company’s existing manufacturing footprint in India, in 2015 Visteon began production at a new facility in Sanand, Gujarat, with a production capacity of 2 million units consisting of heat exchangers; heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) modules; and air conditioning lines.
In 2014 it expanded its manufacturing facility in Hluk, Czech Republic, increasing the plant’s capacity by 30%.
Visteon has been reorganizing and getting rid of extraneous divisions and units in order to focus on its more profitable operations. As part of a strategic reorganization, Visteon in 2014 announced it will separate the portion of its Interiors business conducted through its facilities in Chennai and Pune, India, into a new legal entity, which will be transferred to the holding company and sold to the buyer.
In 2014 the company divested all of its global Interiors business to Reydel Automotive Holdings B.V., an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. and also completed the sale of interiors operations in India and Thailand.
Visteon partnered in 2014 with Rightware, a leader in user interaction (UI) design and benchmarking software to deliver leading-edge UI and graphics solutions for the automotive industry. The partnership supports the company's strategy of growing its position in user interface and graphics technology.
The company in 2013 sold its 50% ownership interest in its Chinese joint venture Yanfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co. to Huayu Automotive Systems Co. for $840 million. It also expects to earn about $116 million in additional after-tax proceeds in 2014 and 2015 as a result of the transaction.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Visteon also uses acquisitions as a means for fortifying its core operations. In mid-2014 it paid $265 million to purchase the automotive electronics business of Johnson Controls. The deal gave Visteon seven research and development centers in Europe, North America, and Asia and further diversified and expanded its global customer base.
Expanding its thermal energy management product portfolio, in 2014, through its subsidiary, the company acquired the automotive thermal and emissions business of Cooper-Standard Automotive (a subsidiary of Cooper-Standard Holdings) for $46 million.
In 2012 Visteon sold its automotive lighting operations to Varroc Group, a fellow provider of automotive parts, for $72 million in cash. The business included front and rear lighting systems and auxiliary lamps and key parts such as projectors and electronic modules. The divesture allowed Visteon to focus on its most lucrative business segment: Climate Control. Visteon also wishes to concentrate on the more profitable products within its Electronic Products operations.
The company was founded in 2000.