Ford Motor Co. announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding to sell three glass factories as part of an ongoing effort to liquidate former Visteon Corp. facilities.
Ford plans to sell the plants -- located in Nashville, Tulsa and Juarez, Mexico -- to Glass Products, a company set up by Tulsa-based private investor Robert Price. The factories, which manufacture glass for the automobile industry and architectural applications, employ about 1,600 workers.
"This MOU is another solid sign of progress for our North American Way Forward plan," said Ford Americas President Mark Fields in a statement. "The successful approach Ford is taking with our component operations -- including selling or idling (the former Visteon) facilities -- will help us achieve our commitment to reduce overall operating costs by $5 billion by the end of 2008."
Ford, which spun-off Visteon in 2000, agreed to take back most of the suppliers North American factories as part of a 2005 bailout deal. Ford set up a holding company, Automotive Components Holdings LLC, to manage the plants and prepare them for sale or closure.
The automaker has already announced plans to close two of the former Visteon facilities, sold one and signed sales agreements for four others. It plans to sell or close the remaining plants by the end of 2008.
Ford said the sale is contingent on the successful negotiation of a new, "competitive" agreement with the United Auto Workers, as well as state and local tax incentives.