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UAW: Labor stalemate sinks Valeo purchase of Automotive Components Holdings plant

From Automotive News| May 31,2007

 A labor stalemate has killed Valeo SA's effort to buy the former Visteon Corp. climate control business in suburban Detroit, a local UAW president says.

Ed Honsinger, president of Local 845 in Plymouth, Mich., said the union would not accept wage and benefit concessions demanded by the French supplier of electronics and thermal systems parts.

In an e-mail, Valeo said the company has set its conditions and said "the ball is in" the union's court.

The air-conditioning and radiator plant employs about 900 unionized and 180 salaried workers. It covers more than 1 million square feet about 20 miles west of Detroit.

Ford Motor Co. is trying to sell the plant and others it bought back from Visteon in 2005 to rescue the supplier.

Ford, which operates the former Visteon plants under the name Automotive Components Holdings LLC, has said it will close the 12 factories if they're not sold by the end of 2008. Automotive Components Holdings spokeswoman Della DiPietro said Ford might extend the deadline beyond 2008 for a couple of the plants.

DiPietro said Automotive Components Holdings continues to talk with Valeo about the possible purchase of the climate control plant. The company has sales agreements for six of the 12 plants for sale.

Valeo ranks No. 28 on the Automotive News list of the top 150 suppliers to North America, with estimated parts sales to the automakers of $1.65 billion in 2006.

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