DEARBORN - Today, Ford and Automotive Components Holdings (ACH) announced the sale of the last remaining ACH automotive components operation – a climate control business – to Detroit Thermal Systems, LLC (DTS), a joint venture between Valeo and V. Johnson Enterprises, LLC. This sale marks the culmination of the ACH strategy and, upon the conclusion of the transfer of the business to DTS, the successful transition from ACH-managed operations to key Ford automotive suppliers.
@Ford recently discussed the significance of the final ACH sale with Mark Blair, director, ACH Operations.
Q. What is ACH?
A. ACH is a temporary business managed by Ford Motor Company that was created to hold and manage 17 plants and six other facilities in the U.S. and Mexico acquired in 2005 from Visteon Corporation.
ACH’s mission was to protect the flow of automotive parts to Ford while pursuing sale or closure of these operations. This allows Ford to focus its resources on designing, engineering and producing great cars and trucks.
Q. What is the significance of selling the last remaining ACH operation?
A. This sale marks the final chapter in the ACH journey. ACH has been a success because we maintained the flow of quality products to Ford throughout the restructuring process. We substantially improved the quality and on-time delivery of components to Ford assembly plants as well as the warranty performance of our vehicles in terms of repairs per thousand.
We also found a solution to divesting the businesses that significantly minimized the loss of jobs. Through the successful execution of the ACH strategy, nearly 20,000 employees in the U.S. got jobs with either the buyer or Ford – or they voluntarily chose a retirement or buyout package and were replaced by employees who received job offers. We respected our relationship with the UAW and salaried personnel.
Q. This sale of the Sheldon Road climate control business impacts over 600 hourly employees and nearly 100 salaried employees. Will those people keep their jobs?
A. We expect nearly all of the employees will be given an offer of employment with DTS or Ford. DTS expects to hire about 500 people over time – salaried and hourly combined.
Q. So the Sheldon Road facility is not part of the sale?
A. No. The business will be transferred to the new DTS location starting in the late second quarter of next year. The transfer will be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014. So there will be about an 18-month transition period to move the business. We are looking at options for what happens to the site after that.
Q. What is the most important thing for employees to know about ACH and this final sale?
A. Other companies have taken a different path in similar circumstances. Ford chose a path that saved thousands of jobs and also provided a reliable flow of quality components throughout the recent economic downturn. This strategy also expanded Ford’s partnership with a number of supplier partners – some that are minority firms or joint ventures with minority businesses with a controlling interest. It is a win-win-win for Ford.