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Ford, Meridian Sign MOU on ACH Sandusky Plant Sale

Added: (Fri Jun 15 2007)

Pressbox (Press Release) -

Ford Motor Company and Meridian Automotive Systems have announced Monday in a company press release this week a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), outlining a framework for the sale of Automotive Components Holdings' lighting business and its Sandusky, Ohio plant. ACH has so far now sold one plant and signed MOUs related to eight additional plants during the past six months.

The primary product produced at the ACH Sandusky Plant is automotive lighting, including front, rear and signal lights. These products are found on several Ford vehicles from the Focus to the Expedition, and about 60 percent of Ford�s North American vehicle production.

The announcement, says Mark Fields, Ford�s president of The Americas, represents more progress with the company�s Way Forward plan, �The successful approach Ford is taking with our component operations � including selling or idling our ACH facilities � will help us achieve our commitment to reduce overall operating costs by $5 billion by the end of 2008.�

At the end of the first quarter the ACH fuel rail business was sold along with its El Jarudo subsidiary. Other ACH businesses currently in negotiations for final agreement and sale include glass, fascias and fuel tanks, climate control systems, propshafts, and power transfer units (PTU).

�The response from the marketplace has been better than expected,� said Al Ver, ACH CEO and COO and Ford Motor Company vice president. �We believe that is due, in large measure, to the significant improvement in the quality, on-time delivery and cost-effectiveness of our operations during the past year and a half.�

Automotive Components Holdings is a temporary company managed by Ford, established in October 2005 with former Visteon component operations. ACH�s mission is to ensure the flow of quality components and systems while preparing the ACH automotive component operations for sale or idling. The $4 billion company and its 12 plants are currently supported by about 12,000 full-time employees, mostly leased from Visteon or Ford.

Richard Newsted, Meridian�s president and CEO said, �Acquiring the Sandusky, Ohio facility is a logical extension of our engineering and manufacturing expertise in lighting.�

�We are excited about the opportunity to improve the long-term competitive position of this operation and expand our strengths and capabilities in lighting technology.�

The sale is contingent upon reaching a new and competitive agreement with the United Auto Workers.

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 260,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company�s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda (maker of top of the line Mazda spark plug wire). The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford�s products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.

Submitted by:Kraig Johanssen
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