Takeover catapults Visteon into first league of automotive electronics

July 03, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Half a year after it first announced the intention to acquire Johnson Control's automotive electronics business, automotive supplier Visteon now has completed the deal. With the move, Visteon advances into the league small but fine group of vehicle cockpit electronics providers.

The acquisition enables Visteon to further expand its position in the automotive cockpit segment, one of the fastest growing segments of automotive electronics. It creates a company with combined sales of more than $3 billion per year, claiming to be the worldwide number two in driver information systems after Continental. According to the company's own information, it supplies nine of the world's ten largest OEMs. Visteon Electronics President Martin T. Thall even believes that the company now can set out towards higher goals. "This new electronics enterprise has the market position and innovation to become the leading technology company in the automotive sector", Thall said. On Visteon's customer list one can find illustrious names like BMW, Honda, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault. And, of course, Ford Motor Company because Visteon is a former Ford spin-off.

Visteon hopes that the acquisition will improve its scalability and cost efficiency, enabling the company to conduct new R&D and manufacturing assignments fro carmakers across the globe. In terms of technology positions, The company known for its futuristic cockpit concepts covers the fast-paced consumer electronics as well as automotive electronics practices and processes - and it is active in what increasingly turns out to be a strategic position: The cockpit is the place where the connected car is going to materialise.

Visteon paid about $265 million in cash for Johnson Control's automotive electronics activities. The business acquired covers driver information, infotainment, connectivity and body electronics. The transaction involves some 4800 employees, including approximately 1000 engineers and electronics designers. The combined electronics enterprise runs eight technical centres and 24 manufacturing locations worldwide, employing about 10.500 workers.

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