Ford sells its last auto parts company image

Ford Motor Company announced on Monday that it would sell its last remaining auto parts company to a joint venture between French supplier Valeo SA and a former Detroit Pistons basketball player.

The sale of Ford’s climate control business fulfills the goal of its Automotive Components Holdings (ACH), a unit created in 2005 to manage plants acquired by Ford from its largest parts supplier, Visteon Corporation. Ford founded ACH in October 2005 with 17 plants to prevent parts disruptions as Visteon downsized its operations. Ford intended to sell, close or merge those operations over time.

“Few companies take the longer-term comprehensive approach we took with the restructuring of ACH,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of Americas. The automaker did not disclose the sale price. Earlier this year, Ford sold an interiors parts business to French supplier Faurecia and a lighting business to an affiliate of auto parts maker Flex-N-Gate.

Ford’s climate control business will be sold to Detroit Thermal Systems LLC, a joint venture between Valeo and V. Johnson Enterprises, a company owned by Vinnie Johnson, who earned the nickname “The Microwave” when he played for the Pistons in the 1980s.

The deal will allow Valeo, a global player in thermal systems, to gain a strong position in the North American market. V. Johnson Enterprises holds 51 percent of Detroit Thermal Systems, while Valeo holds the remaining 49 percent.