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Posted on Thu, May 3, 2012 : 8:33 a.m.

Reports: French auto supplier buys operations in Saline's former ACH factory

By Paula Gardner

French auto parts maker Faurecia SA says it's finalizing a deal to acquire an interior components plant in Saline and creating a joint venture to make parts at a separate plant in Detroit, the Associated Press is reporting.


File photo

Faurecia and Rush Group announced Thursday that they're creating Detroit Manufacturing Systems, a joint venture to build automotive interior components in Detroit. The companies say the venture expects to employ about 500 people in Detroit within the next three years and will make parts at first for Ford Motor Co., according to AP.

The Automotive Components Holdings LLC plant Faurecia is buying makes parts for Ford vehicles. According to a report in the Detroit Free Press, the factory employs 2,100 workers. Most are expected to be able to retain their jobs, with about 1,100 expected to work in Saline and the others offered the ability to transfer.

Ford created ACH in 2005 when it took back 17 facilities from Visteon Corp. A tentative deal to sell the plant to Faurecia was announced in August.

According to the Free Press, Faurecia will lease the Saline plant from ACH and the deal will be finalized by June.

ACH is Washtenaw County's largest for-profit employer. It had 2,300 workers in 2011. The 1.6 million-square-foot facility in Saline also represents about 8 percent of the city's tax base.

The Saline ACH plant was operating at full capacity producing interior components for the popular Ford Focus at the time the initial deal was announced in August.

Faurecia had $18.2 billion in sales and 75,676 employees in 2010, according to Yahoo! Finance. European carmakers represent 75 percent of Faurecia's sales, although the company's customers also include Ford and GM.

Faurecia operates its North American headquarters from a newer office in Auburn Hills. It had about 2,000 employees in Michigan in fall 2011, according to a report in Crain's Detroit Business, which also detailed the company's plans to add 800 employees, many of them engineers.



Fri, May 4, 2012 : 4:04 a.m.

Ford got a $5.9 Billion Dollar Loan from the Federal Government, so it got help just like GM and Chrysler did. The loan came from the Department of Energy's high risk program that also loaned money to Solyndra. The loan has not been fully repaid as of yet.


Fri, May 4, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

The loan was a low interest deal to assist in retooling our plants toward government mandated CAFE and EPA standards.


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 11:41 p.m.

I wonder how the tax abatements are going to work for this new company. Saline bent over backwards to keep ford there. I can say that the amount the city gets is going to be very small in comparison from what ford paid. And just wait Saline. You are going to see a very slow death of that plant. Work is already been moved out of it. More will follow. Those new owners plan on sending most ofm the work to Detroit. Ford has already taken some back. More to leave in the next year or two.


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

Ford has already announced that it wants to open more factories in China. Thus, they are not closing this plant because they don't need the product but because they are moving the production to China.


Fri, May 4, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

Actually Ford is bringing American jobs back home. The expansion in China is due to increased demand THERE, quantified by the cost of exporting. Faurecia will still supply to Ford and will continue to be represented by UAW Local 892.


Fri, May 4, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

Can you site your information/source on this?


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

I know a UAW Ford worker who works there. He says all UAW Tier employees are out of this plant by June. They were either shipped to Louisville or have to take jobs elsewhere in Mich. This plant will be just a ordinary assembly type plant now. It will have nothing to actually do with Ford again. I believe the hourly is around $11 hr now for employees.

Member X

Thu, May 3, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

Any company, to stay in business, has to offer quality products. It does not matter if you are in a union or not. Chrysler and GM failed because their lack of quality and customer-oriented products, not because the union. Ford was the only domestic company that noticed the problem and reorganized its operations and product line before was too late. Grab a Consumer Guide and check where GM and Chrysler cars rank compared to Ford. Blame lazy management, not the workers. Lazy managers allowed workers to build poor quality products. Poor marketing managers came up with the idea of dressing a Sebring in a suit and calling it 200, thinking they could transform a piece of coal in gold.

Member X

Thu, May 3, 2012 : 5:08 p.m.

I worked for Faurecia in the past in a recently-acquired plant. Some people I know in Saline, afraid of layoffs and pay cuts, asked me how the company works. One thing I can say is that they run lean and corporately, so many support staff will probably be relocated to Troy. It will honor all union agreements and will not lay people off. It pays $60K for a supervisor, $80K for a manager, and $13/h for operators and safety is their number 1 priority. I wish good luck to all AHC employees.

Jason Stanton

Thu, May 3, 2012 : 4:49 p.m.

It's really sad that all the union slappies are reverting to bashing the French as if this represents them as a whole. BCar has a point in that the unions are what have driven most companies to the government(China, and Germany) to bail the automotive industries out. Tell me why Ford is in the wrong from trying to get out of paying a janitor more than a qualified engineer? It's uneducated slappies that want their 2 hr bathroom breaks for an 8hr shift upheld that have made the unions a joke in this country. And you want to reference all the time off that the French get? Please the union employee's have gotten spoiled and fat for too long without picking up a book and advancing themselves like the rest of the world.


Fri, May 4, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

Yes clownfish...I totally agree! And if you don't mind I can add value. We actually have salaried members that are represented by the UAW in the Big 3. The only caveat is that they cannot hold the power to discipline hourly. We have test drivers, engineers, nurses...etc.


Fri, May 4, 2012 : 1:12 p.m.

Most productive auto plants in N. America? union. The reason an engineer is paid well is because of union wages on the floor. If the engineer wants better pay, he should campaign for it, like unions did. We have the least union membership in 50 years in this country, have you noticed the collapsing Middle Class? Turns out the bean counters make WAY more than the engineers or janitors and it stopped trickling down in the 90's.


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

I vigorously disagree


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

Good, I hope they trim the fat. My first job out of engr school was at Saline, and I was the lowest paid worker in the plant (not counting food service)... Guess who was the highest paid worker there? You'd think the plant mgr. right? as we made over $1,000,000,000 in products... Guess again, it was a CLEANER! Yes, the UAW worker who swept the floors got paid more than the plant mgr... Way to run a biz... NOT!!!!!


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

And those cleaners LIVED in that plant 7 day's a week at least 12 hours a day...especially holidays. Ford HAS trimmed a TON of fat...cleaners, outside maintanence, plants, and engineers.


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

I wonder if the workers and the UAW will have to learn French? Finally, a 6 hour work day, 6 weeks vacation and retirement at 55!


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 8:40 p.m.

Just where do you get the idea that people who work for foreign-owned companies get THOSE kind of perks?

John of Saline

Thu, May 3, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

Baguettes mandatory at lunch.


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

Just another way for Ford to continue to cut costs at employees/workers expense. First went to Visteon and cuts wages. Then went to ACH and cut wages. Now outsourced to Faurecia and guarantee will cut wages. The great Ford Motor Company is still going to get the same parts at way lower cost at workers expense. The way of the world and guess who suffers. The people doing the work.


Fri, May 4, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

Well Chris I'd say that a Ford built in Mexico. Being that the profits are regenerated through Dearborn...not Tokyo. Americam workers also share in the profit. Also...many components are built right here in Michigan and shipped to Mexico. Although your question is valid, it is akin to asking what came first...the chicken or the egg. I believe that's called a "conundrum"...LOL!


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

@shutthefrtdoor - what is more American, a Ford built in Mexico or a Toyota built in Kentucky? GM makes and sells more cars in China than it does in the US. Is GM an American company?


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 5:29 p.m. are right. Unforunately many Americans chose to buy foriegn with no regard to patriotic marketing. It was impossible to compete with third world builders. And before any nay sayers jump on the "UAW bash-wagon"...the competitive disadvantage was not due to the contracts we agreed on.


Thu, May 3, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Who gains? Every Ford customer who pays less for a car. Every Ford shareholder and employee, as Ford remains competitive and does not lose market share to Hyundai.

Silly Sally

Thu, May 3, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

I hope that they do well. Ford started this plant and then with their UAW contracts, felt the need to get out. It is nice to see healthy plants remain in SE Michigan. Ford seems to have little interest in doing so, and Visteon is so poorly run. I wish them well, as long as they remain in Saline.