Corp. didn't exactly dazzle Wall Street when the former Motor Co. division's shares began public trading at $13.75. Two weeks later, Visteon's shares inched up ever so slightly, just over $14.
Still, Chief Executive Peter J. Pestillo says the newly spunoffis on the right track, having won $1.4 billion in new business so far this year ($1 billion from ), with a projected $2.5 billion for entire-2000. With $19.4 billion in sales, Visteon ranks as the world's second largest supplier, behind Automotive Systems.
But Mr. Pestillo also admits Visteon will have to expand globally if it is to achieve its goal of having 20% or more of its business with customers other than Ford by 2002. And while he sees some "tweaking" of Visteon's product portfolio before year's end, he expects acquisitions and joint ventures to be a greater part of that than any consolidation of existing operations.
Visteon earlier announced it would sell its glass operations to Pilkington plc and peddle some Ford Microelectronics Inc. assets to Intel Corp. It also is moving some steel wheel business to Hayes Lemmerz International Inc.
"There will be some (additional) tweaking, but we still will be doing chassis systems, interiors and climate control systems," Mr. Pestillo says. "We need to expand our presence, (not) rearrange our portfolio. We need to stretch our reach (into Europe and Asia), rather than change our product mix."
The company is positioning itself to capitalize on mobile electronics with products such as voice activation, rear-seat video entertainment, satellite radio, navigation radio and MP3 audio.
Visteon's higher labor costs - a quarter of its workforce is United Auto Workers union-represented - is a hurdle the supplier faces in competing for new business, Mr. Pestillo admits. "Indeed labor cost is a disadvantage," he says. "But we are writing business for other OEMs out of UAW plants. (And) we'll find ways to make them even more competitive as we go forward."