Ford Motor Co. and automotive supplier Meridian Automotive Systems sign a memorandum of understanding for the sale of the Automotive Components Holdings LLC lighting business at its Sandusky, OH, plant.

Ford says it has sold one ACH plant and signed MOUs related to eight other facilities over the past six months.

ACH is composed of 12 unwanted manufacturing plants, including two in Mexico, and other facilities Ford acquired from former subsidiary Visteon Corp. in 2005. ACH employs some 12,000 workers, most of whom are leased from Visteon or Ford, the auto maker says.

The MOU paves the way for a definitive agreement and sale of the business to Meridian as soon as possible, Ford says.

The Sandusky facility produces automotive lighting systems for 60% of Ford’s North American vehicle production, the auto maker says.

The final agreement is contingent upon reaching a new labor contract with the United Auto Workers union, Ford says.