SPEAKER: Now let's talk a little bit about Visteon Corporation. Visteon is the second largest part supplier in North America and the third largest global auto supplier. Visteon got its start in around 1999 when it was spun off from the Ford Motor Company. Now it has facilities-- 182 facilities in 25 different countries.
Visteon makes a lot of different products. They make the headlights. They make interiors. They make seats. They have glass operations. They also do a lot of the important technology features for cars as well. So they make the DVD systems for the different cars. They make sound equipment, air conditioners, radiators. They make a lot of different products that you can use every day and improve the quality and the enjoyment of your car and improve the technology that you have available for you trying to build new things.
Visteon sells the vast majority of its product here in North America. They sell 72% in North America, which would include the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and 17% in Europe. The rest of the world they sell about 11%. 75% of their product goes directly to Ford Motor Company.
Some of the new products Visteon has in the upcoming vehicles include some of the handling equipment needed for the Chevrolet Equinox, which we'll see later. They make the headlights for the Corvette. The Corvette headlights are interesting because for the first time in more than 30 years of the Corvette, they no longer have hideaway headlights and they're built on the side. They're built on the exterior. They're no longer hideaway. And Visteon is the company that won the contract for that.
Some of the other equipment they make for sound, they build the sound system with Boston Acoustics for many of the new Chrysler vehicles, including the new Jeep Grand Cherokee.
We talked about how dependent Visteon is for selling parts in North America. One of the areas that the auto industry is moving to is China. So in China, they make cars very similar to this Ford Focus here and this ZX5 Focus here. It's called the Fiesta. The Fiestas, they started building in China, and Visteon has three parts plants in Shanghai, China alone. So many of them are joint ventures as Visteon tries to reduce its dependence on Ford Motor Company and also reduce its dependence on the North American market.
Not only is Visteon trying to change who it's selling its parts to and where it's selling its parts, it's also trying to focus on the more profitable parts and systems that they can become bigger experts or more expertise in. Being an expert on a particular part or system allows Visteon to charge more of a premium.
Some of the parts or some of the products that they've made in the past, they may move away from, so they can get a higher return on investment not only for their company but also more value for their customer. And being able to sell the value or expertise to different companies allows them to get more money and allows them to have higher profits to keep their 72,000 employees employed, and hopefully build new parts and new plants in the future.
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Buying a car made in America is easier said than done. A quick look at the auto industry shows global competition is stronger than ever. The top 12 global car companies represent the U.S., Japan, Germany, Italy, France, and South Korea.
When you consider the manufacturing of parts and assembly of vehicles imported to the U.S., then Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, China, Belgium, and Australia become major players as well. The global auto industry presents a diverse mix of nationally- and internationally-owned companies, all fiercely competitive. Understanding the current auto industry can help consumers be more aware of where their products are made.
This video is part 5 of 6 in the Today's Cars series.