October 2, 2014
6:24 am

JCI on the Block?

Local tool & die shops and other manufacturers with ties to Johnson Controls Inc. in Holland might want to read some of the fine print in the company's latest quarterly earnings statement.  It appears that the auto supplier might be searching for a buyer for its Automotive Interiors busness which has been a drain on the corporate bottom line.  

According to the just-released fourth quarter earnings statement, revenues from that division totaled $4.2-billion dollars in fiscal 2013, but posted a loss of $13-million dollars.  As a result the company announced in that statement its, "Intention to explore strategic options to enhance the position and financial capacity of its Automotive Interiors business as part of the company's previously stated intention to build its multi-industry portfolio."  Earlier this year the company had already announced plans to sell its entire Automotive Electronics business, and the 4th quarter statement says, "An announcement regarding the sale of the remaining Electronics business is expected to be made by the end of the calendar year."

JCI is one of Holland's largest employers and they have a substantial supply chain throughout west Michigan with a lot of high-wage and highly-skilled people employed.  The company shows more than 3,400 workers in the Holland area spread across several factories engaged in the manufacture of not only automotive interiors, but also automotive electronics and lithium ion storage batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles.  

JCI is headquartered in Milwaukee, and their Interiors Division is actually based in Plymouth, Michigan.  That division, including workers in and Holland elsewhere around the region, craft instrument panels, visors, door panels and headliners among other parts.  

Many folks in the region remember that the original Prince Corporation in Holland  was purchased by Johnson Controls for better than one-and-a-quarter billion dollars in the mid 90's following the death of the company founder Edgar Prince.

A number of local manufacturers in Berrien County have had contracts with JCI from time to time over the past decade, so any sale of the interiors division has the potential to impact local businesses still engaged as vendors.
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Topics : Business_Finance
People : Edgar PrincePrince
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