A French company continues to negotiate with Ford Motor Company and the United Auto Workers to purchase the plant in Saline.
In August, which employs 2,300 people, including more than 2,000 UAW workers, to Faurecia SA. News about the negotiations has been sparse, with Ford declining to name Faurecia as a potential buyer as late as Tuesday. The plant produces interiors for many Ford vehicles.
Reached Tuesday, a Faurecia spokesperson confirmed to Saline Patch the French company's interest in the Saline plant.
"Faurecia is exploring the acquisition of the Saline, Michigan, interior components plant operated by Automotive Components Holdings, LLC," said Stacie Tong, director of communications for Faurecia North America. "Faurecia is in negotiations with a number of parties, including Ford and the UAW, regarding the future of the Saline plant and will issue further statements if and when the status of these negotiations changes."
Ford spokesperson Della DiPietro said Ford continues to be focused on selling the plant.
"We are working toward a sale of the Saline plant, as we have been since 2005 when ACH was formed," said DiPietro.
UAW Local 892 President Mark Caruso declined to comment on talks but said he spent Tuesday and Wednesday in related negotiations. The represents most of ACH’s 2,300 workers.
Ford has a long history in Saline. Ford founder Henry Ford bought Schuyler’s Mill in 1937, now the site of , and the mill become one of Ford’s famous “little industry” factories. Workers processed soybeans and used the oils for plastics and paint. The plant closed in 1947. In 1966, Ford Motor Co. moved a parts plant from Brooklyn to Saline. In 2000, the plant became a Visteon plant. In 2005, facing bankruptcy, Visteon transferred ownership of the factory back to Ford, which spun off the parts plant as ACH. In 2007, ACH announced it had reached a deal to sell the Saline plant to Johnson Controls, but the deal fell through.
DiPietro noted that employment at the Saline plant has been on the rise since 2009-10, when other operations were consolidated into the Saline plant. In 2009-10, there were 2,000 employees at the operation.
At more than 1 million square feet, the Saline facility is one of the largest interior parts plants in the region.
The also has keen interest in the plant. In 2011, City Finance Director Lee Bourgoin calculated the plant is responsible for 11 percent of the city’s tax revenue—about the amount of money the city spends on its . That share of the city’s tax revenue is up from 8.5 percent as residential home values dipped.