|This article's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (December 2012)|
Lear Corporation (NYSE: LEA), headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, USA is a Fortune 500 company, engaged in the business of manufacturing and distribution of automotive interiors systems. In the year 2006, the company has 221 manufacturing facilities in 36 countries across the globe, manned by 113,400 employees, and recorded an aggregate global sales of US$ $14.8 billion in 2012.
Lear grew during the 1980s and 1990s through a series of acquisitions. The company sought to become a supplier of complete interior automotive systems, that is, a supplier of seating, electrical, flooring, interior trim, instrument panels, etc., to OEM auto companies.
Lear is composed of two major divisions:
- The Seating Systems Division
- The Electronic Systems Division
As of late 2005, most OEM auto companies had indicated that they no longer wanted to purchase total interiors from any one company. As this was Lear's primary purpose in assembling those three divisions, and the Interior Systems Division was not profitable, the company began seeking to get rid of this division.
In early 2007, Lear Corporation completed the transfer of substantially all of its former North American Interior Systems Division to International Automotive Components Group (IAC), a joint venture of Lear, WL Ross & Co., and Franklin Mutual Advisers. The deal involved 26 manufacturing plants and two Chinese joint ventures. Lear also contributed $27 million in cash for a 25 percent interest in IAC and warrants for an additional 7 percent.
Also in 2007, Lear's board of directors agreed to a $2.3 billion takeover offer from American Real Estate Partners, an affiliate of financier Carl Icahn, subject to shareholder approval. Lear has said it will continue to talk to other interested parties, however, Icahn would receive a $100 million fee should another offer be accepted. The deal was later voted down by shareholders.
According to Randall Carron, president of international relations for Lear Corporation, Lear is not only committed to its employees but also to protecting the environment, in which they are held responsible, and realizes the importance of it. The Sidney, Ohio plant is the first Lear Corporation plant worldwide to be certified and recognized as meeting the environmental management standard. Lear is dedicated in addressing immediate short and long-term problems of the environment and the programs and facilities that affect it. Lear is also especially aware of the job their employees are doing, and continues to look forward in protecting the environment for future generations. In order to improve the environment, the plants must identify the products and services that may have a major impact on the environment. Carpet scraps and solid waste have been proven to have a negative aspect in improving the environment. The Lear Corporation is committed to improving the work environment.
- Lear Completes North American Interior Business Joint Venture with WL Ross and Franklin Mutual, Lear Corporation Press Release, April 7, 2007
- Lear Corp. proves committed to lean manufacturing system Nelson Publishing