Lear Corporation

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Lear Corporation
Formerly called
American Metal Products
Public Fortune 500
Traded as NYSELEA
Industry Manufacturing
Founded Detroit, Michigan (1917 (1917))
Headquarters Southfield, Michigan, USA
Number of locations
221 locations in 36 countries
Area served
International
Key people
Matthew J. Simoncini, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director; Terry Larkin, Executive Vice President, Business Development and General Counsel
Services Supplier of automotive seating and electrical
Revenue $16.2 billion in 2013
Number of employees
122,000
Divisions Seating and Electrical
Website www.lear.com/en/

Lear Corporation headquartered in Southfield, Michigan, USA, is a Fortune 500 company, engaged in the business of manufacturing and distribution of automotive seating and electrical distribution systems. As of 2014, the company had 221 manufacturing facilities in 36 countries around the globe, staffed by 113,400 employees. They recorded an aggregate global sales of US$ 16.2 billion in 2013.[1] Lear has two major divisions: the seating business segment and the electrical business segment.

History[edit]

Lear Corporation was launched as American Metal Products in 1917 in Detroit, Michigan. At the time of its founding it was engaged in the manufacture of tubular, welded and stamped assemblies for the aircraft and automobile industries.[2]

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 original equipment manufacturing (OEM) auto companies.

On March 16, 1999, Lear announced it would acquire United Technologies Automotive, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation that produced dashboards, electrical distribution systems, motors and air-flow parts, interior door panels and switches, for $2.3 billion.[3] Lear announced on May 4, 1999, that it had completed the acquisition.[4]

On April 5, 2004, Lear announced it would pay $220 million for Wuppertal, Germany-based Grote & Hartmann, a maker of electrical components.[5] On July 6, 2004, Lear announced it had completed the transaction.[6]

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.[citation needed][needs update]

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.[7]

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.[citation needed]

On July 2, 2009 Bloomberg News reported that Lear Corp. planned to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after reaching an agreement with representatives of secured lenders and bondholders. On November 9, 2009, Lear announced it had emerged from bankruptcy.[8]

On August 10, 2011, Lear announced that senior vice president and chief financial officer Matt Simoncini had been elected chief executive officer and president, effective September 1, 2011.[9]

In 2012, Automotive News awarded Lear a Premier Automotive Suppliers' Contribution to Excellence (PACE) Award for innovation, technological advancement and business performance for its Solid State Smart Junction Box (S3JB), noting Lear's "S3JB junction box has 1) integrated solid state fuse technology to eliminate relays, 2) created a new package that no longer has to be accessible from the driver compartment which decreases nuisance calls and lowers electrical device warranty returns, 3) created and installed a smart software logic with detailed diagnostics to permit a 'fail safe operation,' and 4) designed a single state board design with patented thermal aspects that permits multiple system and device connections and various configurations to ease manufacturing processes."[10]

Lear acquired automotive and specialty fabrics company Guilford Mills for $257 million in May 2012. In addition to automotive fabric applications, Guilford produces fabrics for markets including water filtration, window covering, performance apparel, medical and other industrial applications.[11]

In August 2014, it was announced that Lear Corp would acquire automotive leather supplier Eagle Ottawa LLC for a fee of $850 million.[12]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lear Corp Form 8-K Current Report". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. January 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ "The History of Lear Corporation". Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Lear To Buy Parts Unit Of United Technologies". New York Times. March 17, 1999. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Lear Corporation Acquires United Technologies Automotive" (Press release). Lear Corporation. May 4, 1999. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  5. ^ Gelsi, Steve (April 5, 2004). "Lear buying buying Grote & Hartmann for $220 mln". MarketWatch. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Lear Corp. Completes Acquisition of Grote & Hartmann" (Press release). Lear Corporation. July 6, 2004. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Lear Completes North American Interior Business Joint Venture with WL Ross and Franklin Mutual" (Press release). Lear Corporation. April 7, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Car parts maker Lear emerges from bankruptcy". Reuters. November 9, 2009. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Lear CEO Rossiter steps down; finance chief Simoncini tapped as successor". Autonews.com. August 10, 2011. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Automotive News PACE Awards". Autonews.com. 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2014. 
  11. ^ Yahoo Finance[dead link]
  12. ^ "Lear Corp to buy leather supplier Eagle Ottawa for $850 million" (Press release). Reuters. August 28, 2014.