GM agrees to sell Nexteer steering unit

General Motors Co. has agreed to sell its Nexteer Automotive steering-parts business to China's Pacific Century Motors, part-owned by Beijing's municipal government.

The sale includes Nexteer's 22 plants, along with its engineering centers and customer support centers worldwide. The companies did not release terms of the sale, but said today they expected the deal would close by the end of the year. The sale still needs regulatory approval from both the U.S. and Chinese governments, and other countries where Nexteer operates, GM spokeswoman Renee Rashid-Merem said.

Pacific Century Motors is owned by Beijing's financing and investing division, called Beijing E-Town International Investment & Development Co., and Tempo International Group, a Chinese supplier of chassis and powertrain components.

GM acquired Nexteer last year from its former parts arm, Delphi Corp. The automaker viewed the steering business as a non-core asset and put it up for sale.

The sale of Nexteer will allow GM to focus on engineering core parts of the car, like engines and transmissions, while outsourcing smaller systems to parts suppliers, said Mike Wall, an analyst with IHS Automotive, a research firm based in Lexington, Mass.

“GM doesn't need to be the expert in steering,” Wall said. “They can buy that from someone else. For some of these Asian parts companies, it makes sense to get into other parts businesses.”

Src & Text: [autonews]

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