LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) _ Suppliers rushing to globalize must resist the temptation to stray from their core automotive business or risk being swept away in a slowing economy, the president and chief operating officer of Visteon Corp. said Wednesday.

Speaking at a meeting of Sales and Marketing Executives of Detroit, Michael Johnston said an expected slowdown in vehicle sales will result in ``consolidation and some unexpected funerals'' of suppliers who don't provide automakers innovative products that will make their vehicles more attractive to buyers.

``We've got to stop thinking of new noncore business or globalization opportunities as the next best thing to sliced bread,'' said Johnston. ``We can't be everything to everybody.''

Johnston said in the 1990s that the auto industry believed globalizing bought it immunity from a cyclical nature of the business, but while manufacturing capacity was added in emerging markets, sales did not keep pace.

Visteon, once part of Ford Motor Co., lost $95 million in the third quarter of this year, in part because of Ford's shrinking market share. Ford is Visteon's biggest customer.

The Dearborn-based company said it is making progress on a goal of increasing non-Ford business to 20 percent of revenue by 2002. So far in 2001, non-Ford business is 18 percent of revenue.

While Visteon sought to stick to its core business, it is also looking to form new partnerships in order to thrive in spite of any downturns in the auto market, Johnston said.

``We want to form a collaborative community with our customers, suppliers, competitors and nontraditional, non-automotive partners,'' he said.


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