Adient to announce Detroit HQ by end of year

Milwaukee operations unchanged, spokesman says

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Adient plc anticipates announcing a location and plans for a corporate headquarters in the metro Detroit area by the end of the year, according to spokesman David Roznowski.

Adient will be a leading producer of seating system when it is spun off from Johnson Controls.
Adient will be a leading producer of seating system when it is spun off from Johnson Controls.

Adient is the spin-off of Johnson Controls International plc’s automotive seating business and is set to become an independent, publicly traded company on Oct. 31. The company has been operating independently within Johnson Controls since the summer.

The company is leasing space in the 833 East building at 833 E. Michigan St. and will have up to 100 employees in Milwaukee. Adient chief executive officer Bruce McDonald will also be based out of Milwaukee.

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Roznowski said the decision to have a corporate headquarters near Detroit will not change anything for the company’s Milwaukee operations, which will be primarily made up of corporate and administrative functions.

“It always made more sense to move the headquarters operations where the majority of the employees are,” he said.

Adient will emerge from the spin-off as one of the largest automotive seat suppliers in the world, with an estimated $17 billion in consolidated revenue. Roughly one-third of the company’s business comes from Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.

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In addition to Milwaukee and Detroit, Adient has corporate functions in Plymouth, Michigan; Shanghai, China; and Burscheid, Germany.

Johnson Controls chief executive officer Alex Molinaroli indicated in October 2015 the then-unnamed spin-off would be headquartered in Milwaukee, but when the company’s decision to lease space at 833 East became public last year, Johnson Controls spokesman Fraser Engerman declined to call the location a corporate headquarters.

“What we’re saying is we’re going to have corporate presence, corporate leadership in all of these locations,” Engerman said at the time. “We’re not calling 833 East Michigan our corporate headquarters for automotive.”

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Adient, like Johnson Controls, is officially headquartered in Ireland for tax purposes. Johnson Controls moved its domicile to Ireland after merging with Tyco International. Adient briefly planned to domicile in London, but eventually opted for Ireland instead.

As for the Detroit headquarters, Roznowski said the company has not found a facility yet and is exploring different options. The eventual location will have corporate functions as well and could create 100 to 500 jobs, he said.

Crain’s Detroit Business first reported on the potential headquarters Tuesday morning.

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