Magneti Marelli, the international automotive parts manufacturer which employs more than 500 people at its Sanford-based Powertrain USA facility, has been sold by parent company Fiat Chrysler to a Japanese company for more than $7 billion, according to multiple industry media reports.

It’s unclear what the sale means for the Sanford plant, but coverage indicates that Fiat Chrysler will remain involved in operations to an extent, suggesting some level of continuity going forward. From Motor Trend’s report:

FCA sold the company to Calsonic Kansei, a Japanese manufacturer specializing in cooling systems, exhaust parts, electronics, and interiors. The combined business will create the world’s seventh largest global independent supplier of automotive parts based on total revenue.

“The combined company will be well positioned to serve its customers around the world due to its enhanced scale, financial strength and the highly complementary nature of its combined product lines and geographic footprint,” FCA said in a statement. The new business will operate from nearly 200 facilities and R & D centers across the world.

As part of the agreement, FCA will acquire parts from the new company and will help maintain Magneti Marelli’s business operations in Italy. FCA will not take a stake in the combined business.

The Sanford plant celebrated 40 years here back in 2016, noting that the facility produces “various components including highly technical air intake manifolds. These types of intake manifold uses sophisticated electronic control systems to regulate air and gas fluid dynamics aimed at maximizing performance, reducing fuel consumption and CO2, and reducing engine noise.”

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