Ford has announced new agreements with Visteon Corporation - its largest supplier and former automotive components subsidiary -- that it claims will improve the competitiveness of both companies, mostly by hacking down the prices Visteon charges. The deal imposes a pre-tax charge of $US1.6 billion on Ford in the fourth quarter of 2003 yet, despite the hit, Ford has raised its 2003 earnings guidance based on cost cutting, strong sales of the new F-150 truck in the US and healthy profits at its credit arm.