Visteon’s CEO has said that the company’s lighting business is hurting its margins and that it is possible the unit could do better under a different owner.

Reuters reported that chief executive Don Stebbins said Visteon’s lighting business was a relatively small player in terms of revenue, despite having a ‘tremendous’ manufacturing footprint.

“I would think if somebody else owned it, it’s possible that they could do better,” he said during a presentation at the Barclays Capital 2011 Global Automotive Conference.

Tier 1 supplier Visteon has been the subject of speculation that it could divest two of its units after posting third quarter results back in the black.

Media reports have raised the possibility of Visteon’s lighting and interiors divisions being put up for sale, but the US component manufacturer is declining to comment on any such potential move.

“We have no comment on that, we are not commenting on that topic,” a Visteon spokesman in the US told just-auto last week.

Speculation has raised the possibility of both divisions being worth up to US$450m, although the same report hints there may be a difference of opinion at the company’s highest levels on how to proceed should any sale be forthcoming.

Visteon is one of a number of suppliers that went bankrupt in recent years to emerge from bankruptcy under the control of financiers.

Visteon’s lighting unit reportedly has the lowest margins of the company’s four main businesses, which also include climate control, interiors and electronics.