Visteon Corp. agreed to form a joint venture in the Czech Republic with Japan's Nichirin Co. to make air-conditioning hoses for automakers in Europe.

Visteon also plans to buy a 10 percent stake in Nichirin, which would be valued at about $2.2 million, based on Tuesday's closing share price. Visteon will own 70 percent of the joint venture, with the rest held by the Himeji, Japan-based maker of vehicle hoses. The companies didn't disclose other financial terms.

The venture in Rychvald, Czech Republic, will combine "our hose coupling technology with Nichirin's expertise in chemicals, rubber and hoses," said Frank Croskey, general manager of Visteon's climate-control systems division.

Production is to start late next year. Hoses produced by the venture will be used in automotive systems made at Visteon's Autopal plant in Novy Jicin, Czech Republic.

Nichirin, with 1999 sales of $226 million, makes automotive air-conditioning, power-steering and hydraulic-brake hoses.