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Faurecia’s OEM Customer Demand Up
to the west and Chrysler headquarters to the east and north.
“This was the first building in this locale . . . there were no restaurants and no hotels, we were kind of out here all by ourselves,” Heneka recalled.
“Frankly, the land was available at the right price at the right time. We do business with all of the automobile manufacturers. Would it make more sense to be in Southfield? I don’t know, maybe. What’s happened is people live around here.
“We’re looking at a satellite plant right now more toward the Dearborn area (to support our Ford work).”
Faurecia is larger than you might first think or imagine – it’s the 9th largest auto supplier in North America with sales of $4.8 billion in 2011. It is enjoying almost 33 percent growth.
Faurecia’s North American operations account for 25 percent of the parent’s sales, due to the rapid expansion of the past three years.
In North America, Faurecia has 35 production sites, 5 technical centers and one customer center.
Faurecia’s Michigan footprint is as follows:
• Auburn Hills (two technical centers including NA HQ);
• Fraser (two manufacturing facilities);
• Sterling Heights (two manufacturing facilities);
• Lansing (one manufacturing facility);
• Holland (one technical center);
• Taylor (one manufacturing center);
• Troy (one technical center).
Faurecia’s North American growth is reflected in robust growth of contracts with Big Three manufacturers.
For the Ford Fiesta, Faurecia in North America supplies the full line exhaust, instrument panel, door panels and the center console.
For the Cadillac CTS, Faurecia in North America supplies the hot and cold end in the exhaust system, the seat frames / tracks / recliners, and the door panels.
For the Chevy Volt, Faurecia supplies the seat tracks and other mechanisms.
Also, when Chrysler needed a refresh on the interior of Chrysler 200 passenger car, the automaker’s engineers worked with Faurecia’s at the Executive Hills Drive complex on a 14-month crash program to develop the smart and professional looking new interior seen on showroom floors today.
“We build where are customers are, which makes sense and that’s what we’ve done – we’re in every carmaker other than Honda right now,” he said.
“We’re expanding all around. We’re the 9th largest in North America and we’re working our way to be 5th largest. We have 75,000 employees globally.”
“In the U.S. we have 15,000 employees and a little over 2,000 in Michigan alone.
“It’s kind of our roots -- there’s an engineering base here, the universities are here, Nissan, Hyundai and Toyota all have technical centers here in addition to Chrysler, Ford and General Motors. So this is probably the place to be for us, that’s what we think.”
Faurecia came out of the 2008-2009 downturn fairly well, as global suppliers go.
“Based on the downturn here, we were fortunate that in North America, we weren’t sitting on any open capacity, a lot of the historic suppliers maybe added too much capacity. . . .they were running at less than capacity, which makes it difficult to maintain your margins. We didn’t have that situation, so it didn’t hurt us that much.
“Europe struggles a little more, even today – the growth in Europe will probably be flat this year. We think it will be double-digit growth in North America.
“We were up 33 percent over last year in our first quarter, so we’re doing very well right here.
“And car sales are doing well, we can’t take credit for the cars selling better, but the economy, from our perspective, is fairly good.
“We laid some people off during the down times but then we brought them back. We hired between 650 and 700 people last year in Michigan alone, we’re still in a growth phase: so far, so good.”