By Jeff Gilbert

AUBURN HILLS, MI — (WWJ) An example of the changing auto industry landscape as dignitaries from the state of Michigan and Oakland County turned out in force for the dedication of a new North American Headquarters building for French auto supplier Faurecia.

From the bottoming out of car sales in 2009 until today, Faurecia has tripled its revenues in North America,

“Beyond the tripling the revenue, our employee base went from 10 thousand to 20 thousand in North America, which is pretty remarkable,” said Faurecia North America President Mike Henka.

Faurecia expanding from 12 sites in North America to 47 sites. 14 of them in Michigan. It’s in the process of hiring nearly 500 new workers.

“Four hundred and eight one to be exact,” said Heneka. “So we’re looking for those people right now through recruitment, through training through internships. It’s a bit of a struggle. As you know, there’s a demand for engineers, program managers, technical people. We’re out there looking.”

As the North American market recovers, it now accounts for one third of Faurecia’s business. The compnay posted North American revenues of five billion dollars last year.

“I’m delighted that the chairman and the board and all the decision makers saw fit to locate their new headquarters here in North America right here in Auburn Hils, here in Oakland County,” said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.

More than 700 people work in the 278,000 square foot facility, which includes a number of research and development laboratories, as well as an innovation area and offices for sales and marketing personell.

Faurecia has been looking to continue its growth in North America.

“Over the past decade, our North American operations have grown to outpace much of the supplier industry globally and have maintained a remarkable record of innovation and expansion throughout the most challenging of economic times,” said Faurecia Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Yann Delabriere. “Since 2010, we’ve opened 15 new plants and technology centers in North America and have nearly doubled our workforce. Our new North American headquarters reflects Faurecia Group’s balanced presence across the region by serving as an innovation hub at the focal point of the American auto industry. It stands as a continuing commitment to our groundbreaking work in lightweighting, reduction of emissions and new levels of driver comfort that we have introduced to the auto industry.”

Michigan has been working hard to attract foreign owned suppliers, and research and development centers for global automakers. Michigan Economic Development Corporation President Michael Finney says it’s an example of the industry’s globalization.

“I think it’s important to understand that the industry has changed, and the supply base does represent the entire world.”

Connect with Jeff Gilbert
Twitter: @jefferygilbert


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