The shake-up in Europe's supplier industry continues with Lear Corp.'s acquisition of Keiper Car Seating.
It's a sign of the times. Traditional, mid-sized, privately owned European companies struggle to be modern Tier 1 suppliers.
Investing in plants around the globe is often too much for these firms. So is the burden to develop, source and assemble modules and systems for million-unit car platforms.
The industry is going through a transformation. More change will come. French seatmaker Bertrand Faure may be the next big target.
Change can be good. German and French mid-size suppliers have some great strengths: engineering integrity, obsessive concern for quality, and close ties to car manufacturers. These strengths can thrive inside much larger supplier companies with financial muscle and strategic focus.