LONDON - The trend toward outsourcing in Europe's seating business has slowed in the last couple of years, but there are new outside contracts in the pipeline.
BMW is expected to outsource all 3 series seats to Lear Corp. for the new generation coming next year.
Until now, only seats for 3 series units built at the Regensburg plant have been outsourced.
Mercedes-Benz will outsource seats for the next S class to Johnson Controls Inc. Ford's Genk, Belgium, plant is likely to outsource seats for the next Mondeo.
There have also been some changes in sourcing patterns among suppliers.
Keiper Recaro lost the contract for the next-generation Mercedes SL to Johnson Controls, and Bertrand Faure took the contract for the new Renault Safrane from Johnson Controls.
Inhouse seating operations of carmakers control about 30 percent of the market in Europe when PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's ECIA and General Motors' Delphi are included.