PARIS - Faurecia, the new parts company formed by the merger of seat maker Bertrand Faure and PSA parts maker ECIA, plans to buy North American suppliers to expand its business.
Chairman Daniel Dewavrin said the company has a critical mass already in seats and exhaust systems, but 'we need a critical mass in each of our core businesses.'
'We are today the No. 5 European automobile component supplier and No. 3 worldwide in seats and exhaust systems,' said Dewavrin.
In seats, he sees organic growth of 50 percent by 2003, and he is negotiating an acquisition in North America that will boost exhaust systems.
In cockpits and door panels, he said, Faurecia has technological expertise. The strategy is to 'develop our position to reach critical mass, particularly by external growth.'
Even without acquisitions, he forecasts 50 percent growth in these areas.
Another business area is in its infancy: front-end modules. He told journalists in France that an acquisition in this area was being negotiated.
He said the concept has been adopted by Audi and is 'arousing interest among an increasing number of manufacturers as it is truly an interesting innovation.'
The front-end module is basically the front panel, to which the engine cooling system and bumpers are attached. It can also carry headlamps.
Dewavrin said r&d would be maintained at a high level, about FF1.2 billion ($200 million). He spoke with journalists as the company prepared a stock offering for 8 June.