French supplier Faurecia has opened a new seat plant in the U.S.
The plant, based in Simpsonville, Kentucky, will supply complete seat systems for the Ford Super Duty pickup, made at the Ford Motor Co. Kentucky Truck Plant in nearby Louisville. Models made at Kentucky Truck include the Ford F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550. Faurecia will also supply seats for the Ford Chassis Cab F-650/750 models made at Ford’s Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio.
The plant will employ more than 500 people.
The Ford seat contract is the latest for a supplier that has been getting increasingly aggressive in pursuing North American pickup business.
Says Nik Endrud, president of Faurecia Automotive North America: "The irony is we're a French company. France isn't known as the land of the pickup truck. But we're developing a really good position in pickup trucks."
"We have been growing strongly alongside the truck market, and with this new plant and complete seat program, which is part of the best-selling truck family, we are in a great position to continue with this market trend of growth. This program is the fourth complete seat truck program to launch in the last two years, so we're making strides and look to continue establishing a strong foothold in the market."
Other pickup truck programs Faurecia has won in the last two years include the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon in Wentzville, Montana; Nissan Titan in Madison, Mississippi., and Nissan Frontier, for which Faurecia makes completes seats, instrument panels and door panels in Puebla, Mexico and Madison.
Faurecia won its first North Amerian pickup truck contract in 2008, when it won a contract to supply some seating components for the Ford F-150 pickup.
The 122,000-square-foot Simpsonville plant is Faurecia's 36th production site in North America, where it employs more than 20,000 people.
Faurecia has four primary business groups: automotive seating, emissions control systems, automotive interior systems and exteriors. The company, which reported sales of $23 billion in 2015, employs 103,000 people in 34 countries at 330 sites. Faurecia had sales of $6.4 billion in North America last year.