Nanterre, France - Automotive supplier Faurecia has bought the automotive business of Sora Composites, a company which possesses an established expertise in the field of composite plastics and the use of glass and carbon fibre for automotive applications.
Faurecia said the two plants affected by this acquisition are in Theillay and Saint-Méloir-des-Ondes, with operational headquarters in Changé (all three sites in France).
This business generates annual sales of around Euro 70 million ($84 million) with a total staff of 500.
The parts produced in both of Sora Composites plants include body and structural parts for both mainstream automakers such as Renault and PSA Peugeot Citroën, as well as premium car makers such as Aston Martin, Audi, Lotus and McLaren Automotive, said Faurecia.
The company described this acquisition as "an important step in the development of Faurecia's expertise in the field of plastic composites, a technology which is expected to experience strong growth over the coming years."
Faurecia said that ever-more stringent environmental regulations mean that lighter vehicles are in demand, needed new materials to reduce weight. Use of composite materials should enable OEMs to gain several kilograms for both structural and body parts, the French automotive supplier added.
Faurecia said it aims to bring these innovative materials to mass serial production of automotive parts. To that end, it has set-up a number of R&D partnerships: with the Fraunhofer Institut in Karlsruhe (Germany); the French Center for Advanced Studies in Composite Materials for Transport applications (CEMCAT); the French ESTACA engineering school; and with the French Ecole Centrale de Nantes engineering school (Composite Chair).