By David Sedgwick and Charles Child, Automotive News
Detroit -- Faurecia SA, a major French supplier of seats, interiors, exhaust systems and exterior parts, is angling for a much bigger share of North American sales.
Ceo Yann Delabriere is counting on strong sales to German automakers, along with fast-growing demand for luxury components, diesel exhaust systems for commercial trucks, and parts for global vehicles such as the Ford Focus and Fiesta to fuel his company's market share growth.
In fact, Delabriere predicts that Faurecia, which ranks No. 9 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 suppliers to North America, will move up to No. 5.
Delabriere spelled out his expansion plans during a 10 Jan interview in Detroit with special correspondent David Sedgwick and news editor Charles Child.
Q: How well have Faurecia's sales recovered since the recession?
Delabriere: We have enjoyed an exceptional rebound in our sales since the crisis in 2009. Our sales grew by 48 percent in 2010, and 2011 will be a pretty good year. It means we're at a record level of sales.
Q: Last November, you projected global sales of 15.9 billion euros [$20 billion] for 2011. Will you achieve your target?
Delabriere: We will release our results on Feb. 7, but we can easily confirm the objectives that we announced last year.
Q: How are your sales in North America?
Delabriere: Our sales in North America were up almost 30 percent for the first nine months, and the fourth quarter could be even better.
Q: How will you do in 2012?
Delabriere: North America represents close to 25 percent of our sales now, with the very rapid expansion that we enjoyed in the last three years.
We expect our North American sales will grow 5 to 7 percentage points faster than the market.
Q: With that in mind, what is Faurecia's growth potential in North America.
Delabriere: In 2010, we were the ninth-largest supplier in North America. We expect to become the fifth-largest supplier.