By Dustin Walsh, Crain's Detroit Business
Detroit, Michigan -- The US subsidiary of French supplier Faurecia SA is to hire 800 employees in engineering, human resources and purchasing, among others, this year in Michigan.
Faurecia North America has nearly doubled its employee base in the state, which is now at about 2000.
The growth has caused the supplier of interiors, exteriors, seating and emissions to plan a 20,000-sq.ft expansion of its headquarters in the Detroit suburb of Auburn Hills.
In July, Faurecia North America moved 100 employees from its exteriors unit into a new nearby technical center, also in Auburn Hills.
"When we moved into this facility, we thought it'd be bigger than we needed," said Mike Heneka, president of Faurecia North America, speaking from its headquarters. "But we've seen such strong growth and opportunities, we've outgrown this building."
Faurecia North America also is investing $19.2 million to house and manufacture interiors from a new facility in nearby Fraser, and in future expansions, which were supported by tax credits from the Michigan Economic Growth Authority.
Faurecia's US expansion is led by new contracts with the Detroit 3 as the automakers continue to push for global platforms.
"The globalisation of (Detroit 3) platforms benefits international suppliers," said Bernard Swiecki, senior project manager of sustainability and economic development strategies group at the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "It's only logical that the suppliers of platforms in Europe will follow the automakers here."
The industry's transition to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars offers an advantage to suppliers in Europe, where small cars have dominated for decades, Swiecki said.
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