Nanterre, France -- Automotive supplier Faurecia saw its first quarter 2009 sales drop by 38 percent to Euro 2008 million, and said Q1 saw a sharp drop in business all round the world.
In its seating business, Q1 sales fell to Euro 872.5 million from Euro 1349 million in Q1 2008, while in its interiors division, sales dropped to Euro 567 million from Euro 897 million.
In Europe, Q1 sales of Euro 1527 million were down 34.5 percent from sales in Q1 2008, while in North America the quarter's sales dropped by nearly half -- 47.3 percent -- to Euro 247.6 million. South American Q1 sales fell only 1.2 percent to Euro 57.5 million.
Asian sales for the Nanterre, France-headquartered supplier fell by 14 percent to Euro 148.2 million during the period.
These regional sales drops were by and large mirrored in the specific business units, although Faurecia's exhaust systems business suffered a global sales drop of 41.5 percent, and in North America, this division saw sales plummet by 64.2 percent.
In Exterior Systems, sales fell 28 percent for the quarter, with a 25 percent drop in Europe (as a result of the relative resilience of Audi volumes, said Faurecia), but a much greater drop of 79 percent in North America, where Chrysler accounts for most of Faurecia's business, the company said.
Discussing these figures, Faurecia said business in Q1 was marked by a severe contraction in January and February, but "began to stabilise in March -- particularly in Europe -- with a drop of 24.1 percent."
The company said this confirms its working hypothesis for 2009, in which it is forecasting a 20 percent drop in sales in Europe and a 30 percent drop in North America.
During the quarter, Faurecia implemented a plan to cut costs by Euro 600 million, and in April completed the first stage of a campaign to secure financing. This initial step, covering a total of Euro 1633 million, involves loans totaling Euro 1170 million from banks and Euro 250 million from Peugeot SA, plus an additional credit line of Euro 213 million.
PIC: Faurecia's latest interior technology is based on exposing the substrate in places and covering other portions with bright yellow textiles.