Francisco Maciel
CFO and Country Lead
Faurecia México
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View from the Top

Faurecia: Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric a Turning Point

By Alejandro Enríquez | Mon, 03/01/2021 - 06:00

Q: How is Faurecia strengthening its relationships with local suppliers taking into account they have been left vulnerable after the pandemic?

A: We consider our suppliers as a partner and we ensure the right follow up with them to achieve our ambition of being recognized for Total Customer Satisfaction and Operational Excellence. From the purchasing team, commodity team, and plant buyers, we have been working closely with them to follow HSE protocols and adapt to the pandemic. They are part of our extended team and we make sure that we both are working to satisfy our and our client’s needs.

Q: When it comes to R&D, Faurecia has trusted Mexico by installing R&D centers in the country, what have been some of the results of this initiative?

A. We have two centers, one focused on Interiors and another one for Seating; both employing around 350 people, with different profiles centered on engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, program quality, and program management.

These centers are located in Puebla, enhancing the economy and development within the region, having as a result, an appealing set for several projects and investments that can be deployed in the plants and generate more jobs. These people are dedicated to developing technology and products that meet the needs of the industry. Besides, we have a team dedicated to developing manufacturing 4.0 innovations. Manufacturing 4.0 is about not only bringing our technology but also our people to the next level.

Q: Faurecia has been working on different mobility solutions, can you provide some examples of this "sustainable mobility" vision?

A: We are focus first on developing technology for sustainable mobility, and second, on creating personalized mobility experiences. Faurecia Clean Mobility develops and produces breakthrough technologies to drive mobility and industry towards zero emissions. Its solutions for passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and industry with a strong focus on zero-emission fuel cell technologies make it a global leader in clean mobility. As stringent new regulations come into force around the world, and with demand for electrified vehicles constantly increasing, Faurecia has made sustainable mobility a strategic priority.

Q: IHS Markit mentioned that the electrification trend is become more evident across suppliers located in Mexico, what are your views in this regard?

A: Faurecia supports automakers with complete Hydrogen Storage System integration for different vehicle architectures that match the industry requirements with just-in-time delivery of end-of-Line tested turnkey systems. Optimized in carbon fiber to reduce weight and fuel consumption, our homologated tanks will be produced at Faureciaºs new center of expertise for Hydrogen Storage Systems in Bavans, France.

Symbio, a joint between Faurecia and Michelin, designs, produces and markets hydrogen systems for light and commercial vehicles, buses, and trucks, as well as for other electric vehicles. With its unique expertise and a priority given to the establishment of automotive production standards, the company aims to become a world leader in hydrogen mobility

Q: What are the main trends that you have identified in the automotive sector?

A: Technology and innovation are constantly evolving.  We continue to develop solutions to support CARE (connected, autonomous, ride-sharing, electrified), while also focus on Sustainable Mobility and the Cockpit of the Future.

Q: How is Faurecia preparing for the future of mobility?

A: Significant societal changes too, such as rapid urbanization and demographic shifts that are driving the need to rethink mobility. At Faurecia we bring consumer insight into every step of our product lifecycle – from ideation, prioritizing new features, developing products to exploring mobility experiences throughout the serial life of a vehicle. This involves a range of direct and indirect information gathering using artificial intelligence, from social media listening, analyzing keywords and sentiment in consumer videos to digital surveying techniques that help us to assess the impact of technologies on the perception and behavior of vehicle users.

By keeping consumer needs top of mind, we are on the right track to go beyond products to experiences and develop technology that really drives the mobility of tomorrow. We call this “technology with a purpose”.

Q: What is the Cockpit of the Future?   

A: Mobility is at a major turning point. Connected vehicles, autonomous driving, shared mobility, and electrification will radically change what we expect from the time spent on board. Faurecia's innovations in the Cockpit of the Future and Sustainable Mobility are focused on the user experience: safer, more comfortable, and personalized travel and the guarantee of cleaner and more environmentally friendly transport. The Cockpit of the Future provides solutions for a connected, personalized, and predictive cockpit.

 

Faurecia Mexico started operations in 1997 to manufacture interiors. The company has 14 plants in the country for seating, interiors and clean mobility, two R&D centers and one shared service center. Its headquarters are located in Puebla, in Central Mexico.

Photo by:   Faurecia México
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst