In the wake of Faurecia setting up a unique showroom in Pune to showcase all its products and technologies, Automotive Products Finder catches up with the senior management team of the company to get the latest updates.
Faurecia entered India in 1995 with its automotive seating business in Bangalore. Currently, the company is headquartered in Pune and has two research and development centers in the country, employing a strong team of engineering professionals. The Pune facility caters to interiors and seating systems while the Bangalore facility is dedicated to emission control technologies. Faurecia also has seven production facilities that include Pune, Manesar, Chennai, Bangalore and Sanand with a total employee strength in India of over 2,000 people, which accounts for 18 per cent of the group’s total Asian staff. It serves leading automobile companies like Ford, Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki, Tata, Toyota, FCA, Renault Nissan, Isuzu and Volkswagen. Faurecia also caters to the commercial vehicle segment such as heavy load trucks, together with its global partner Cummins.
Elaborating about company’s production capacity for its various products such as seats, emission control systems, etc., Vidyadhar Limaye, Interior Systems General Manger, Faurecia informs, “The current capacity for emissions solutions is 1.4 million assemblies per year and for acoustic solutions it stands at 1 million assemblies per year. Faurecia Automotive Seating has capacity to produce 4.4 million slider mechanisms and 1.2 million seat frame structures per year while Faurecia Interiors has three operational plants in India, two in Chennai and one in Pune. We are currently capable of delivering approximately 750 car sets per day from the two Chennai plants and about 500 air vents per day from our Pune plant.”
Company sees good demand for its products over the coming years and is geared to meet an increase in its production capacities. “An important milestone for our emission control business group is linked to commercial vehicle emission systems which are going to shift to BS IV norms pan-India in April 2017. Next game-changer will be BSVI Stage 1 in 2020. Increased demand for technology is a great opportunity for a company like Faurecia which is a global market leader in emission control for light and commercial vehicles alike,” says Benjamin Thibout, Emission Control General Manager, Faurecia. For its seating business group the demand for its products is likely to double by 2018. “That is because we have products that will meet the upcoming safety regulations,” says Ambarish Chavan, Seating Systems General Manager, Faurecia.
Faurecia Interiors is at the moment supplying components to Ford and Isuzu for two vehicles respectively, both of which are in the SUV segment. “Our current programmes also largely cater to the SUV market. With growing acceptance and surge in demand of SUVs not only in India but also globally, we expect a sizeable demand for our products in the next couple of years,” Chavan adds. As for its focus on technology development and customised research to suit the global and, in particular, the Indian markets, the company’s team of 1,000+ engineers are engaged at its Pune and Bangalore R&D centers for both global and offshoring activities. “The R&D center in Bangalore is involved in product development for more than 60 per cent of Faurecia’s global programmes, mainly leveraging strong virtual product development such as design and simulation and tool design competencies in India,” informs Remi Daudin, Interior Systems Engineering Director, Faurecia.
“In addition, the center is also closely integrated with the overall product development process. It has grown over 50 per cent in the year 2016 and is playing a significant role in the global engineering organisation. As of now, the engineering as well as the manufacturing group together are working on India-centric innovation for the coming years in the space of automotive interiors,” adds Dhana Radhakrishnan, Emission Control Engineering Director, Faurecia. Amidst all this development, emission control systems continue to occupy a prime position in the light of the new rules that will come into effect in India. “The industry is working towards a stringent emission norm which is poised to follow Bharat 6, an equivalent of Euro 6 standard. This requires technological improvements particularly in emission control. We are preparing ourselves with appropriate technology for the Indian market which includes diesel particulate filter (DPF), lean NOX trap (LNT) and the SCR Bluebox system,” Radhakrishnan adds.
Meanwhile, to attain greater visibility, Faurecia has now set up a unique showroom over 400 sq m, which is being claimed as one of the most spacious within the Faurecia group globally, and comparable to exhibition booths for international automotive shows. It is designed to permanently display the latest products of the company’s three business groups i.e. interiors, seats and emission control systems. This includes instrument panels that range from value (Ford Ecosport) to super premium cars (Mercedes S-Class Coupe), door panels and central console covers (injected Isuzu D Max to leather-wrapped Range Rover), air vents and special mechanisms (docking device, special armrests, tambour doors, moveable cup-holders), etc.
Various soft trim and acoustics solutions are also put on display, including carpets, trunk trims, outer wheels arch liners, parcel shelves, and trunk floors. The latest complete seats from various cars in the world (BMW 2 series, Citroen C4, VW Up, etc.) are also a part of this portfolio along with frames and their mechanisms, including tracks, recliners and power adjusters as well as accessories like headrests. “A special feature is the display of several exhaust systems that are presented with appropriate cuts and special views for our customers to understand our technical solutions for de-pollution and noise management. These cover various commercial and personal vehicles, both for hot and cold ends. The versatile layout of this exhibition allows customisation for any particular client. In addition, state-of-the-art video displays (immersive curved screen, large touch-screen, 10 TV screens) give an animated life to our products and simulations,” Limaye says.
As for the company’s expansion plans for 2017 in terms of ramping up production capacity, new products and after-sales support, Faurecia’s emission control business is focusing on enhancing the capacity of its commercial vehicle production line to quadruple the production for pan-India BSIV. “In terms of product engineering we are leveraging our Euro 6 expertise to be ready for BSVI with local solutions,” says Thibout. “Our seat track mechanisms are now fully localised in Manesar in line with the government’s initiative of ‘Make in India’ with a capacity to produce 4.4 million units per year,” Chavan states.
The big news is that a third plant is being set up in Chennai for its interior systems to manufacture instrument panels, door panels and center consoles. “The upcoming facility will be operational by April 2017 and will supply to customers like Ford, Isuzu, Renault-Nissan and FCA for their soon-to-be-launched vehicles,” Daudin reveals. On the global front, Faurecia has been taking giant strides, the benefits of which are passed to its Asian plants as well. For instance, last year, it acquired Amminex to accelerate efficient nitrogen oxide reduction for passenger and commercial vehicles. Amminex has developed an Ammonia Storage and Delivery System (ASDS) which has demonstrated its efficiency to almost completely eliminate nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollutants from diesel engines. ASDS is a breakthrough technology for improving air quality validated in real driving conditions over millions of kilometers. Further, Faurecia and Parrot Automotive have entered into a partnership to accelerate connectivity and infotainment solutions for the automotive industry. This investment would give the company a solid base in electronic applications and infotainment for connected vehicles.
“Our seat track mechanisms are now fully localised in Manesar in line with the government’s initiative of ‘Make in India’ with a capacity to produce 4.4 million units per year.”
- Ambarish Chavan, Seating Systems General Manager, Faurecia.
“An important milestone for our emission control business group is linked to commercial vehicle emission systems which are going to shift to BS IV norms pan-India in April 2017.”
-Benjamin Thibout, Emission Control General Manager, Faurecia
“The center is closely integrated with the overall product development process. It has grown over 50 per cent in the year 2016 and is playing a significant role in the global engineering organisation.”
- Dhana Radhakrishnan, Emission Control Engineering Director, Faurecia