Faurecia closing 2 Michigan plants

Move won’t impact Columbus operations

Faurecia North America’s decision to close two plants in Michigan will not affect Columbus operations, company officials said.

The company plans to close the plants with about 350 workers total in Sterling Heights and Fraser, Michigan after Fiat Chrysler announced an end to the production of the Chrysler 200 sedan, said Tony Sapienza, Faurecia spokesman.

The two Michigan plants provided instrument and door panels and center consoles for the 200 sedan, Sapienza said.

The company operates two other plants, in the same Michigan cities, that will continue to manufacture auto seats, although one of those plants will lay off about 235 people because of Fiat Chrysler discontinuing the Chrysler 200, he said. Faurecia will continue to manufacture seats for General Motors and Ford after the Chrysler 200 line is closed down, he said.

Although the workers being laid off in Michigan are in a different Faurecia division from those in Columbus, Sapienza said there may be a possibility of transferring employees to other Faurecia plants.

“We can’t say specifically what those opportunities might be, but the company is willing to provide training and job placement services, he said.

In Columbus, France-based Faurecia supplies emissions-control systems and parts for some of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers that form its customer base, including Cummins, Ford, General Motors, Fiat, Chrysler and Deere & Co.

The announcement of the Michigan layoffs comes just a week after the company opened its new Columbus South manufacturing facility, next to its research and development facility south of Columbus.

The $64 million data-driven manufacturing facility is ramping up for a fully operational start-up in January. About 450 employees will produce a new, high-tech, emissions-control product for the commercial vehicle industry in the 400,000-square-foot facility in a partnership with Cummins Inc.

In addition to the new plant, the company produces exhaust systems with more than 1,600 employees at a manufacturing facility at 601 Gladstone Ave. in Columbus, and does research and development next to the Columbus South building on County Road 450S.

About Faurecia North America

Based in: Auburn Hills, Michigan, where Faurecia opened its new North America Headquarters and Seating Technical Center in July 2014.

Employees: More than 20,000 people at 48 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, including about 1,600 in Columbus. As of 2015, Faurecia employed 103,000 people in 34 countries at 330 sites and 30 research and development facilities.

Business groups: Automotive Seating, Emissions Control Technologies, Interior Systems and Automotive Exteriors.

Customers include: FCA, Ford, General Motors, BMW, Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen. Faurecia is also active in the commercial vehicle market through a partnership with Cummins Emissions Solutions.

Founded: Faurecia was formed in 1997 following a merger between Bertrand Faure — a specialist in spring-based seat cushions for the automotive industry — and ECIA — a Peugeot subsidiary and manufacturer of seats, front ends and vehicle interiors with a reputation as one of Europe’s leading names in exhaust systems.

Sales: In North America, Faurecia had sales of $6.4 billion in 2015.

For more information: faurecia.com