Auburn Hills— Automotive supplier Faurecia celebrated Wednesday the opening of its new, 278,000-square-foot North American headquarters in Auburn Hills.
The building will house about 700 employees and will also serve as the supplier’s seating and exteriors division headquarters.
“Our new headquarters and seating technical center adds to our already growing footprint in Michigan and North America and underscores our commitment to the region,” said Mike Heneka, Faurecia North America president. “Southeast Michigan is a center of automotive excellence that offers us access to the right people, technologies, and ideas to help us design and manufacture advanced vehicle systems that meet the auto industry’s evolving needs.”
The new facility includes a prototype metal shop, trim development lab and structural testing lab, among other labs. It will also include an “innovation plateau” that will serve as the company’s creative center for employees to discuss ideas and inspire new technology.
Faurecia’s North America headquarters was previously based in Auburn Hills, but spread out among a number of buildings.
In addition to its 700 employees, the Auburn Hills headquarters will now house Faurecia University, a training program for employees and interns. The company hopes to train 1,000 workers each year.
“One of the key ingredients to sustain a long period of development is the human resources factor,” Yann Delabriere, Faurecia chairman and CEO, said in an interview. “It is in this region that we have the largest reservoir for talent and the resources that we need for the industry.”
The supplier works with a number of foreign and domestic automakers. Volkswagen is its largest client, while Ford Motor Co. is its second largest, accounting for 15 percent of its global revenue.
Worldwide, Faurecia employs 97,500 workers in 34 different countries, including 20,000 people in North America. Delabriere said the company’s sales have tripled since 2009. Last year, Faurecia posted North American sales of $6.25 billion.
Dignitaries at the grand opening ceremony included Auburn Hills mayor Kevin McDaniel, Michael Finney, president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson.
“It’s truly a landmark moment for this corporation,” Patterson said at the ceremony. “I’m delighted the decision-makers saw fit to locate their new headquarters here in Auburn Hills and Oakland County.”