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Sitting Pretty: Managing Customer-Driven Innovation at Faurecia Car Seating

IJTIME volume 2: 2007

Author(s): Francis Bidault and Alessio Castello (European School of Management and Technology, Berlin, Germany)

Abstract:
This case study focuses on the car seating division of Faurecia, the 3rd largest automotive supplier worldwide as it faced challenges linked to drastic changes in its business model, resulting from strategic moves by carmakers. The central issues in the case study concern the changes Faurecia should implement to its manufacturing strategy and its new product development process in order to increase its performance and sustain the competitive pressure in a mature market. Not as well-known as some of its competitors, like Johnson Controls Inc and Lear Corporation, Faurecia was nevertheless a world-class player in the automotive components industry, active in four main areas: automotive seating, vehicle interiors, exhaust systems and front-end module. With some 60.000 employees, 160 industrial sites and presence in four continents, Faurecia, was among the top twenty largest global suppliers to the automotive industry. The case study can lead to discussion about new product development in a price sensitive market, the design for manufacturing (DFM) concept and the “co-opetitive” (competitive + cooperative) relationships among the different players in a complex supply chain.

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