Faurecia is not a well-known name in American auto industry circles. But if the French exhaust supplier keeps winning U.S. contracts, it soon could be.
Especially when it gets past its growing pains.
Just as the Boulogne, France, company is planning to take new business from General Motors and Ford Motor Co., it has had to find a replacement for CEO Terry Bernander. Reached at his home, Bernander said he resigned in June because the company was unwilling to name a single CEO to its global exhaust systems. 'It was difficult running the company with two (CEOs) in charge. They (Faurecia) needed to make a decision. I made the decision easier for them.'
Michel Clerc, Bernander's former co-CEO in Boulogne, was given full responsibility for Faurecia's global exhaust business, which last year created sales of $1.1 billion.
The company named Michael Alcala, former vice president for sales and engineering operations for North America in Toledo, Ohio, to replace Bernander. Alcala, who reports to Clerc, declined to discuss the leadership change or future business.
Bernander's unexpected departure comes as Faurecia is trying to merge its culture with the former AP Automotive Systems Inc., which it acquired last December. It also is trying to cope with Faurecia's fast-growing North American exhaust business. The division posted original equipment sales of $400 million two years ago and could exceed $600 million this year.
Bernander was part of the growth story for Faurecia, which is 51 percent owned by automaker PSA/Peugeot-Citroen SA. The company supplies exhaust systems, interiors, seating systems and modules. Automotive News Europe last year ranked the company the sixth-largest OEM supplier in Europe with $4 billion in European sales and $4.8 billion in global sales.
Until the AP Automotive acquisition, Faurecia had no exhaust manufacturing capacity in North America.