In the midst of a bribery investigation, Faurecia Chairman Pierre Levi quit last week. German prosecutors are examining allegations that Levi covered up payoffs by the French supplier to automakers' employees in order to win contracts.
Prosecutors raided Faurecia offices in Germany last year. They questioned two company employees about alleged payments to Volkswagen, Audi and BMW.
According to German news reports, Levi's resignation came after VW CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder said VW no longer wanted to work with Levi.
Prosecutors allege the bribes began in 1998 at a supplier Faurecia bought in 2001. Prosecutors say Levi, who became Faurecia's chairman in 2000, has acknowledged his awareness of bribes paid to automakers since 2001.
An industry analyst told Reuters that Levi's position became untenable after Pischetsrieder "wrote a letter effectively demanding his resignation." The analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that when Faurecia bought the supplier, "it appears the bribery system was acquired as well."