DETROIT -- Faurecia North America said today it appointed Michael Heneka as its new president, replacing James Orchard, who earlier this week joined supplier Noble International Ltd. as chief operating officer.
Orchard joined Faurecia North America in May 2005. Previously, he was president of North American operations at Visteon Corp.
Before Visteon, Orchard held multiple executive positions at ZF Friedrichschafen AG, ultimately serving as CEO of North and South American Operations.
Noble, based in suburban Detroit, makes laser-welded blanks and steel tubes for the automotive industry. The company has grown quickly over the past year through two large acquisitions.
Jims 35-plus years of global automotive experience will be invaluable to Noble, Noble CEO Thomas Saeli said in a statement released Tuesday. We now have 24 manufacturing facilities in 12 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. We will draw on Jims leadership and operational expertise as we continue to integrate and develop our worldwide business.
Faurecia SA, an auto interiors supplier based in Nanterre, France, is among the worlds 10 largest automotive suppliers. It has been growing aggressively in North America but has also struggled financially.
Faurecia lost $107.6 million in North America in 2006 after it opened or expanded six plants in Ohio, Michigan and South Carolina. Besides capital expenditures, Faurecia suffered from several unprofitable contracts with automakers. The North American unit is based in suburban Detroit.
Faurecia said Heneka will continue in his current position as vice president of Faurecias interior systems in North America on an interim basis.
I would like to thank James for his contribution to the development of Faurecia in North America over the last three years, Faurecia CEO Yann Delabriere said in a statement today.
I am confident that Michael will continue to develop Faurecias business in a region which is strategic for the groups international growth.
Heneka has more than 30 years of automotive experience. He was previously executive vice president of Plastech Engineered Products Inc., a plastics parts supplier in Dearborn, Mich.
Faurecia ranks No. 8 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide original-equipment automotive parts sales of $15.0 billion in 2006. The company generated $1.95 billion of that revenue in North America.
Separately, Noble announced it would close a roll-forming plant in South Haven, Mich., and its laser-welding facility in Holt, Mich. The Holt facility will close in the second quarter of 2008 and the South Haven facility will close in the fourth quarter of 2008. The company said the closings will generate annual savings of $3.6 million beginning in 2009.
Automotive News reporter April Wortham contributed to this story