2022 ALL STAR | CEO, GLOBAL SUPPLIER
Patrick Koller knew Faurecia needed to grow — and fast.
It would’ve been easy to stand still. The French supplier had just become fully independent in 2021 after PSA Group sold its controlling stake in the company amid its merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
But Koller, 63, and Faurecia’s leadership saw an opportunity to expand the company’s reach and to better position it for the future by acquiring Hella. The German supplier’s lighting, electronics and software businesses were particularly appealing to Koller as the company contemplated its position in automated driving and electrification.
“We needed to grow because we were not at critical size in the electronics and software fields,” Koller told Automotive News Europe this year.
The Hella acquisition was finalized in 2022. The company is now known as Forvia, combining the words “forward” and “via.”
Koller has been with Faurecia since 2006, when he joined as executive vice president of automotive seating. He has been CEO since 2016. Koller has set a target of boosting Forvia’s global sales to €30 billion ($30.9 billion) by 2025, up from about $25.9 billion in sales to automakers in 2021.
Long an industry leader in emissions controls, Forvia is also staking claims to the tiny but quickly growing hydrogen fuel cell space, winning a number of fuel cell contracts with companies such as SAIC, Stellantis and Hyundai. The moves reflect Koller’s long-term strategy for the company as it looks to have all of its bases covered in a rapidly changing industry.
“It’s a race against time, because if you don’t win the main contracts that are put on the market now, you won’t have the volume to industrialize the system,” he said.