Faurecia is bidding to acquire Clarion, in a move to strengthen its position as a major supplier of cockpit systems at a time when car interiors are being transformed.

The French automotive supplier said the acquisition of Clarion, which makes in-vehicle infotainment, HMI and connected driver-assistance systems, will give it a stronger position in the market for cockpit electronics.

“It would position us as a leading player for cockpit systems integration, able to offer unique user experiences,” Faurecia CEO Patrick Koller said in a statement.

Faurecia, which is one of the biggest suppliers of automotive seating systems and other car-interior technologies, is positioning itself for a future of self-driving cars, where infotainment and other offerings inside the car will become even more important than today.

Faurecia is bidding to acquire all of Clarion’s shares. It said it had already reached agreement with Japanese consumer electronics group Hitachi, which holds a controlling stake in Clarion of 63.8 percent.

Faurecia, Clarion and Hitachi will form a business aliance aimed at developing autonomous driving products.

The French company has develop a “Cockpit Intelligence Platform,” to integrate all functions in today's and tomorrow's car interiors. Because connectivity and infotainment are crucial to the strategy, Faurecia earlier this year acquired automotive electronics specialist Parrot Automotive as well as a controlling stake in China’s Coagent Electronics.

By Arjen Bongard