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Faurecia is a large maker of automotive seating systems (Photo: Faurecia)

Faurecia, one of the world's largest automotive suppliers, and the Technical University of Dortmund have opened a joint research center for metals processing.

ReCIMP (Research Center for Industrial Metal Processing) will develop new manufacturing technologies as well as components for the auto industry. A key research goal is to improve basic knowledge of innovative metal manufacturing processes, process chains and hybrid processes. The institute will have four researchers.

One pillar of Faurecia's business strategy is to develop more lightweight products to help bring the weight of cars down and reduce fuel consumption. The Paris-based supplier is developing a range of new lightweight components and systems that will come to market in five to 10 years, company executives say.

Because of Germany's track record in converting scientific research into practical industrial usage, Faurecia, like most other major automotive suppliers, has large research and development facilities in Germany.

"Our innovation strength in r&d in Germany is an important pillar of our success," said Christophe Aufrere, vice president technology strategy at Faurecia. He added that Dortmund's Technical University was "the ideal partner" to explore new and cost-effective approaches in lightweight construction.

Faurecia had 2012 sales of 17.4 billion euros and employed 94,000 people at year end.