Driving into the future
ET Polymers|August - September 2020
Driving into the future
We are leveraging the disruption to focus on innovation for the automotive sector with regards safer and cleaner products, says Sandeep Waykole, Country General Manager, Faurecia Seating India
Niranjan Mudholkar

Give us an overview of the operations of Faurecia Seating India in terms of its manufacturing presence.

Faurecia Automotive Seating has four plants in India located strategically to cater to global and local OEMs needs. We have units set up in Sanand, Gujarat catering specifically to Ford for Front Seat Structures, then Seat Mechanisms plant in Manesar, Haryana producing world class tracks and Recliners for Volkswagen, Ford and Maruti Suzuki, and in Chennai, Tamil Nadu for Ford Front Seat Structures and in Pune, Maharashtra for Volkswagen and FCA Front Seat Structures. By having a manufacturing presence across the country, we are able to target all the OEMs according to the projects we collaborate with them.

Faurecia Seating India is a single source to deliver 100 percent the front seat structure to Volkswagen, FCA and Ford MCA/North America Programs.

All our units are in accordance with Faurecia global standards and all units are certified Quality Management System- IATF 16949:2016 and Environment Management System-ISO 14001:2015 and Pune Facility certified Formel Q ‘A’ rated plant as per VDA 6.3 by VW India. Our equipment includes Robotic Recliner Welding Cells, High Precision Laser welding and tube end forming technology. We also have automated assembly lines with 100 percent traceability system implemented and fully equipped QA lab with weld penetration testing facility and 4D weld watcher for online quality checking of laser welding. All our equipment also is in accordance with Faurecia global standards.

Just to give you a perspective of our capacity, in calendar year 2019, we have manufactured parts for 600,000 cars for various OEMs.

How has the Covid-19 outbreak affected your business in India and how are you dealing with the new normal as an organisation?

All our manufacturing plants were closed for more than two months and we estimate overall volume reduction of 30 percent across our customers for 2020. Prior to the pandemic, we also suffered a slowdown due to BS-VI transition.

From the very beginning, the highest priority at Faurecia has been the safety of our employees and the “Safer Together protocol” was adopted as response to protect our teams. All our connected employees have been working from home for almost four months now adhering to health and safety guidelines. We ensured that all our employees were given laptops or desktops to work from home and are equipped with team working tools to ensure good communication. The move ensured that our R&D activities are fully operational throughout this time.

Today, all our plants are operational with all necessary precautions defined by our group and local guidelines. Introduction of Covid Police, Covid Leader and Covid Coach in all our Plants has made the implementation of new normal way of working faster and robust. With this implementation we also ensured that all our suppliers and subcontractors are also following Faurecia new norms. We are aware that we are living in an unprecedented situation. That’s why we are following the situation daily to anticipate and adapt all our processes and to ensure Faurecians’ health and safety; that are our priorities. The current situation will permanently change how we work, consume and communicate and we are going to adapt all together in this new world.

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August - September 2020