French supplier Faurecia is not satisfied with the quality of its Tier 2 suppliers, CEO Pierre Levi told an automotive trade newspaper.

"The quality that we get is not good enough to meet the targets that we owe to our customers," Levi told Automotive News Europe (ANE) at the opening of a Faurecia interior systems research and development centre in Hagenbach, Germany.

"We have a major programme right now to make sure that we are not going to be a kind of fortress shielding our customer from the [poor] quality of our suppliers," he reportedly added.

Levi told ANE the quality of parts Faurecia is getting from its Tier 2 suppliers, measured in faulty parts per million, "is not compatible with the level of ppm that our customers are expecting."

The paper said the complaints come as Faurecia is actively seeking more suppliers from central Europe and China.

Levi told Automotive News Europe that Faurecia is reducing the number of suppliers in western Europe "for all the obvious reasons." To identify potential new suppliers in China, Faurecia has opened a purchasing office in Shanghai, the report added.

ANE noted that Faurecia is the ninth largets global automotive supplier, with €9.9 billion in 2002 sales and the firm, partially owned by French car maker PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, has been trying to win more business from other car makers.

"Our strategy is not so much based on China," Levi told Automotive News Europe. "It is based on our customers. We want to increase our market share with automakers, so if they want us to work in China, we work in China. We work wherever they want us to."