Faurecia has raised its cost-cutting target and predicted a very slow recovery after falling vehicle production pushed it to a first-half operating loss of EUR187m (US$253m) compared with a profit of EUR90m (US$122m) a year ago.

The supplier added that it had aimed for operating income close to break even in the second half but expected sales to drop around 10% in Europe and 35% in North America. Chief executive Yann Delabriere told BFM radio: ""We feel that the recovery in 2010 will be very slow, and very gradual."

The group's first half net loss widened to EUR365m (US$495.5m) from EUR22m (US$30m) a year earlier. Delabriere said the group was slightly ahead with its cost cutting programme, having achieved EUR400m (US$542m) of the EUR600m (US$814m) of annual savings it originally planned. Faurecia has now raised that target to EUR700m (US$950m).

Faurecia will also look at opportunities in the crisis hit sector as it consolidates, Delabriere told the radio station. However, the group does not have cash available and must reduce its debt, so opportunities would be through partnerships and joint ventures and would have to fall within its four existing areas of expertise, he added.

He said: "The industry will consolidate - it's inevitable. We will look at opportunities."