Door, convertible roof and driver control systems supplier Edscha has filed for insolvency for its Europe units but remains in business for now.

Jörg Nerlich has been named temporary insolvency administrator of the Remscheid, Germany-based Edscha Group.

Insolvency has been registered for facilities employing about 4,200 workers, 2,300 on those in Germany, Edscah said in a statement.

These include the Remscheid head office (300 employees), the three German production locations in Hengersberg (1,300), Hauzenberg (400) and Regensburg (300) as well as 11 other locations in Europe.

Other affected locations are two in each of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain and France as well as one in each of Great Britain, Portugal and Italy.

No insolvency application was filed for the companies in Asia and in America.

The temporary insolvency administrator has said he would "form an overview of the company's position" as quickly as possible and immediately apply for the pre-financing of the insolvency funds for the employees.

"In the coming weeks we will draft a reorganisation and restructuring [plan] with the goal of placing the company back on a healthy footing and retaining as many jobs as possible," said Nerlich. "Insolvency law offers us good organisational options to this end."

Nerlich said he intended to maintain operations at the various locations.

"In the short term, we will hold the necessary conversations with those involved in order to stabilise business operations."

Edscha said it had been forced into insolvency due to the "massive declining trends in the global automobile market in combination with clearly deteriorating access to financing in the capital markets".

"During the last three months, the Edscha Group had to absorb dramatic drops in turnover, which could no longer be [offset by] its own funds," it said.

Edscha Group claims to be the global leader for auto hinge systems and a leading provider of convertible roof systems.

It was founded in 1870 and now supplies most automakers worldwide.

Turnover was over EUR1bn in fiscal 2007/2008, making it one of the 100 largest auto suppliers. It currently employs around 5,800 people at 29 locations in 16 countries.

Edscah is the first private equity-owned major German auto parts supplier to have to reorganise under an administrator due to the global industry crisis, according to Reuters.

Debts incurred by its leveraged buyout through Carlyle in late 2002 "was not responsible" for the insolvency filing since the company finished its fiscal year 2007/08 to the end of June with record revenue of EUR1.08bn (US$1.38bn) and a gearing that continued to allow for investment, the news agency said.

BMW said Edscha was an important supplier of roofing systems for the Z4 roadster, 3 Series and 6 series cabriolets as well as the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe models, and also makes door hinges for practically all of the group's vehicles.

"We always try to help out our suppliers when possible, but in the case of Edscha, the volume of funds required were in a dimension where we simply could not assist," a BMW spokesman told Reuters.