Ripples from the announced Faurecia acquisition of fellow French supplier Sommer Allibert will be felt well beyond French borders, according to Kevin Mann, director of European operations for CSM Worldwide.

To some in the automotive industry, those ripples could feel more like a series of pounding waves. The two companies offer complementary products with Sommer Allibert leading the European instrument panel market (23%), door trim panel market (25%), and floor systems market (21%), with Faurecia positioned strongly in the seat assembly market (14%), seat adjuster market (40%), and seat recliner market (33% shares respectively). The companies' only significant overlap is in the cockpit module market where their combined share totals 21%. Faurecia also has a presence in the exhaust and front-end module market.

"Faurecia and Sommer Allibert have cemented the French position as Europe's number one interior system manufacturer," says Mann. "Faurecia's already dominant position as a seat assembler and component supplier and Sommer Allibert's position as market leader in door trim and instrument panel manufacturing, perfectly complement each other for the system supply of the future."

In North America, the situation has similar ramifications as in Europe only on a smaller scale. Sommer Allibert has a presence in the instrument panel (2%) and door trim panel market (3%). Faurecia's North American business is primarily in the seat recliner (2%), seat adjuster (10%), and muffler (14%) markets.

A common language and culture, a usually difficult hurdle should aid the transition from two companies to one with automotive industry mergers, according to Mann.

About CSM Worldwide

CSM Worldwide supports more than 200 automotive suppliers with global market intelligence and forecasting services. With corporate offices in Northville, Michigan, CSM Worldwide covers the global automotive environment from London, Prague, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai.