French body-builder, Heuliez, is seeking new investment. Heuliez chairman, Paul Quéveau, has told the German automotive industry publication, Automobilwoche, that the company is actively seeking a new investor as a prerequisite to creating the conditions for future growth.

Discussions with potential investors have taken place and Quéveau is reportedly considering that another company or a private equity investor might take a share in the company.

At the end of October Heuliez formed a strategic alliance with ASC of the US, which also specialises in open-top cars. That alliance will allow ASC to represent Heuliez's retractable hard-top (RHT) technology in North America, and Heuliez to represent ASC's soft-top convertible technology in Europe.

In a statement ASC and Heuliez said the agreement brings together two companies with experience in both RHT and soft-top design and production but have so far largely been regional players.

Heuliez had a turnover of around EUR560m in 2005. It produces the Peugeot 206 coupe-cabriolet and Opel Tigra Twin Top at its plant in Cerizay, western France. According to Automobilwoche, Heuliez will produce around 14,500 Opel cabrios in 2006.