Volkswagen and Brose are planning to create a joint venture for complete seats, seat structures and seat components.

The Volkswagen subsidiary, Sitech will become part of the joint venture and Brose will hold a 50% stake in the company.

Volkswagen and the Brose Group will each own half of the JV.

“E-mobility and, above all, autonomous driving create new challenges for us as an automaker; also in the area of seat manufacturing in particular,” said chairman of the Volkswagen Group Components Brand board of management, Thomas Schmall.

“The interior of the future will be a newly-defined environment where flexibility and personalisation will be just as important as comfort and safety. The new joint venture will be able to address such needs. As part of the new joint venture, Sitech will become a global player.”

For his part, Brose Group CEO, Ulrich Schrickel added: added: “Brose is a leading provider of seat structures. We can offer our many years of expertise in the area of adjustment and comfort components, both manual and electric, to the joint venture.

“Our company also has the know-how needed to intelligently connect a vehicle’s interior by connecting mechatronic products with sensors and software. Sitech, on the other hand, is a highly capable developer of complete seat systems and excels at production and logistics.”

Group Works Council at Volkswagen, vice chairwoman and member of the Sitech supervisory board, Daniela Cavallo noted: “The Works Council has won approval of a number of measures designed to protect the interests of workers at the German plants of Sitech Sitztechnik.

“These include a job guarantee that runs through 2029, a shared factory-utilisation goal and the safeguarding of the strong co-determination rights of employees at Sitech’s locations in Germany for the joint venture. We have gotten to know our future partner Brose as an innovative family-run company that, like we at Volkswagen, is clearly focused on technology and the long-term future.

“The joint venture with Brose will strengthen both sides and position the new unit for future success. This new combined strength will create the basis for a highly competitive company and job security.”

Volkswagen and Brose will review the transaction as part of a due-diligence process and finalise the agreement in negotiations during the next few months.

The agreement is scheduled to be signed by the end of the year and an anti-trust review will follow.