Issue: Dec 2011

Faurecia and Ford Earn SPE Grand Award for Innovative Use of Automotive Plastics

by Jon Knox

Faurecia (, the world's sixth-largest automotive supplier, was awarded top honors from the Automotive Division of the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) for Faurecia Interior Systems' work with Ford Motor Company on the 2012 Ford® Escape® compact SUV & Kuga® compact CUV. The companies earned SPE's Grand Awards for "Process/Assembly/Enabling Technologies" and the overall "Most Innovative Use of Automotive Plastics in 2011." The awards were presented during SPE's 41st Annual Innovation Awards Competition & Gala on Nov. 9 at Burton Manor in Livonia, Mich.

"This MuCell® Instrument Panel is the largest automotive component molded in the patented MuCell injection-molded process as well as the first instrument panel to be molded in this process, a tremendous achievement for Faurecia and Ford," said Jean-Michel Renaudie, president of Faurecia Interior Systems, North America. "In an industry that is highly impacted by volatile gas prices and stricter regulations, every ounce saved on a vehicle makes a difference. This process has enabled us to remove more than one pound of weight from the vehicle and save time on production."

MuCell involves the addition of a gas into the molded part during the injection process, which reduces the overall weight of the part because less plastic is used, while still maintaining the performance of the finished part. This helps Ford meet vehicle weight-reduction targets, which in turn helps improve overall gas mileage.

Faurecia also received the "Safety Innovation Award" for its Reinforced Airbag Lid in Foam (RALF) featured on the global 2011 Ford® Focus® compact car. RALF enables vehicle designers and stylists more design freedom around the instrument panel (IP) without compromising consumer comfort and safety. Faurecia's innovative RALF technology eliminates the need to provide room for a hard-cover airbag lid to open without damaging the windshield, providing the flexibility to help designers better apply their creativity to the IP's design, function and space.

The SPE Automotive Innovation Awards Competitionwas started in 1970 to recognize the positive changes that polymeric materials were bringing to the automotive industry, such as weight reduction, parts consolidation and enhanced aesthetics and design freedom. SPE's Automotive Innovation Awards program is the oldest and largest competition of its kind in the automotive and plastics industries.

The mission of SPE is to promote scientific and engineering knowledge relating to plastics worldwide and to educate industry, academia and the public about these advances. SPE's Automotive Division is active in educating, promoting, recognizing and communicating technical accomplishments for all phases of plastics and plastic-based composite developments in the global transportation industry. Topic areas include applications, materials, processing, equipment, tooling, design and development.

About Faurecia North America

Faurecia North America had sales of $3.4 billion in 2010. The Group has 33 production sites in the United States, Canada and Mexico and employs more than 15,000 people in the region. It has five technical and development centers, situated in Auburn Hills (2), Holland and Troy, Mich., and in Columbus, Ind., as well as a customer center in Toledo, Ohio.

For the latest updates on Faurecia activities throughout North America, connect with the company at and .

About Faurecia

Faurecia is the world's sixth-largest automotive supplier with four key Business Groups: Automotive Seating, Emissions Control Technologies, Interior Systems and Automotive Exteriors. In 2010, the Group posted total sales of $18.22 billion. The company is headquartered in Nanterre, France, with its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. It employs 75,000 people in 33 countries at 238 sites and 38 R&D centers. Faurecia is listed on the NYSE Euronext Paris stock exchange. For more information, visit:

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