A strategic innovation pipeline drives exponential market growth for global automotive supplier.

To get beyond mere improvements to existing tech, Faurecia sought a way to inject innovation into their R&D process.


Faurecia, an automotive supplier based in Europe, aspired to grow its market share in North America and Asia Pacific. Faurecia partnered with Twisthink to create a robust, ongoing innovation pipeline that would help them find, analyze, and incorporate new technology that puts the wants and needs of customers in the driver’s seat.

Small, cross-functional teams outside the corporate structure create a rich environment for innovation to germinate.

Work Summary

In the toolbox:

  • Immersion Workshops
  • Stakeholder Research & Analysis
  • Industry Benchmarking
  • Consumer Insights

Before Faurecia expanded into North America, innovation was driven internally. This meant that they were missing out on new ideas that could come from other industries. They were also responding to the desires of manufacturers instead of the people who would purchase cars and use their systems.

Rallying around human-centered design and open innovation principles, the team in North America pioneered a new philosophy of innovation, changing their entire approach to leverage:

  • Broad surveys of university research and national labs research
  • Tech scouting to find startups with compelling innovations
  • New cross-functional teams: business development, marketing, research, industrial designers, and engineers all focused on meeting real consumer needs
  • Quarterly innovation workshops to create the pipeline to ingest a tremendous scope of potential innovation, then filter and prioritize based on market goals


A dynamic, cross-functional organization was created. The company’s open innovation efforts resulted in a steady stream of innovations that helped Faurecia break into new markets. As leaders saw its potential as instrumental to the company’s success, the innovation pipeline was replicated globally.

Tech Spotlight:

Through Tech Scouting capabilities and a commitment to Open Innovation, Faurecia launched the Faurecia Corporate Venture Initiative to speed up the integration of ground-breaking technologies like Promethient’s climate control system for Automotive Seating.

Strategy Spotlight:

Understanding various groups of consumers and being sensitive to different cultural contexts was critical in replicating the innovation pipeline.

Tech Spotlight:

By using a newly-developed composite BASF plastic, Faurecia was able to develop seat frame designs that were comfortable and safe, while weighing 25% less than traditional materials and adding a generous 50mm of the seat width back into the cabin space.

Tech Spotlight:

Consumer research revealed that high-end controls can be confusing, so Faurecia developed Smart Fit technology, which converts biometric data from a user’s smartphone into custom seat settings that are easy to adjust.


“The focus on human-centered design and open innovation was the rocket fuel that launched unique and compelling innovations that drove significant market growth for Faurecia.”


– Rob Huber

Twisthink CSO


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