Faurecia

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.

The
Challenge

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

The
impact

This approach enabled Faurecia to break into new markets and gain a competitive edge by generating a consistent flow of innovative ideas. Their leadership recognized its potential to drive success for the company and therefore replicated the continuous innovation pipeline globally.

Tech Spotlight:

Through tech scouting capabilities, and a commitment to open innovation, Faurecia launched the Faurecia Corporate Venture Initiative. This initiative aims to accelerate the integration of cutting-edge 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:

Faurecia developed new seat frame designs that are comfortable, safe, and environmentally friendly. By using BASF plastic, the seat frames weigh 25% less than traditional materials. This not only contributes to a more fuel-efficient vehicle but also reduces its carbon footprint. Additionally, the compact design provides more room for passengers to sit comfortably.

Tech Spotlight:

We found in our consumer research that high-end controls can be confusing. To address this issue, Faurecia developed Smart Fit technology that uses biometric data from a user’s smartphone to create custom seat settings. These settings are easy to adjust and provide a more user-friendly experience.

Positively
quotable.

“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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