Faurecia accelerates the circular economy in the automotive industry
While the development of circular economies has been accelerated by the covid-19 crisis and green economic recovery plans, this is nothing new for Faurecia Clarion Electronics (FCE). Since the early 2000s, FCE has provided vehicle owners across Europe an after-sales repair service for electronics through OEM dealerships and auto repair shops. At our site in Custines in eastern France, over 50 technicians handle repairs for vehicle electronics from across Europe. The after-sales repair service fulfils two needs: first, reducing waste, and second, offering a cheaper solution to consumers than replacing their vehicles’ electronics with new parts. Faurecia is as of yet the only Tier 1 supplier which offers after-sales services and repairs for over 20 companies’ products.
French and EU regulations that incentivize waste reduction stipulate that auto repair shops offer their customers second-hand parts or repair services alongside new parts. Second-hand or reconditioned parts pose a challenge for electronics, since these are tailored for each vehicle line and it is virtually impossible to integrate electronics from one vehicle into another. Repair services overcome this challenge by avoiding reconditioned parts from different vehicles entirely, while complying with anti-waste regulations.
In the past ten years, the number of systems FCE has repaired has grown six-fold, from 5,000 in 2010 to 30,000 in 2019. Demand has grown exponentially this year, as shown by the sharp increase in business since last May – 50% higher in June 2020 compared to the previous year.
The growth in demand for after-sales repairs clearly predates the covid-19 crisis, nonetheless two concurrent consumer trends have boosted business: greater environmental consciousness on the one hand, and a need to seek less expensive solutions on the other. As a business model, our aftersales repairs generate value for all the actors involved while advancing sustainability.
As is the standard for the circular economy, every actor benefits. Vehicle owners who choose to repair their electronics save 50-80% compared to the price of a new product, with both a one-year guarantee from a Tier 1 supplier included and the knowledge that this choice helps reduce waste. Auto repair shops and OEMs can offer a new service to their customers, opening a new channel for building customer loyalty and ensuring they comply with waste reduction laws. This new business model for Faurecia comes at a time when vehicle electronics and display systems are growing in size and complexity, and are more likely to require maintenance: our products can thus avoid obsolescence and breakdown.
The economic benefits are matched only by the environmental ones: by repairing existing products rather than replacing them with new ones, we are able to reduce up to 90% of waste, and up to 85% of CO2 emissions.
Developing new business models within the framework of a circular economy also supports Faurecia’s CO2 neutral objective. FCE’s aftersales repair service extends the life cycle of our products and lowers the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their use phase. Faurecia wants to achieve CO2 neutrality in controlled emissions by 2030, and in the use phase of its products by 2050. Find out more about Faurecia’s CO2 neutrality objective here (link to section in Sustainability).