Faurecia and Michelin: Joint venture for hydrogen mobility

Michelin and Faurecia announced that they have formalised the creation of Symbio, A Faurecia Michelin Hydrogen Company, a joint venture combining all their hydrogen fuel cell dedicated activities, with the aim of becoming a world leader in hydrogen mobility.

According to the two companies, the joint venture is tasked with developing, producing and marketing hydrogen fuel cell systems for light vehicles, commercial vehicles and trucks as well as for other areas of electromobility. Michelin and Faurecia’s complementarity makes it possible to offer a complete range of hydrogen fuel cell systems covering all types of mobility uses, said the companies. Faurecia is contributing its technological hydrogen mobility expertise and the results of R&D work carried out with the CEA (the French Atomic Energy Commission). Michelin, for its part, is contributing the know-how of its subsidiary Symbio, an equipment manufacturer supplying hydrogen fuel cell kits as well as a range of services and design and production activities.

Michelin and Faurecia said that they will initially invest EUR 140 million in the joint venture in order to accelerate the development of new-generation fuel cells, launch mass production and increase business in Europe, China and the USA. The joint venture aims to capture 25 % market share and achieve a turnover of around EUR 1.5 billion by 2030. The JV will eventually have three industrial sites supplying the world’s main automotive markets: Europe, Asia and the USA.

Electric mobility demand is expected to increase significantly between now and 2030, with hydrogen powered vehicles accounting for 2 million vehicles of which 350,000 are trucks. As the only zero emission solution that complements battery-powered electric cars, hydrogen technology is essential in accelerating the deployment of electromobility and addressing its three major challenges: improving air quality, reducing CO2 emissions and the energy transition, the two companies said.

The joint venture Symbio bundles all activities of Michelin and Faurecia in hydrogen fuel cells. (Source: Michelin)

Equally owned by the two groups, the joint venture will be governed by Michelin, Faurecia and Symbio executives with significant experience in the automotive industry and in managing a fast-growing business. As a result, Fabio Ferrari has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, while Guillaume Salvo, formerly Director of the Light Vehicle Product Line at Faurecia, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer.

Florent Menegaux, Michelin Group President, said: “The development of hydrogen mobility is a perfect illustration of Michelin’s growth ambitions, particularly in the field of high-tech materials. This strategy is itself part of a broader vision of more sustainable mobility made widely accessible. The partnership formalized today with a major player such as Faurecia fully embodies this twofold ambition.”

Patrick Koller, Faurecia Chief Executive Officer, said: “The formal creation of our joint venture with Michelin is another important step in Faurecia’s strategy to become a world leader in hydrogen systems. The complementarity of our expertise and business models brought together in an innovative ecosystem, will be a considerable asset in meeting the growing demand from our customers and consumers to see affordable zero emission technologies brought to market quickly.”

Fabio Ferrari added: “I founded Symbio almost ten years ago to work towards a world where the freedom to move comes with zero emissions. By creating this joint venture, Michelin and Faurecia are demonstrating that they too share this vision. There is no more powerful energy for moving forward.”