Michelin, a French tire and sustainable mobility company, and Faurecia, a French automotive company with its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills, have announced a memorandum of understanding to create a joint venture that brings together all of the companies’ fuel cell-related activities.
Symbio, a Faurecia Michelin hydrogen company, will be equally owned by the two companies. The joint venture will develop, produce, and market hydrogen fuel cell systems for light vehicles, utility vehicles, trucks, and other applications.
“I am very pleased to have signed this strategic agreement with Michelin with a view to creating the world leader in hydrogen mobility,” says Patrick Koller, CEO of Faurecia.
“Our shared vision, as well as the complementarity of our technological know-how, will accelerate the market launch of efficient fuel cell systems adapted to different use cases. Our joint ambition is to create a center of excellence for hydrogen mobility in France through the gradual combination of our activities.”
For electric vehicles, fuel-cell technology complements battery technology. The technology has also been selected by the European Union as one of Europe’s six Important Projects of Common Interest.
“This innovative partnership will facilitate the emergence and development of hydrogen mobility; it opens the way to a new form of sustainable mobility,” says Forent Menegaux, general managing partner and future president of the Michelin Group. “I welcome the alliance between Michelin and Faurecia, incorporating our strategic asset Symbio. The ultimate aim is to develop a complete mobility offer for hydrogen vehicles, from fuel cells to maintenance services.”
Michelin’s contribution to the venture will be the activities of Symbio, a group subsidiary since Feb. 1 and a supplier of hydrogen fuel cell systems associated with digital services and research and development and production activities.
Faurecia will offer technological fuel cell expertise it has developed, its industrial experience, and its relationships with car manufacturers. It will continue to develop high-pressure hydrogen tanks in partnership with Stelia Aerospace Composites, which will also benefit the joint venture.
The cooperation between Michelin and ENGIE, a global energy services group, will also benefit the venture.
Faurecia was founded in 1997 and has about 300 sites, including 35 research and development centers and 115,000 employees in 37 countries. It specializes in seating, interiors, and clean mobility.
Michelin has a presence in 171 countries and employs more than 114,000 people.