The French joint venture, called “Symbio, A Faurecia Michelin Hydrogen Company”, will be owned equally by Faurecia and Michelin and will develop, produce and market fuel cell systems for all applications, specifically commercial vehicles. The aim is to create a major player in the market for fuel cell systems through the complementary business areas of the partners.
In their press statement, Faurecia expressed that the aim of the operation is “to create a strong French and European hydrogen industrial sector. The two companies aim to create a world leader in hydrogen fuel cell systems through combining existing and complementary assets from both partners in the joint venture.”
Michelin will contribute its research, development and production capacities to the joint venture, but above all its subsidiary Symbio, which has only been active in the fuel cell systems and digital services sector since 1 February. Faurecia will contribute its fuel cell expertise acquired through its partnership with CEA, combined with its industrial know-how and strategic relationships with OEMs. In addition, Faurecia intends to continue the development of H2 tanks in collaboration with Stelia Aerospace Composites, which will also benefit the joint venture.
Both partners are also involved in an initiative by the French government to prepare the domestic industry for disruptive technologies such as electrification and autonomous driving. In May 2018, the government signed a strategic agreement with automobile manufacturers and major suppliers in the country against this background. From an industrial point of view, Renault, PSA and Valeo are also involved alongside Michelin and Faurecia.