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French auto parts maker Faurecia said on April 15 its first-quarter sales rose 13.8%, helped by currency tailwinds and a recovery in European vehicle demand. The company also raised its European vehicle production forecast while cutting its South American outlook and reaffirming overall goals for 2015. Sales rose to €5.14 billion ($5.44 billion) in January-March from €4.52 billion a year earlier, Faurecia said in a statement.
"Momentum is accelerating" in the European auto industry, the company said, with sales to clients including Renault and Ford leading gains.
The weaker euro, which increases the value of overseas earnings, also boosted revenue by €284 million euros, it said. Europe's light vehicle output is now expected to grow 3-5% this year, Faurecia added, upgrading its previous 2-4 percent forecast.
But South American vehicle output is seen shrinking a further 7 percent after a 16 percent contraction last year, the company warned. "The economic environment is not improving."
Faurecia are one of the largest Tier-1 suppliers to the automotive industry in the world and fit leather interiors and trim for many of the worlds leading car makers.