AUBURN HILLS, MI – Capping five years of rapid growth where it tripled in size in the region, French auto supplier Faurecia this week celebrated the opening of its $30 million North American headquarters and automotive seating technical center in suburban Detroit.

The 278,000-sq.-ft. (25,827-sq.-m) facility houses 700 employees. In addition to administrative space and specialized training areas, it includes a prototype metal shop; trim development lab; just-in-time manufacturing lab; structural testing lab; environmental testing chambers; noise, vibration and harshness and electrical labs; and a semi-anechoic chamber for sound testing.

The new building consolidates activities that had been taking place in numerous separate locations, says Faurecia North America President Mike Heneka. For instance, seating operations were in five different buildings, “which is not a good way for platform teams to work together,” he says.

Faurecia says it is the world’s seventh-largest auto supplier, with four business units related to automotive seating, emissions-control technologies, interior systems and automotive exteriors. In 2013 it posted sales of $24 billion globally and $6.25 billion in North America. It employs more than 20,000 at locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.