Automotive supplier Faurecia announces it will open a new interiors production facility in Blue Springs, MO, the latest twist in the company's rollercoaster ride through an evolving North American auto industry.

Faurecia will create more than 300 new jobs and invest more than $60 million in the plant, which will manufacture and assemble door panels and instrument panels.

The 250,000-sq.-ft. (23,250-sq.-m) facility 19 miles (30 km) east of Kansas City will come on line later this year, with full production expected by the end of 2020.

“Faurecia is proud to open this new site and to provide new opportunities for local jobseekers,” Donald Hampton Jr., president-Faurecia Interiors in North America, says in a news release.

“Kansas City Metro and the Blue Springs area are known for being a source of excellence in American manufacturing, and we’re looking forward to building on that expertise and skill set as we continue to provide the very best to our customers.”

Faurecia already employs more than 600 people in Missouri at its emission-controls facility in Dexter and at its seating facility in Wentzville.

For more than a decade, Faurecia has weathered massive change in the automotive interiors sector. In 2006, the French company announced plans to build six new plants in the U.S., and all were fully operational within a year, supporting new vehicle programs with the Detroit Three automakers.

It was a risky strategy that bucked the trend at a time when the interiors sector was in shambles in North America: Collins & Aikman and Delphi were bankrupt, and Lear  and Visteon were disposing of assets. Similar sell-offs were in Johnson Controls' future as well.

Faurecia plants went up in Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina and Mexico -- in total an astounding nine North American plants in the span of three years -- just in time for the market to tank, followed by the widespread impact of 2009 bankruptcy filings by General Motors and Chrysler.

Economic reality forced Faurecia to scale back its ambitious plans for production in North America, as plummeting vehicle sales in the face of recession left the facilities overstaffed without sufficient business. Temporary shutdowns at the time resulted in a headcount reduction in North America from 9,000 employees to 6,000.

But Faurecia North America, based in Auburn Hills, MI, was well positioned for the industry to come roaring back. It posted 2016 sales of $5.78 billion and employed 20,000 people at 47 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.