You might not have heard of French automotive supplier Faurecia, but you have almost certainly come into contact with their products and systems – approximately one-third of all vehicles worldwide include technology developed by the Nanterre-headquartered firm.Founded in 1997 through the merger of a seating manufacturer and exhaust system supplier, Faurecia has developed into one of the world’s leading automotive technology companies, turning over $17.5 billion in 2018.Leading customers for its seating, interior and clean mobility solutions include Volkswagen, Ford, Groupe PSA and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi.As vehicles increasingly become complex and connected computers on wheels, Faurecia – like all major automotive manufacturers – is well aware of the need to protect its technologies from malicious actors. Cybersecurity risks commence at the assembly line and continue into technologies in vehicles bought by consumers.Earlier this month, Faurecia established a Tel Aviv technology platform focusing on cybersecurity to accelerate its expertise and reinforce critical passenger safety and data security. The Tel Aviv outpost joins three existing platforms, located in the Silicon Valley, Toronto and Shenzen.“The chief executive has a lot riding on this site in Tel Aviv, because it is his decision and it is going to be quite a big investment,” Uri Pachter, managing director of Faurecia’s Israeli subsidiary Faurecia Security Technologies, told The Jerusalem Post at his new office overlooking the coastal city. “There is no other way today. Your products must be secure. If not, you won’t be able to market those products to the original equipment manufacturers [OEMs].”Through its new Tel Aviv hub, Faurecia plans to develop expertise for all the company’s activities through collaborations with local start-ups and by gaining access to emerging trends and technologies. The company will expand its global community of dedicated cyber security experts, including through the recruitment of penetration-testing specialists.Demonstrating its interest in Israeli technologies earlier this year, Faurecia announced an investment in Ramle-based automotive cybersecurity provider GuardKnox. The new hub will work closely with GuardKnox to evaluate the cybersecurity levels of three electronics companies recently acquired by Faurecia.According to Pachter, cybersecurity has become increasingly important for Faurecia as it seeks to protect almost 300 hi-tech assembly lines around the world, secure communications between manufacturing plants and company headquarters, and inside vehicles themselves – from the brakes to the infotainment system.