(Reuters) - French auto parts supplier Faurecia said on Monday it was aiming for sales of more than 4 billion euros ($4.97 billion) in China by 2018, up from 2.3 billion estimated for this year, as it expands in the world's biggest automotive market.
Faurecia, 51 percent owned by carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen , said at a conference in Shanghai it would invest 400 million euros over the next five years in China, where it expects to have 55 plants and over 1,200 engineers working in research and development (R&D).
Faurecia currently has 38 plants in China as well as four R&D centres that employ 800 engineers.
Faurecia said its sales target would be achieved thanks to growing demand from international carmakers but also stronger ties with Chinese carmakers and partnerships like the one it has had with Chang'an Automobile Group since April 2013.
Faurecia also confirmed its targets for up to 2016. The group aims for total sales of more than 21 billion euros, up from 18 billion in 2013 and an operating margin of between 4.5 percent and 5.0 percent, compared with 3 percent last year.
Faurecia is among several French companies in the automotive industry to host investor events in China this week.
Tyremaker Michelin said earlier on Monday it aimed to more than double its business in the country within the next 10 years.
On Wednesday, Renault is due to give investors an update on the progress of its first Chinese plant, which is currently under construction. Also, auto parts maker Valeo has invited financial analysts to visit one of its sites in China.