French contract manufacturer Heuliez is holding discussions with Volkswagen Group over a possible partnership. A spokesman for Heuliez told Automotive News Europe that a partnership may entail providing manufacturing services to Volkswagen in exchange for components. A spokeswoman for VW Group confirmed that Heuliez is one of the suppliers the German carmaker works with but declined to comment further.
A French court recently placed Heuliez in receivership and gave the company six months to find a new investor under the supervision of a court-appointed administrator. Failure to find a new investor within the given period could send the contract manufacturer into liquidation.
French media have reported that two foreign investors are interested in investing in Heuliez, but only if the contract manufacturer reaches a deal with VW Group. The Heuliez spokesman, however, remarked that he knows nothing of any current discussion with potential investors.
Heuliez filed for bankruptcy on April 8, 2013 for the third time in the last four years after majority stakeholder Baelen Gaillard Industrie (BGI) disclosed it could not continue financing the struggling contract manufacturer. According to media reports, Heuliez also failed to get financing from the French government.
In 2008, Argentum Motors said it would invest EUR25 million for a 60 percent stake in Heuliez but deserted its bid after the global financial crisis placed its coach-building operations in India under pressure.
The Queveau family, heirs of the founder Henri Heuliez, ceded their entire stake in the company to a French bankruptcy court in April 2009 after failing to find fresh funding or partner. In July 2009, the court approved a plan by Bernard Krief Consulting (BKC) to restructure Heuliez but the company returned to bankruptcy court protection two months later after BKC failed to provide the promised financial resources.