UPDATE 1-France's Faurecia to close eight seat-frame plants -sources
* Faurecia plans to close 8 seat frame plants -sources
Most plant cuts expected in Europe -sources
* Plans outlined during internal meeting -sources
By Gilles Guillaume
PARIS, July 24 (Reuters) - Faurecia, the French auto parts maker controlled by PSA Peugeot Citroen, plans to close eight car seat factories over the next four years, sources familiar with the plan said.
The number of Faurecia seat frame manufacturing sites will fall to 14 globally from 22 under plans presented last week by division head Patrick Koller, people with knowledge of the internal meeting said on Wednesday.
Most of the planned closures are understood to be in Europe, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the plans had not yet been announced publicly.
Faurecia declined to comment.
European suppliers are racing to refocus business on faster-growing markets as the region's five-year auto slump hurts business at home. Faurecia, 57.4 percent-owned by struggling Peugeot, cut 1,700 European jobs last year and told investors to expect a similar headcount reduction in 2013.
The maker of dashboards, seating, door panels and exhaust systems also said earlier this month it would begin winding down production of acoustic components and plastic bumpers at two French plants.
The Faurecia seating chief did not say how many jobs would be cut as a result of the closures or whether any of the sites could be converted to new activities, the sources said.
Assembly plants built near French car production lines may also be affected, they said, but the company's larger domestic seat manufacturing plants will be spared.
"He told us that there would be no closures of seat frame manufacturing sites in France," one of the people said.
Rising unemployment has moved to the top of the political agenda in much of Europe, with French President Francois Hollande among those leaders most under pressure from a raft of layoffs by major companies.