Staff at a Faurecia plant meet French president Nicolas Sarkozy (Reuters)

Faurecia shares rose sharply in early European trading after the world's largest supplier of vehicle interiors and exhaust systems reported solid first quarter sales growth.

Rapid growth in Paris-listed Faurecia's North American and Asian markets, with a significant improvement in sales of its emissions control technologies.

"The good sales momentum in Q1 is indicative of an improving geographical mix of Faurecia's sales and of an enlarged client portfolio," said the company's statement.

Consolidated sales for the first quarter of 2012 were up 8.4 percent on the previous year, to €4.3bn (£3.5bn).

North American like-for-like sales grew 26 percent to €793.5m, with Asian like-for-like sales growing 16 percent to €308.6m.

There was disappointment in Faurecia's European market - its largest - with a 2 percent decline in sales to €2bn, though the company noted a "significant drop in production".

Emissions control technologies saw product sales boom with an increase of 13.3 percent, to €823.1m.

Automotive seating product sales rose 1.8 percent, to €1.27bn.

Interior systems product sales hit €845m, up 8 percent.

Automotive exteriors product sales - 96 percent of which are in Europe - dropped by 3.2 percent to €411.8m.

Faurecia left its full-year objectives unchanged.

Its stock was up 2.6 percent on the day to €16.35 a share at 9:34am CEST.