HBPO’s North American expansion driven by electric, autonomous vehicles
HBPO, a global supplier of front-end modules, revealed that its plans to expand its North American operations are boosted in part by a growing demand from electric and autonomous vehicles.
The company expects to add an assembly plant in Michigan and more than double employment in North America within the next four years, including the opening of two plants in Mexico.
In the last three years alone, HBPO has opened four new assembly plants in North America and added five new automotive customers, including two electric-vehicle makers, according to Diana Mannino, president of HBPO North America.
The company also has increased production of plastic components by 50% with the addition of a third injection-molding press earlier this year at its assembly plant in Puebla, Mexico.
“The number of new-vehicle models equipped with HBPO front-end modules (FEMs) in Canada, the U.S. and Mexico is expected to grow by 60% from 12 in 2017 to more than 19 in 2022,” Mannino said in a statement. “Our annual sales in North America are expected to increase by 70% to more than US$ 1 billion over the same period.”
Mannino noted that a major portion of the company’s current product-development work in North America is focused on future electric and autonomous vehicle programs.
“HBPO helps automakers significantly reduce costs, while simplifying their production systems,” she pointed out. “Weight savings and reductions in warehouse space, assembly-line work stations and inventory investments also can be achieved.”
She said the company’s rapid growth in North America was based in part on the benefits achieved from outsourcing front-end assembly operations, including reductions in inventory investment from between US$ 5 to US$ 7 million or more and savings of 3,000 to 4,000 square feet in plant floor space with the elimination of five or more assembly-line work stations.
HBPO services leads to reduction in warehouse space of up to 30,000 square feet or more and the elimination of up to 80 suppliers requiring direct supervision, including quality-control and logistics management.
Furthermore, HBPO customers get front-end module weight savings of up to 25% or more through the company’s design-and-development input.
“We are the only automotive supplier solely dedicated to the design, development and manufacture of front-end modules,” Mannino noted. “HBPO also is the world’s largest supplier of front-end modules with annual production of more than 5.7 million units and sales of more than US$ 2.3 billion in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region.”