Lippstadt, April 20th 2018 – The Lippstadt-based automotive supplier HBPO has good reason to celebrate: in 2017 the world market leader in the field of development and production of front-end modules reached the two billion turnover mark for the first time in company history. This corresponds to an increase of 11 percent compared to the previous year.
The result reflects decidedly solid company growth within the company group. HBPO has been constantly growing since it was founded 26 years ago. “Such growth over such a period of time doesn’t just happen as a matter of course, it is the result of extraordinarily good cooperation and the commitment of the entire workforce. This is why we are very proud of this company success,” says Martin Schüler, CEO & President of HBPO GmbH. Now the company is one of the TOP 100 automotive suppliers worldwide.
Facts and figures
In 2017, HBPO reached the turnover mark of two billion euros for the first time. This corresponds to an increase of approx. 11 percent compared to the previous year’s turnover of 1.8 billion euros. Within the same period, the number of employees throughout the company group grew as well. In 2016, there were 2,200 employees working worldwide for HBPO, this figure increased to 2,400 in 2017. In Lippstadt alone, the number of employees increased from 200 to 240. There are around 760 people working for HBPO throughout Germany.
There has been a steep rise in the number of front-end modules (FEM) produced too: from 5.4 million in 2016 to 5.7 million in 2017. This corresponds to an increase of more than 5.5 percent.
The development in the HBPO regions Europe, Asia and NAFTA was as follows: In Europe module production remained stable, but the number of employees increased. “The rise was due to the increasing number of projects we were able to secure in 2017 and will be processing in the next few months,” explains Jens Keller, CFO at HBPO.
Asia developed at a consistently high level last year. So production figures were approximately maintained in 2017. Accordingly, there were no major changes to the number of employees.
Thanks to project growth in the NAFTA region, the number of modules produced increased significantly. In addition, a lot of new employees were hired, particularly in Mexico.
HBPO currently works from 32 locations worldwide – eight of which are development locations. A short while ago, another development office started operations in Sindelfingen.
The company headquarters is in Lippstadt. Further corporate offices, i.e. offices from which the company’s fortunes are managed in the respective region, are located in Troy (USA for NAFTA) and Seoul (South Korea for Asia).
Important acquisition milestones
HBPO is a reliable partner when it comes to the development, design, assembly and logistics of front-end modules. The continual growth recorded by HBPO in the past few years in the module business is ample proof of this. While the company produced 4 million modules in 2010, this figure had already risen to 5.7 million in 2017. This corresponds to an increase of 42.5 percent over this period. “This growth is due to the increased modularisation in vehicle production,” explains Martin Schüler.
In the past year, the Lippstadt-based company was also awarded the contract for another extremely important project.
Growth planned again for 2018
The signs are all pointing to stable growth for the current year, too. And it is the year of project start-ups. A total of 18 new project starts are planned worldwide – more than ever before in company history. “This requires good cooperation with efficient processes throughout the entire team,” Schüler adds.
HBPO operates in the project business. This usually means a lead-time of around three years up to start of production. Following acquisition and a successful contract award, the so-called nomination, work continues in a project team. Here, the development and design of the FEM are planned and implemented, production and finally delivery to the plant coordinated. The FEM are assembled at the production location and delivered just-in-sequence to the customer.
In 2018 the company group is also planning to set up three new plants – in Mexico (Saltillo and Aguascalientes) and in southern Germany (Vaihingen-Enz) – and expand existing production facilities in Ingolstadt, Regensburg and Beijing.
“With our plants, we are always close to our customers. Accordingly, one clear focus this year will be on set-up and expansion of our plants,” Schüler reports.