Integrated report 2021 - reinventing inventing

Tomorrow’s mobility will be sustainable - Vision

In 2021, Plastic Omnium operated in a market characterized by a shortage of semiconductors, rising commodity prices and a fast-changing health crisis. The Group showed its agility as it continued to service its customers, and its determination as it forged ahead with its strategy for transformation and innovation.

How do you view the changes in the automotive market?

Epidemic waves and semiconductor shortages occasionally made market conditions more difficult. But the underlying trends - the shift to electric vehicles, greater connectivity and self-driving - all picked up pace, driven by policymakers and the general public’s increasing demand for mobility that takes better care of the environment. Plastic Omnium’s historical positioning as a supplier to the automotive industry of components that cut vehicle weights and reduce emissions mean that it is now ideally placed as its customers’ preferred partner for clean mobility solutions. We made significant advances in electrification during 2021, with electric vehicles accounting for 8% of revenue - above the market average - as well as in connectivity thanks to a partnership with a startup called Greenerwave to develop a highly innovative 4D radar. This performance is underpinned by our products and our international locations, particularly in the high-potential Indian and Chinese markets. Hydrogen, a promising future energy Plastic Omnium has invested over €300 million in since 2015, is a market where our activities are taking shape, encouraged by initial experiences at scale in Asia and Europe and boosted by economic stimulus packages in Europe that position hydrogen as a lever for European sovereignty and competitiveness.

How did Plastic Omnium navigate the difficulties the industry had to face in 2021?

We relied on increased flexibility, a series of costcutting measures, and the unfailing commitment of each and every one of our employees. And our efforts paid off. We performed above the market average in every part of the world. Plastic Omnium has reached key milestones in its strategic roadmap. We rolled out our OMEGA transformation program to make us more responsive and more agile. Our three strategic pillars - operational excellence, innovation and sustainability - have never been more important, helping us weather the crisis and write the story of our future and the future of mobility.

What were the standout advances in 2021?

It was a very busy year, involving a combination of actions that paid off instantly and others laying the ground for the years ahead. Our order book is at record levels, reflecting our growing market share across our three business lines. For example, we provided new modules for electric vehicles made by established automakers as well as pure players in electric mobility, and worked with Lucid, the US manufacturer based in Silicon Valley, designing multiple exterior parts for its high-end electric vehicle project. Our robust order book strengthens our financial solidity and gives us the visibility we need to invest for the future. Our investments in hydrogen are beginning to pay dividends in the form of our first automotive contracts and good prospects in rail and aviation. In January 2022, we established a separate division focused solely on hydrogen, a further sign of our determination to expand our industrial and commercial reach.