Integrated report 2021 - reinventing inventing

Modules & customization - Expertise


HPBO, the world leader in complex modules, produces one in five of all front-end modules worldwide. Its growth is driven by innovations, working in close collaboration with its customers. Growth that has had an extra boost from electric vehicles.

How is HBPO helping transform mobility?

We are at the crossroads of key trends shaping the market: electrification, connectivity, customization, and clean mobility. Electrification is one step along the road toward cleaner mobility in the future. The shift to electric vehicles and the increase in vehicle connectivity are seeing a big increase in the number of module variations, with very strong demand for custom modules. This complexity requires the exceptional technical and logistical skills that lie at the heart of everything we do. We integrate an ever increasing number of components and functions into front-end modules that are compact and aerodynamic, which helps increase the range available to electric vehicles. I’d like to add that we also apply our know-how to other vehicle modules, such as cockpit and center console modules, both of them core elements in a vehicle’s design.

What were your outstanding innovations in 2021?

Our most important innovation was in working methods. The health crisis forced us to do things differently, and we turned extensively to digital tools. We adopted a creative and interactive approach that meant we could rapidly explore emerging possibilities, specifically for electric vehicles and their future needs in terms of modules. We also set up what we call our innovation room. It’s fitted with an audio system and high-definition cameras so that our customers enjoy an interactive experience during meetings and presentations. This specially equipped room provides a new and more immersive way to discover our latest modules and custom solutions. We are innovating to create integrated modules, working very closely with our customers, and we currently have several customer projects in development. In terms of products, we unveiled the second generation of Rollo, active grille shutters, and won a number of major new contracts. Our integrated plastic shock absorber was incorporated into the front-end module of a high-end all electric vehicle and is fast becoming the new benchmark in this field. We have also launched our innovative solution for electric charging ports, a new type of module that has already been chosen by a customer for a new all-electric vehicle.

What opportunities does the shift to electric vehicles offer HBPO?

HBPO has delivered excellent results, winning a number of key new customers, including General Motors and a major US electric vehicle manufacturer. The shift to electric vehicles is a major boost to our business, with an ever growing number of high added-value components to integrate into front-end modules. Electrification leads to new opportunities and new modules for us to develop, such as for charging port lids. HBPO recently won the first contract to supply a US electric vehicle maker with our new LID module, a multifunction charging port that offers features including remote closing and a charge indicator. We are seeing an increase in interest from our international customers, which will certainly contribute to our growth in the years to come.