Troy-based HBPO, an automotive supplier of modular front-end systems, has announced the addition of two new plants to accommodate additional product offerings and increased unit sales.
Anja Sprenger, president of HBPO North America, says the company plans to add “just in sequence” production facilities next year to support two major auto makers with assembly plants in Aguascalientes and Saltillo, Mexico.
Production of front-end modules for Auburn Hills automaker FCA US’ Chrysler Pacifica models began last year at an HBPO plant in Windsor, and a third shift was recently added at a company plant opened last year in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico, to support nearby Audi Q5 assembly operations. A third shift was also added to HBPO’s Toluca, Mexico plant to support FCA’s operations.
“By sourcing front-end modules from HBPO, a car maker can eliminate five or more work stations and up to 100 or more operations on its final assembly line,” says Sprenger. “We are a proven systems integrator with a global reputation for quality and innovation, among other advantages and benefits.”
Sprenger expects HBPO’s North American unit sales to grow from 883,000 units in 2016 to more than 1.4 million units in 2017, while employment increases nearly 50 percent from 450 employees to 650 in the same timeframe. The company is also planning a multi-million-dollar investment in R&D, new product launches, and plant additions throughout North America over a five-year period. This includes a major expansion of HBPO’s plastics molding operations to support a new product line in 2018.
HBPO is also actively developing front-end modules designed to reduce weight and lower costs for a variety of electric vehicles. It also is expected to produce its first electric vehicle front end model later this year.