HUTCHINSON S.A. Business Report FY ended Dec. 2016

Recent Years

Financial overview

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 Rate of change
Net Sales 4,040 3,833 5.4 1)

1) Net Sales
-In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, the Company’s net sales totaled EUR 4,040 million, an increase of 5.4% over the previous year. The increase in sales was primarily driven by strength in the automotive market, specifically with German and Asian OEMs. The Company’s operations in other markets also experienced increases in sales.


-Nichirin Co., Ltd. announced that it will acquire 40% of the shares of its Spanish joint venture, Hutchinson Nichirin Brake Hoses, S.L. (HNBH), from the Company for approximately EUR 6 million. This transaction will allow Nichirin to increase its stake in HNBH from the current 30% to 70%. HNBH, which was established in 2012, manufactures and sell brake hoses, and has been expanding its business with new orders from its customers, especially GM. HNBH’s sales in 2015 reached EUR 21.7 million. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of October 2016. (From a press release on October 12, 2016)

-In July 2013, the Company divested 30% of its automobile brake hose business in Palamos, Spain through the creation of a joint venture with Japanese company Nichirin, one of the world leaders in this segment. It is capitalized at approximately EUR 8 million to 10 million (approximately JPY 800 million to 1 billion), of which 30% will be provided by Nichirin and 70% by the Company. The joint venture will hire 170 people to manufacture and sell brake hoses, targeting sales of EUR 18 million (approximately JPY 1.8 billion) in the year ending in March 2014.

-In late 2012, the Company closed its Oyartzun production plant in Spain.


-In July 2016, the Company’s Shenyang Dadong plant in China began producing Body Sealing System parts for BMW. The plant will begin producing fuel systems for BMW and Kautex beginning in October 2016, and will begin twinsheet thermoforming operations for BMW in January 2017. (From a press release on July 30, 2016)


-In November 2013, the Company received an award as a premium supplier from Continental AG and Schaeffler AG.

R&D Expenditure

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014
Overall 202 192 171

-Every year, the Company dedicates approximately 5% of its sales revenue towards research and development.

R&D Facilities

-The Company’s primary Corporate Research and Innovation Center is located in Montargis, France and employs more than 200 engineers and technicians working in research and development.

-In addition to its Corporate Research and Innovation Center, the Company has 27 technical centers worldwide.

-On June 13, 2016, the Company inaugurated its Innovation & Business Development Center, also known as the 507 Fab House, in Chalette-sur-Loing, France. The facility is intended to offer a cross-business presentation of the Company’s global range of solutions, while also providing high-tech facilities for the innovation of new solutions. (From a press release on June 13, 2016)

-On January 20, 2016, the Company held an opening ceremony for its North America Innovation & Business Development Center, also known as the 616 Fab House, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S. The 1,500-square-meter facility features several high-tech amenities such as a telepresence room and a 3D printer. (From a press release on January 20, 2016)

-In 2014, the Company established the CTeC (Composite Technical Center) in Chalette-sur-Loing, next to where the Company's primary research center is located in Montargis. This innovation center is dedicated to the development of new composite products, materials and processes. 50 personnel will be employed by the end of 2014.

R&D Activities

-The Company’s research and development activities are centered on weight reduction, increased energy efficiency, and improved diagnostic and control functionality.

-During the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015, the Company invested in several research and development programs which focused on new materials and the integration of mechatronic components.

Technological Alliances

-The Company has partnerships with both Centrale Lyon and EMLyon to help improve the design of its products under development.

Product Development

Smart steering hole cover
At the 2016 IZB International Suppliers Fair in Wolfsburg, Germany, the Company unveiled its prototype smart steering hole cover. The cover features an integrated sensor that can measure tolerance angles and thus, record movements in the steering columns even at low speeds. The steering hole cover can then be used as another source of information for autonomous vehicles. (From a press release on October 20, 2016)

Composite single-part axle
-At the JEC Europe 2015 composites show and conference, the Company displayed a composite axle developed as a single part with four integrated features. The axle has integrated suspension, wheel guidance, roll control, and damping of road vibrations and rolling noise. By manufacturing the axle as a single part, the component provides significant weight savings due to the removal of various other parts. (From a press release on April 7, 2015)

Precision sealing system for transmission
-The Company's provides duplicate-molded pistons for the hydraulic brakes and clutches are equipped with ZF's 8-speed automatic transmission. The Company's components enable the optimization of the transmission by limiting its weight and number of components, while providing a 9% reduction in fuel consumption compared to the previous 6-speed version.

Windshield seal
-The Company has developed a windshield seal, a seal which forms the interface between the dashboard and the windshield, attenuating noise from the engine compartment. The seal combines ease of assembly on the dashboard, significantly reducing assembly times and risk of work accidents. In addition, the seal is lightweight, recyclable and gives very good results during aging. The seal can be found on the "Peugeot 407" and "Peugeot 207".

Frame seal
-The Company has developed a frame seal. The frame seal forms the interface between the roof and the opening roof panel, reducing aerodynamic noise during vehicle operation and extending the design line. Its TEKSKIN textured varnish coating prevents parasite noise such as squealing and squeaking. Vehicle models featuring the seal include the Renault "Megane", "Clio", and "Laguna"

Dashboard cowl vent grille seal
-The Company has developed a seal which fits onto the cowl vent grille and provides the finish between the cowl vent grille and the windshield. The seal is easily fitted and the addition of a sliding part at the end of the lip makes it possible to assemble the cowl vent grille on the vehicle without turning the lip over. This function simplifies assembly by removing one operation on the client's assembly lines. The dashboard cowl vent grille seal can be found on the Toyota "Yaris phase II".


-The Company has a portfolio of 750 active patents, and generates an average of 100 new patents per year.

Capital Expenditure

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014
Overall 141 139 109

Development Outside France

-In 2011, the Company expanded the site in Brasov, Romania in order to deal with the increase in its transfers of automotive activities in Romania. An operational extension of 4,000 square meters will be added in December 2011 to the existing 6,000-square-meter plant and will be used to host Sealing System activities.

-In October 2010, the Company inaugurated a new plant in Sousse, Tunisia. The plant has a surface area of 12,700 square meters. While the plant will primarily focus on the aerospace industry, it will also produce specialty products for the automotive industry.