Plastic Omnium S.A. Business Report FY ended Dec. 2013

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012 Rate of change (%) Factors
Net Sales 5,124.5 4,806.2 6.6 1)
Net Profit 208.0 181.5 14.6 -
Automotive Equipment
Sales 4,655.2 4,343.0 7.2 -

1) Net Sales
-Net sales of FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 exceeded EUR 5 billion for the first time in the Group's history. It's increased by 6.6% year-on-year.

-The Group, which has a global manufacturing base of 110 plants in 29 countries, saw growth in all its regions during 2013. Geographically, South America/Africa increased by 8.1% year-on-year, Europe by 7.8% (owing to innovative weight-reduction solutions), Asia by 5.5% and North America by 4.8% respectively.


-In March 2013, the Company announced plans to close its bumper manufacturing plant in Herentals, Belgium in summer 2013. Production volumes at the plant, which currently employs 123 people, have dropped by more than half since 2007, due to declining car sales in Europe and the closing of production capacity in Belgium by car makers. The fuel tank manufacturing unit on the same site will not be affected by the plans.


-In FY ended Dec. 31, 2013, the 107 new automotive programs, co-worked with car makers, have been launched. In FY ending Dec. 31, 2014, 98 new programs are expected to be launched.
(number of programs)
Project (by Region) FY ending Dec. 31, 2014 (Outlook) FY ended Dec. 31, 2013
Asia 55 34
Western Europe 19 39
North America 10 11
Eastern Europe 9 13
South America 5 6
Africa 0 4
Total 98 107

-Major contracts engaged in FY ended Dec. 31, 2013
  • Various weight-reduction solutions: Land Rover "Range Rover Sport", Skoda "Superb", Nissan "Qashqai", Renault "Capture", Peugeot "2008", "308"
  • Front-end module: Mercedes-Benz "CLA"
  • Rear floor: Peugeot "308", Citroen "C4 Picasso"
  • 100% recycled bumper: Peugeot "208"
  • Fuel system: Toyota "Etios", Hyundai "HB20"


R&D Expenditures

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012 FY ended Dec. 31, 2011
Overall 247.0 243.7 206.2

R&D Structure

-More than 2,000 engineers and technicians - 9% of the workforce - are employed worldwide in 22 R&D centers and engineering facilities

-In FY ended Dec. 31, 2013, 5% of revenue was spent for research and development.

-The Company manages 2,994 patents, of which 114 were filed in 2013.

R&D Facilities

-In December 2013, the Company has inaugurated a development center for its exterior parts business in the Chinese city of Anting. The new center in Anting, whose current staff of 300 engineers and technicians could expand to 450 by 2016, will support Plastic Omnium's fast growth in the world's largest automobile market. In 2013, the Company launched 35 new exterior parts programs for 18 different customers in China. The number of annual launches is expected to increase to 50 by 2015, notably for such customers as Volkswagen, General Motors, SAIC, FAW, BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Jaguar Land Rover. Through the YFPO [YFPO:Yanfeng Plastic Omnium Automotive Exterior Systems] joint venture co-owned with Chinese partner, the Company is presently developing around 100 new programs, mainly concerning bumpers. It has also received four orders for tailgates and one order for fenders.

-In October 2013, the Company has opened a development center in Lozorno, Slovakia, for its exterior and structural components operations. With 1,300 square meters of office space and 300 square meters of laboratories, the center employs a team of 110 engineers and technicians and will be able to accommodate up to 160 employees. The center hosts the main support services for the industrial development of automotive projects: computer aided design (CAD), styling, product engineering, industrial engineering, quality control, sales and purchasing. Approximately EUR 2 million have been invested in the construction of this engineering center. The center will work primarily with German car makers. It works closely with the ∑-Sigmatech international research & development center located close to Lyon, in France, and technological cooperation agreements have also been signed with the universities of Bratislava and Kosice in Slovakia and Zlin in the Czech Republic.

In June 2013, the Company laid the cornerstone for α-Alphatech in Venette, France. α-Alphatech is the future international research and development center of Inergy Automotive Systems. The new facility will be operational in September 2014. Covering a surface area of 23,000 square meters, α-Alphatech is set near the current Inergy Automotive Systems plant. Representing an investment of EUR 60 million, the center will bring together 450 employees currently divided between facilities in Venette and Laval in France, as well as teams from the research and development center in Brussels that is dedicated to electronics. In addition to ∑-Sigmatech in Lyon, which opened in 2002, the Company will thus have two advanced automotive technology research and development centers in France.

R&D Activities

-In its Automotive Equipment businesses, the Company focuses its research on solutions that reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions and helps automobile manufacturers to build the clean car of tomorrow by focusing on three main goals:
  • Solutions that make vehicles lighter and more aerodynamic.
  • Emissions-control systems.
  • Support for new hybrid and electric powertrains.
-By 2020, the Company will develop following products that will help to reduce the weight of passenger cars by 25-30% compared with those fitted with steel parts.
  • Bumpers
  • Fenders
  • Thermoplastic fuel systems
  • Composite floor and tailback modules
  • High-performance composite structural components

Product Development

Active Air Grill
-New aerodynamic active air grill "LightAir" reduces the CO2 emission of a small SUV by 3g/km. The modular architecture also makes it possible to employ very thin exterior parts, which in turn open us new design possibility. The use of thermoplastic composite materials reinforced with carbon fiber can reduce the weight of the front bumper beam and its absorbers by 45% (3.5Kg).

Thermoplastic Tailgate
-In September 2013, the Company has launched production of its first all-thermoplastic rear-opening module to equip the new Peugeot "308". Designed in the ∑-Sigmatech research and development center in Lyon and produced in two plants in France, Langres and Fontaine, the tailgate weighs 12 kg, or 3kg less than the same product made of steel. The all-thermoplastic tailgate represents a further improvement to the Company's range of rear-opening modules, which also includes thermoset composite tailgates and hybrid tailgates made with thermosetting resins and thermoplastics.

Front-end Module
-Front-end Module developed by HBPO, which is the Joint Venture between Hella, Bear and the Company, enabled 20% weight reduction from the previous model. The time required for the vehicle module assembly dropped by 30%. The module is adopted to Mercedes-Benz "CLA".

-For pedestrian protection, the Company develops bumper absorption beams and metal/composite hood.

Composite Rear Floor
-The composite construction with molded inserts made of sheet steel can be fixed to the vehicle's metallic structure without modifying the manufacturer's assembly process. The floor is adopted to Peugeot "308" and Citroen "C4 Picasso".

Composite Front Floor
-The front floor module is made of high-performance composite material and contains more than 20 stamped sheet metal parts. It enables 50% weight savings of previous model. (Proto type)

Effort to reduce Hydrocarbon emissions
-The Company's Auto Inergy Division has stepped up its effort to reduce hydrocarbon emissions - in particular NOx and CO2 - with its Twin Sheet Blow Molding technology (TSBM) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) solutions.
  • TSBM: This technology helps reduce hydrocarbon emissions by integrating a large number of components into the fuel tank during the blow molding stage instead of welding them once the tank has been manufactured.
  • DINOx Premium: The second generation (DINOx Premium) SCR system eliminates 95% of a diesel vehicle's NOx emissions and up to 8% of its CO2 emissions. Optimized in terms of size and performance, the system meets future emissions and fuel consumption standards, including the EURO VI standard scheduled to take effect in Europe beginning in 2014.
Fuel tank with Baffle
-The Company's Auto Inergy Division's InBaffle solutions, which place large inserts in the tank, reduce slosh noise. The solutions are especially suitable for hybrid vehicles or vehicles equipped with Start-stop systems.

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012 FY ended Dec. 31, 2011
Overall 338 261 228

-Investment in FY ended December 2013 includes the construction or commissioning of 11 new plants (10 in China, 1 in Russia).
-In 2014, new plant are being built in China, Brazil, Russia and Mexico.

Future Investment

-The Company has allocated a capital expenditure budget of EUR 1.2 billion for the 2013-2016 period. 16 new plants will be built, of which half in China, for this period.

Investment outside France

<United States>
-In October 2013, the Company announced the inauguration of a new Plastic Omnium Inergy plant in Huron, Michigan, USA. This new facility will employs 400 workers, and will produce approximately 1.5 million plastic fuel tanks each year. Plastic Omnium Inergy has today three site in Michigan: Troy, Adrian and Huron.