Automotive font end module is a typically multi-piece assembly of various components such as font lighting, air conditioning condenses, radiator, cooling fan, crumple zone and bumpers among others. This practice of manufacturing the whole front end of a vehicle separately by outsourcing them to outside vendors is known as modular assembly Modular assembly gained its importance for reducing product engineering cost, labour cost, and logistics cost. This has led to the modularization of vehicle parts, thus reducing assembly line processes and speeding up the overall production time of a vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers have standardized front, end components such as radiator, headlights, crumple zone and cooling fan assembly among others of vehicles and have outsourced these modules to outside vendors. This has helped to reduce the overall cost of manufacturing a vehicle by reducing the setup and maintenance cost of assembly lines.
Production cost saving strategies and innovation of front end modules has led to the minimization of labour cost, assembly cost and increasing pedestrian safety. The above mentioned factors would drive the global automotive front end module market. To sustain the consumer’s demand for vehicles and hold their market position, the manufacturers must find an innovative solution that would reduce the production cost of vehicles, yet decreasing the assembly time and delaying product delivery. This is only possible through modularization of vehicle parts and creation of platform based product family.
By outsourcing a complete portion of a vehicle, the manufacturer minimizes a significant number of assembly-line steps that reduces the hassle of interacting with numerous subsystem suppliers, and also reduces tooling costs and, thus it improves the company’s working capital. Just because the underlying structure of front end modules can be standardized, manufacturers uses a common design to be used across multiple models sold into multiple regions, thus reducing production cost at an average of 20 to 30 percent. This is the major reason for the growth of the front end module market in the automotive industry because of its time and cost saving benefits for the automotive manufacturers.
Some of the major factors driving the front end module market is the growing vehicle production across the world and increasing demand for vehicle parts modularization. The major restraints that would be hindering the growth of front end module market is the growing after market.
The automotive front end module market can be distinguished by component outlook, vehicle type and material type. In the component outlook, there are generally eight types; fenders, front grill, headlight, radiator, bumper, condenser crash management systems and others. The vehicle type outlook can be further segmented into three types, passenger vehicle, heavy commercial vehicle and light commercial vehicle. On the other hand in the material type outlook, the market is segmented into five types. This contains aluminum, composites, steel, plastic and hybrid.
Europe held the largest market share for automotive front end module market because of the heavy R&D carried out in this field and regulations set by the European Union (EU) for pedestrian safety. In Asia-Pacific region, demand for affordable vehicle is increasing at an increasing rate due to the demand from developing nations such as India and China among others. Modularization of vehicle parts is the only option for the manufacturers to meet the demand of the people and keep the price of the vehicle reasonable.
Some of the major players in this industry are Faurecia SA (France.), Mahle GmbH (Germany), Hbpo Group (Germany), DENSO Corp (Japan), Faurecia (France), Magna International Inc.(U.S), Hyundai Mobis (South Korea), and Valeo S.A. (France), among others.
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