Japanese parts manufacturers in North America

Strengthening operations related to autonomous driving on the West Coast



(Please click the map for OEM plant locations.)

  This report covers trends among Japanese parts manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada, detailing plans for increased production capacity, the establishment of new companies, and the strengthening of business structures (featured content starting from the nine months leading to July 2017).

  In 2016 automobile sales in the U.S. (passenger vehicles, light trucks) saw a year-over-year (y/y) increase of 0.4% to 17.55 million vehicles. Per model, sales for passenger vehicles saw a y/y decrease of 8.1%, but light trucks saw y/y growth of 7.2%. Between January and July 2017, 9.87 million vehicles were sold for a y/y decrease of 2.9%.Specifically, 3.75 million passenger vehicles were sold for a y/y decrease of 11.7%, while light trucks saw a y/y increase of 3.5% to 6.12 million vehicles. This indicates an ongoing shift in demand from passenger vehicles to light trucks, such as pickups and SUVs.

  In 2016, automobile production (passenger vehicles, light trucks) in the U.S. saw a y/y decrease of 0.1% to 11.91 million vehicles. Passenger vehicles saw a y/y decline of 15.0%, and light trucks fell 4.7% y/y. From January to July 2017, 6.44 million vehicles were produced for a y/y decrease of 6.7%. Passenger vehicles saw a y/y decrease of 18.1%, and light trucks declined 0.1% y/y.

  However, production may return to the U.S. in the mid-term based on demands from President Trump. GM and FCA invested USD 1 billion in domestic plants and Ford announced it would invest USD 1.6 billion over four years. Toyota and Mazda established a joint venture with equal stakes and plan to open a plant by 2021 with an annual production capacity of 300,000 vehicles. VW announced it will invest several billion dollars in a U.S. plant, while Daimler announced it will make an investment of USD 1.3 billion in production facilities. Moreover, Japanese, American, and European OEMs are pushing development of next-generation technology such as the production of electric vehicles, as well as autonomous driving and AI.

  In response to these trends, Japanese parts manufacturers are expanding production lines and upgrading equipment at existing plants, as well as establishing new companies and plants to support the various needs of existing and potential clients. Particularly conspicuous are the widespread efforts of companies to respond to demand accompanying the tightening of environmental and fuel regulations. To strengthen business organizations, suppliers have been engaging in activities like acquisitions to get advanced technology, capital and technology partnerships, and alliances.

Investment Type Manufacturers Production Items (*New items/implementation status, etc.)
Increased production capacity
(Equipment, added production line)
Advics Electric parking brakes *(new building)
Kobe Steel, Mitsui & Co., Toyota Tsusho Aluminum melting and casting, forging press *(addition of a new building, increased equipment)
JTEKT Newly developed EPS *(added production lines)
Sumitomo Rubber High-value added passenger vehicle tires (increased equipment)
Daido Kogyo Chains for four-wheel vehicles (implementation of parts processing and heat treatment lines)
Taiho Kogyo Vacuum pumps*, sliding bearings (added equipment)
TACHI-S Seat frames for EVs *(supplied to Tesla)
Tsubakimoto Chain Engine timing chains (added equipment)
TS TECH Seats (addition of a new building)
Toyo Tire & Rubber Passenger vehicle tires (added equipment)
Toyoda Gosei Plastic fuel filler pipes (added equipment)
Toyoda Iron Works Pressed parts (equipment added at four plants in North America)
Nisshinbo Brake Copper-free brake materials (addition of production lines)
Nippon Sheet Glass Windshields for heads-up display *(installation of a new line)
Japan Vilene Plastic floor mats (added equipment)
Nippon Piston Ring Valve seats (added equipment at two plants/installment of a new labor-saving line)
Piolax Hose clamps and metal fasteners (construction of a new building, addition of a heat treatment furnace)
HI-LEX Door modules (new lines added at two plants)
FALTEC Millimeter wave radar covers *(new production lines added)
Fukai Mfg., Toyoda Iron Works Body pressed parts (plant expansion)
Bridgestone Rubber mixing process for passenger vehicle tires (construction of a new building)
Mitsui Chemicals, Prime Polymer Polypropylene compounds (replacement of old equipment)
Yamamoto Seisakusho Thick clutch plates (added equipment)
New companies established, new plants added NTN Shaft machining and thermal processing *(construction of a second plant)
Sharp LCD panels *(plans to establish a new company)
Topre Pressed parts (construction of a new plant, addition of a new building at a different facility)
Toray Industries Carbon fiber (delayed opening of a new plant one year)
Panasonic Automotive lithium-ion battery cells *(start of production)
Hitachi Automotive Systems (electric motors) Electric vehicle motors (plans to establish a new facility)
Fine Sinter ATM/Engine parts, etc. (second plant opened)
Yorozu Suspension parts (second plant on stream a year ahead of schedule)
Strengthening of business structure
(M&A, capital, technical collaborations, establishing locations, etc.)
Increment P Map data of Japan and the ASEAN region (establishment of a strategic facility)
Okaya & Co. Truck platooning solutions (investment in a U.S. development company)
Koito Manufacturing Sensor-embedded headlights *(collaboration with a U.S. development company)
Chuo Spring Precision springs, control cables (merger of two U.S. subsidiaries)
Tsubaki Nakashima Precision bearing parts (acquisition of business from a U.S. company)
Teijin Glass fiber-reinforced composite material (acquisition of CSP)
TDK Inertial sensors (acquisition of InvenSense)
Nichicon Wireless charging systems for EVs/PHVs (license agreement with Qualcomm)
Nippon Electric Glass Glass fiber business (acquisition of business from PPG Industries)
Mitsubishi Rayon Carbon fiber business (acquisition of two U.S. companies)
Riken Steel piston rings (Agreement to dissolve U.S. joint venture, operate business solely)

  H-One plans to develop fundamental technology related to weight reduction and safety at its existing research and development center to strengthen its research and development organization. Sumitomo Rubber opened its new U.S. Technical Center research and development facility on the grounds of its existing plant.

  In Canada, Hanwa has invested in Canadian companies that are developing and producing high-purity lithium carbonate and plans to market the material for lithium-ion battery use.


Related Reports:
U.S. Market Analysis: Market share for SUVs hits 40% (Apr. 2017)
LMCA Client Alert: Trump Trade Policy (Jan. 2017)

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