Japanese suppliers in Western Europe: Meeting new demands for electrification and autonomous driving

Expand business with European OEMs, increase production capacity in areas such as advanced materials



 According to LMC Automotive, the sales volume of light vehicles in the 17 countries of Western Europe has continued to increase, up 3.2% y/y to 13.27 million units in the January to November 2017 period. As a result, in addition to the increasing number of orders from European automakers and parts suppliers, Japanese automotive parts suppliers are engaged in a wide range of activities to capitalize on the emerging trends and new demand in Europe such as the strengthening of environmental and fuel economy regulations, electrification and electric vehicles, connected cars, and autonomous driving, activities that include the strengthening of production systems, development and marketing capability, M&A, capital participation, and alliances.

Related reports:
Autonomous driving technology: Japanese and western OEM approaches (Jan. 2018)
IAA 2017: German OEMs emphasize electric mobility (Sept. 2017)
European market: Passenger vehicle sales exceed 15 million units, diesel vehicles drop below 50% (Sept. 2017)
Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi adopting ADAS and automated driving systems (Aug. 2017)


Germany automobile plant map (Click to open site map)

For countries and regions other than Germany please refer to the map entitled ‘OEM Plants Interactive Map


Europe - General:

New manufacturing sites Panasonic: Constructing a new Li-ion battery plant in Europe after 2020
Mitsui Chemicals: Planning to construct its own PP compound factory in Europe
Increased production capacity U-Shin:Renovating the production equipment at its four plants in Western Europe manufacturing key sets and door handles
Strengthening of R&D and Marketing U-Shin: Increasing R&D staff in Europe and strengthening development capability of high value-added products
Furukawa Electric:Strengthening marketing functions in UK and Germany
New product introduction Clarion:Received first order for its on-board camera system from a European manufacturer
Sanden:Supplying air conditioning HVAC units and control units to DAF Trucks
Yokohama Rubber:Full-scale deployment of second brand "ALLIANCE TYRES" focusing on price competitiveness


M&A, Alliances, & Establishment of joint ventures Hayashi Telempu:Technical tie-up with sound proofing material supplier on development for next-generation automobiles
Hitachi Chemical:Acquired all shares of insulation part supplier. Cooperation to develop low fuel consumption and eco-friendly parts
Furukawa Electric:Held inauguration ceremony of joint venture for high voltage resistant windings
Mitsui & Co.:Invested in a German electric vehicle charging startup that uses EV batteries
Mitsubishi Electric:Concluded an agreement to launch a joint venture for high-accuracy positioning service delivery
R&D and product development Asahi Kasei:Established European R&D center, promoting collection and accumulation of advanced technology information and development of new businesses
Alps Electric:Joint commercialization of on-board biosensor module with German supplier
・Kakizakai Seiki:Developing shearing technology with German laboratories and companies
Sumitomo Riko:Established R&D center for anti-vibration rubber
Toray:Inaugurated R&D base specializing in advanced materials for automotive applications
Strengthening of production system Toyobo:Transferred airbag base fabric production to joint venture company. Also transferred cushioning material business
Nisshinbo Brake: Consolidated two factories for the manufacturing of friction materials for passenger cars into one location
Strengthening of business and sales structure Ashimori Industry: Established European office, identifying market needs and development trends
Nabtesco: Established European regional headquarters
Mitsubishi Chemical: Established a department to promote automotive business, and provide sales support for Mitsubishi group companies

Western Europe (excluding Germany)

Acquisitions, Joint ventures, and Alliances Daikin: acquired an Italian fluoropolymer compounds manufacturer
Nidec:Established a French joint venture subsidiary with PSA in 2018 for the manufacture of EV drive motors
PIOLAX:Signed a global production and sales cooperation agreement with French Group A Raymond
Panasonic:Acquired a 69% stake in a major parts and systems supplier in Spain
Bridgestone: Acquired tire retail chain in France, expanding sales network
Mitsubishi Chemical: Acquired a 44% stake in an Italian carbon fiber molding manufacturer to develop business with Western automakers
Mitsubishi Electric: Partnered with high-accuracy location information service HERE, the leading digital map company in the Netherlands
Mitsubishi Materials: Acquired the copper processing division under the umbrella of a manufacturer based in the UK
Strengthening of production system Kaneka: Enhanced production capacity of modified silicon polymers in Belgium
G-TECT: Expanded UK press factory, retrofitted for electrification and the processing of next generation aluminum body parts
Sekisui Chemical: Increased capacity of its plant in the Netherlands for the production of laminated glass interlayer film used in head-up displays
Teijin: Decided to increase production of aramid fibers for tire reinforcement at its plant in the Netherlands
Toray:Plans to double the production capacity of high-grade artificial leather at its subsidiary in Italy
Nippon Seiki: Established new production line at UK factory for the assembly of head-up display
Bridgestone: gradually increasing production of passenger car tires in Spain
Press Kogyo: Refurbished facilities of subsidiary in Sweden plant for small-lot, multi-product production
R&D and product development AGC:Staff of approximately 250 conducting research at ACG’s Technovation Center in Belgium
JTEKT: Expanded factory in Belgium and established European R&D center. Preparing for electrification and EV products
Sekisui Chemical: Established new European research center in the Netherlands. Development of advanced functional intermediate layer film
・Horiba:Established advanced emissions test center at engineering facility of UK subsidiary.
Other Calsonic Kansei:Established White Motion LLC in Japan, a cyber security joint venture with a French IT venture company
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