Japanese suppliers in Central and Eastern Europe: Responding to orders from European OEMs

Production systems to meet demands of environment and fuel economy regulations and electrification



Map of automobile plants in Central and Eastern Europe (Click to open site map)
Russian automobile plant map /  Turkey automobile plant map

  According to LMC Automotive, light vehicle sales in the 17 countries of Western Europe were 16.15 million units in 2018, a decrease of 7.5% compared to the previous year, and in the 15 countries of Central and Eastern Europe (including Turkey and Russia) sales reached 4.24 million units, an increase of 0.5%. For the period January through April 2019, year on year (y/y) sales in Western Europe dropped 2.0% to 5.68 million units, and in Central and Eastern Europe, sales declined 8.2% to 1.26 million units. Among these countries, sales in Russia grew 12.8% in 2018 to 1.80 million units, and although sales there in January through April 2019 fell 1% y/y, sales in Russia are expected to increase significantly through the year.

 Even under these circumstances, Japanese component suppliers in responding to increasing orders from European OEMs are building new plants (such as Kasai Kogyo, Calsonic Kansei, NHK Spring, and Nippon Paint Automotive Coatings) or expanding existing facilities (including G-TEKT and Nippon Seiki). In Russia, Piolax plans to outsource automotive fastener production to the Russian plant of its French partner, ARaymond.

  In anticipation of increased demand by European vehicle manufacturers responding to environmental and fuel economy regulations, Cataler plans to begin operations at a new automotive exhaust gas catalyst plant in the Czech Republic in 2020. An American subsidiary of Toray is increasing production capacity of large-tow carbon fibers at its plant in Hungary. In Turkey, GS Yuasa opened a new plant for automotive idling-stop lead-acid batteries, and Sumitomo Chemical is considering the building of a new plant for polypropylene compounds.

 To meet new demands related to electrified vehicles including EVs and autonomous driving, Mitsui High-tec established a production base for motor cores for electric vehicle (EV) motors in Poland. Also in Poland, Nidec is considering increasing production of automotive motors as well as a new plant for EV drive motors. In the Czech Republic, Mitsubishi Electric will build a new plant to reinforce its production of motors and inverters. In Slovakia, MinebeaMitsumi began operations at its new automotive motors plant. Panasonic plans to increase the production capacity of EV components in Europe, including the expansion of production of on-board chargers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

 Regarding batteries, in August 2019, GS Yuasa will begin operating a lithium-ion battery plant in Hungary, and NOK will consolidate multiple small plants for the production of flexible printed circuit boards for lithium-ion batteries.

Following are the recent trends of Japanese suppliers in Central and Eastern Europe. (Activities for about one year through April 2019.)
 * Please refer to the previous report for Japanese supplier trends in Western Europe:Japanese suppliers in Western Europe: Meeting increasing demands for electrification and others


Central and Eastern Europe

New plant construction Kasai Kogyo Co., Ltd.: New plant for door trims to be built in Slovakia, production to begin in September 2019.
・Cataler Corporation: Established a plant for automotive exhaust gas catalysts in the Czech Republic, to begin operations in first half of 2020.
GS Yuasa International Ltd.: Operations at lithium-ion battery plant in Hungary to begin in August 2019.
G-TEKT Corporation: Expansion of large press machines at aluminum auto bodies’ parts plant, in operation in 2019 in Slovakia.
Nippon Seiki Co., Ltd.: Set up head-up display subsidiary in Poland in 2019, to be in production from 2020.
・Nippon Paint Automotive Coatings Co., Ltd.: Began operations at automotive paint plant in the Czech Republic from January 2019.
・Mitsui High-tec Inc.: Established first European production base in Poland; production of cores for EV motors to begin in 2020.
・MinebeaMitsumi Inc.: New automotive motors plant began operations in 2018, the company will also set up an R&D base.
  Strengthening production systems and production capacity NOK Corporation: Consolidation of multiple small plants for automotive flexible printed circuit boards in Hungary.
Calsonic Kansei Corporation: Building second plant in Romania in response to orders from Renault for electronics related components for meters.
・Toray Industries: American subsidiary to increase production capacity of large tow carbon fibers at plant in Hungary.
NHK Spring Co., Ltd.: New suspension spring plant to be built in Hungary with operations to begin in November 2019.
Nidec Corporation: Expand production of automotive motors in Poland, and new production of EV drive motors.
Nidec Corporation: Considering expansion of automotive pump plant in Hungary.
Panasonic Corporation: Planning the production capacity expansion of components for EVs in Europe; increase of production of on-board chargers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Bridgestone Corporation: Expansion of warehouse at passenger car tire plant in Hungary, and plant expansion by 2020.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation: Building new plant at a subsidiary in the Czech Republic, strengthening the production system of motors and inverters for electric vehicles.
Strengthening sales structure ・Marubun Corporation: In 2017, established joint venture (trading company) in Hungary responsible for European region.



New plant construction, new production system ・Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.: Considering new plant in Turkey for polypropylene (PP) compounds.
Production capacity increase GS Yuasa International Ltd.: Began operations of new plant for automotive idling-stop lead-acid batteries in Turkey.
Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd.: Enlargement of facilities at tire plant in Turkey, planning production capacity expansion.
In-house production Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd.: At plant in Turkey, bringing production of seat belt sensors in-house.



Production consignment Piolax, Inc.: Production consignment of industrial-use fasteners to ARaymond’s Russia plant.
Local procurement Calsonic Kansei Corporation: Accelerating procurement rate in Russia with background of import duty reduction and reduction of exchange rate fluctuation risk.


Related reports:
Japanese suppliers in Western Europe: Meeting increasing demands for electrification and others(May 2019)
Tier 1 suppliers: Autonomous, Connected, and Mobility related businesses(Feb. 2019)
European Market: Decreasing diesel vehicle sales, and the shift to EVs(Dec. 2018)
European and U.S. Tier 1 suppliers: Electrification business trends(Jul. 2018)
2021-2030 CO2 regulations in Europe, backlash against diesel, and electrification(May 2018)

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