Japanese suppliers in China (Part 2): East/North/Northeast regions and overview

Suppliers expand production capacities, launch new products, and enhance development functions

2015/02/16

Summary

 In 2014, China produced 23.72 million units of vehicles, up 7.3% year-over-year (y/y), and sold 23.49 million units, up 6.9% y/y. The figures both resulted only in a single-digit growth. In January 2015, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers announced its estimate for the automotive market in 2015. The estimate also shows a single-digit y/y increase of 7% to 25.13 million units (including exports).

 Despite these slow growth rates, European, U.S., and Korean as well as Japanese OEMs are enhancing their production capacities, expecting the Chinese auto market to further grow in the medium term.

 Japanese parts suppliers are also expanding their operations, production capacities, and development functions in China to satisfy growing demands from European, U.S. andJapanese OEMs. Some suppliers are developing new materials and components for hybrid vehicles (HVs) or to comply with requirements for weight reduction and safety regulations.

 This report summarizes activities of Japanese suppliers in the eastern, northern, and northeastern regions as the whole of China during about twelve months from February 2014 to early January 2015.

Eastern China
East China
Northern/Northeastern China
North/Northeast China
Boost production capacity
(* Also produce new product)
Add production line and equipment Jiangsu Province: NSK Needle Bearing, Kobe Steel, Seiren, Sekisui Chemical*,
     Nissin Seiko, Japan Aviation Electronics*, and Fine Sinter*
Shanghai City: Daito Press Mfg.
Anhui Province: TPR
Fujian Province: JTEKT*
Shandong Province: Toyo Tire & Rubber and Nissin Kogyo*
Tianjin City: Pacific Industrial*
Liaoning Province: Bridgestone and Mitsuba
Add plant Zhejiang Province: Kobe Steel and Fujikura Rubber
Shandong Province: GMB
Establish new subsidiary, construct new plant/begin production
(* Also produce new product)
Jiangsu Province: Kotani/Okaya*, GMB, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal,
     Tamagawa Seiki*, Pacific Industrial*, Primearth EV Energy*,
     and Musashi Seimitsu Industry
Zhejiang Province: Ogura Clutch, HI-LEX, and Minebea
Tianjin City: Sumitomo Riko and Tsubakimoto Chain
Liaoning Province: Kasai Kogyo, Kinugawa Rubber Industrial, Kobe Steel,
     and Bridgestone
Reinforce technology development function New establishment Tianjin City: Sanden
Guangdong Province: Hitachi Automotive Systems
Expansion Jiangsu Province: Aisin Seiki, JTEKT
Shanghai City: Denso and Toyoda Gosei
Restructure/reinforce management and production functions Nationwide: JTEKT
Shanghai City: Bridgestone
Guangdong Province: Musashi Seimitsu Industry
Liaoning Province: Tamadai
Region unknown: NSK and Mabuchi Motor
Reinforce sales and marketing functions Aisin Seiki, NOK, Kureha Battery Materials Japan, and Hitachi Automotive Systems
Withdrawal Anhui Province: Kasai Kogyo and Fujitsu Broad Solution & Consulting

Japanese suppliers related reports:
* Japanese suppliers in China (Part 1): Southern, Central and Southwestern regions (Jan. 2015)
* India (Nov. 2014)
* Mexico: New plants built to satisfy OEM demand (Oct. 2014),
  Mexico and Brazil: Expanding capacity for local demand (Oct. 2014)
* Thailand (Sep. 2014)
* Indonesia (Jun. 2014), Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, and Myanmar (Jun. 2014)
* Europe (Jul. 2014), the U.S. (Apr. 2014)
* China (Part 2): Northern, Northeastern & Southern regions (Mar. 2014),
  China (Part 1): Eastern and Central China (Mar. 2014)



Activities of Japanese suppliers in East China

 

Jiangsu Province

NSK Needle Bearing
To expand production and sales of bearings for ATs at its plant in Changshu City, Jiangsu Province
NSK Needle Bearing will increase its sales of bearings for automatic transmissions (ATs) at Changshu NSK Needle Bearing Co., Ltd. The company aims to raise the figure from JPY 2 billion in the fiscal year ended in March 2014 (FY 2013) to JPY 7 billion by FY 2016. It also plans to boost the ratio of this product in its total sales from 20% to 50%. For the plant as a whole, the company has set the FY 2016 sales target at JPY 14 billion, including bearings for engines and steering systems. Because the plant still has room to increase its production, NSK Needle Bearing intends to gradually transfer production of bearings for ATs that are currently exported from Japan to China. Local production will first start for four-speed ATs, and then for six-speed ATs.
Kobe Steel
To enhance production capacity at aluminum suspension plant in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Kobe Steel will enhance the capacity to manufacture forged parts for aluminum suspensions at Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products (China) Co., Ltd. The company plans to increase the plant's monthly capacity from 250,000 units in 2014 to 350,000 units in 2015. Amid growing needs for weight reduction of vehicles, demands for the parts from European and U.S. OEMs are increasing rapidly. By fall 2015, Kobe Steel will introduce an additional forging press machine, to have three in total. JPY 2 billion will be invested in this expansion.
Kotani, Okaya
Establishes new subsidiary for gears in Zhangjiagang City, Jiangsu Province
In January 2014, Kotani established Kotani (Zhangjiagang) Precision Forging Co., Ltd. jointly with Okaya & Co. Ltd. It was capitalized at JPY 1.5 billion. Kotani holds 86% of the shares, while the remaining 14% is held by Okaya and its subsidiaries in Shanghai and Guangzhou. The plant's main products will include final gears for front-wheel drive transmissions. The plant is expected to start production in March 2016. The production target in FY 2018 has been set at 300,000 units per month. As for sales, the plant has a target of JPY 300 million in FY 2016 and JPY 3 billion by FY 2018. Products will be supplied to Japanese and other suppliers operating in China.
GMB
Sets up plant in Nantong City, Jiangsu Province
In December 2013, GMB's Korean subsidiary, GMB Korea Corp., established Nantong GMB Automotive Co., Ltd. in Nantong City. It was capitalized at USD 5 million, which was fully invested by GMB Korea. In 2014, the plant started producing steering joints and ball bearings and supplies them to Korean OEMs operating in China.
JTEKT
Expands technical center in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province
In May 2014, JTEKT completed construction of a new expanded building of JTEKT Research & Development Center (Wuxi) Co., Ltd. With this expansion, the company intends to widen its fields of development to newly include steering and drivetrain systems, in addition to conventional bearing products. The new facility is also engaged in technical investigation, prototyping, experiment, and evaluation. JTEKT hopes to build up support for the local plants of Japanese OEMs and to improve its presence in the market.
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal
To expand cold heading wire production capacity in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal has newly established Nippon Steel & Sumikin Cold Heading Wire (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (NSCh [Suzhou]) to enhance production and processing capacities for cold heading wires. The establishment was determined because Nippon Steel Bar & CH Wire (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. (NBC China) had been operating at its full capacity of 7,000 tons per year. Cold heading wires are used for automotive bolts and bearings. The construction of a new plant started in June 2014. The plant is expected to go into production in June 2015. With an annual production capacity of 42,000 tons at this new plant, the total production volume will be increased by sixfold to meet growing orders from Japanese suppliers and other customers. JPY 3.2 billion will be invested in this project.
Seiren
To increase production of seat fabric at its plant in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Seiren will increase the monthly production of seat fabric at Seiren Suzhou Co., Ltd. from 850,000 meters in FY 2013 to 1.32 million meters by FY 2016. Out of the total, the ratio of synthetic leather will be increased to about 30%, or 400,000 meters per month. The production increase was decided to support expanding production at Japanese OEMs and growing orders for exports to the North American market.
Sekisui Chemical
Plant in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province to start producing sound-insulating interlayer films for laminated glass
In April 2015, Sekisui Chemical will start producing sound-insulating interlayer films for laminated glass at Sekisui S-LEC (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. The company decided to start local production because sound-insulating glass is being used in an increasing number of vehicles made in China. One of the two existing interlayer film production lines at the plant will be converted to a production line for sound-insulating films. This high-value product will account for a half of the total production, which is for 6 million vehicles per year.
Daido Metal
Studying feasibility of third plant in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province
Daido Metal is reportedly studying necessity of constructing a third plant of Daido Precision Metal (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. based on the future growth of the Chinese market. (Source: a press release in May 2014)
Pacific Industrial
Establishes TPMS plant in Changshu City, Jiangsu Province
In July 2014, Pacific Industrial established a subsidiary, Pacific Auto Parts Technology (Changshu) Co., Ltd., for producing tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMSs). The subsidiary was capitalized at CNY 100 million. The new plant is scheduled to start operations in April 2016. The subsidiary was established as a new law that requires installation of a TPMS in a car is expected to come into effect in China around 2016. Initially, the plant will have an annual production capacity of 3 million units. JPY 3 billion will be invested in this project. The plant will be the company's third TPMS production base following those in Japan and the U.S.
Tamagawa Seiki
Plant in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province preparing to start producing rotation angle sensors for Toyota's HVs
In 2014, Tamagawa Seiki began preparations to start producing rotation angle sensors for HVs in China. Based on Toyota Motor Corporation's final decision on local HV production, the supplier will finalize its plan to introduce new production lines at Tamagawa Seiki Precision Motor (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. This will be the supplier's first overseas production of this product.
Nissin Seiko
To introduce additional cylinder head cover production lines at Changshu plant in Jiangsu Province
Nissin Seiko received new orders from Geely Automobile for plastic cylinder head covers for turbo engines. The product helps reduce the weight of engines. To start supplying the product in 2015, the company will introduce two additional production lines at Chang Shu Entech Plastic Co., Ltd. Nissin Seiko will first develop a capacity to produce covers for 10,000 units of 1,300-cc engines per month, followed by a monthly capacity for 5,000 units of 1,800-cc engines. Currently, the plant supplies cylinder head covers and intake manifolds to First Automobile Works Group and Great Wall Motor.
Japan Aviation Electronics
Wuxi plant in Jiangsu Province to produce rotation angle sensors for Honda's HVs
Japan Aviation Electronics (JAE) plans to install a new production line at JAE Wuxi Co., Ltd. to start integrated production of rotation angle sensors for HVs. This move is meant to meet increased production of HVs by Honda in Japan. This will be the first time for the company to start local production of the products. JAE intends to stabilize its supply and increase its production with this plant and Akishima plant in Japan. The company will start the overseas production as soon as receiving approval from Honda. Initially, sensors produced in China will be exported to Japan, but JAE aims to supply them to plants within China in the long run.
Fine Sinter
Establishes new production line for CVT parts in Wuxi City, Jiangsu Province
In 2014, Fine Sinter established a new production line for planetary carriers for continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) at Precision Sintered Products (Wuxi) Co., Ltd. In summer 2014, the plant started producing the product, which is supplied to Toyota's new CVT plant in Jiangsu Province. Production will start with an annual volume of 240,000 units. In the future, the company plans to increase the volume to 360,000 units. The line installation was triggered by the first order from Toyota.
Primearth EV Energy
Establishes JV for nickel metal hydride battery modules for automotive use in Changshu City, Jiangsu Province
In August 2014, Primearth EV Energy (PEVE) established a joint venture (JV) for producing nickel metal hydride battery modules for automotive use. The new JV, Corun PEVE Automotive Battery Co., Ltd., was capitalized at JPY 5.44 billion. PEVE holds 41% of the shares, followed by 40% by Hunan Corun New Energy Co., Ltd., 10% by Changshu Sinogy Venture Capital Co., 5% by Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd., and 4% by Toyota Tsusho Corporation. JPY 16.32 billion will be invested to construct an assembly plant for the module. The plant will start production within 2016, with an annual production capacity of 110,000 units. This will be PEVE's first plant outside Japan.
Musashi Seimitsu Industry
Sets up its second Chinese plant in Nantong City, Jiangsu Province
In August 2014, Musashi Seimitsu established Musashi Auto Parts (Nantong) Co., Ltd. with a capital of CNY 60 million. The new plant is scheduled to start operations by the end of 2015. JPY 2 billion will be invested to start producing differentials and ball joint parts. In addition to Japanese OEMs, the company hopes to receive orders from European and U.S. automakers. At the same time, Musashi Seimitsu will increase exports to meet a sharp increase in orders from European and U.S. automakers operating in the North America. Sales of CNY 94 million are expected in the first year. The company's first Chinese plant is located in Guangdong Province. By establishing its second plant in China, Musashi Seimitsu intends not only to enhance its production capabilities but also to effectively decentralize its supply functions.

 

Shanghai City

Kureha Battery Materials Japan
Sets up sales subsidiary for lithium-ion battery materials
In April 2014, Kureha Battery Materials Japan established a sales subsidiary, Kureha Battery Materials (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. Since July 2014, the subsidiary has marketed binders and negative-electrode materials that are made of hard carbons for lithium-ion secondary batteries.
Daito Press Mfg.
Expands production capacity for rear view mirror lenses at Shanghai plant
In 2013, Daito Press expanded a lens plant for truck and bus rear-view mirrors owned by Xiangzhi Automobile Parts (Shanghai) Mfg. Co., Ltd. In addition to the existing production line, an additional line was introduced to enhance its monthly production capacity from between 40,000 and 50,000 units to 100,000 units. By 2015, the company intends to further increase the volume to 70,000 or 80,000 units.
Denso
Technical center in Shanghai to increase staff and production capacities as well as to accelerate local development
By FY 2015, Denso will increase the number of engineers at its technical centers in China, India, Thailand, and Brazil by 50% from the current level to 600. With this move, the company aims to strengthen its ability to gather technical information and perform application development locally in respective markets. In China, Shanghai Technical Center of Denso (China) Investment Co., Ltd. was relocated and expanded in 2014. Integral experiment and other buildings were newly constructed to introduce evaluation facilities, including environmental wind tunnel, environment experiment, emission experiment, and engine experiment laboratories. The company plans to have 500 employees at this center in FY 2015.
Toyoda Gosei
Enhancing technical development functions at its regional headquarters in Shanghai
In January 2015, Toyoda Gosei relocated and expanded its regional headquarters, Toyoda Gosei (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., to reinforce its technology development functions in China. Its space for experiments was quadrupled to introduce new test equipment. This has enabled the company to locally evaluate products such as interior/exterior parts and air bags as well as rubber and plastic materials. JPY 300 million was invested in this project. The company also plans to increase the number of technical staff by 50% from the current level to 50 in FY 2017.
Bridgestone
Consolidates units to manage tire operations in China and Asia Pacific
In July 2014, Bridgestone restructured its units to manage tire operations in China and Asia Pacific. The restructuring was conducted as a part of its plan to develop global management functions, which is one of the priority items in its mid-term management plan. Through this reorganization, Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd. in Shanghai was put under control of Bridgestone Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (Singapore). Previously, the former had overseen Bridgestone's tire operations in China while the latter had managed operations in Asia Pacific excluding China.

 

Anhui Province

Kasai Kogyo
To transfer all of its shares in JV in WuFu City
In December 2014, Kasai Kogyo announced that it will transfer all of its shares in Wuhu Kasai Automotive Interior Trim Parts Co,. Ltd. (40%) to its JV partner, Wuhu Chery Science and Technology Co., Ltd. The decision was made because of changes in the Chinese business environment. Kasai Kogyo concluded that it would be difficult for the company to achieve business expansion and sales target for Chery Automobile as initially planned.
TPR
Enhances cylinder liner production capacity at plant in Anqing City
TPR installed a fifth casting facility on the cylinder liner production line for aluminum alloy engines at Anqing TP Goetze Liner Co., Ltd. The facility started operations in April 2014 and has increased the monthly production capacity from 2 million units to 2.5 million units. Through sales cooperation with Federal Mogul Corporation of Germany, TPR intends to expand sales to leading European and U.S. automakers.
Fujitsu Broad Solution & Consulting
Dissolves JV in WuFu City
In January 2014, Fujitsu Broad Solution & Consulting (Fujitsu BSC) decided to dissolve its IT-related JV for the automotive industry with Chery Automobile Group, Intexact Technologies Limited. Fujitsu BSC judged that it would be difficult to expand businesses and achieve the sales target as previously planned. Major reasons include changes in the business environment and differences in management policies between the two JV partners. The company dissolved the JV after acquiring the partner's shares in the JV (89.9%) to convert it into its wholly owned subsidiary.

 

Zhejiang Province

Ogura Clutch
Third Chinese plant starts operations in Zhejiang Province
In May 2014, Ogura Clutch established its third plant in China, Ogura Clutch (Chang Xing) Co., Ltd. in Changxing County, Zhejiang Province. Initially, the plant produces brakes for elevators, servo motors, and other general industrial applications. Later, a production line for brakes for automotive air conditioning systems will be installed to start mass production in 2015. Products will mainly be supplied to Japanese automakers and North American compressor manufacturers operating in China. The company plans to sell 480,000 units in 2015. USD 60 million will be invested in this plant.
Kobe Steel
To increase capacity at wire rod processing plant in Pinghu City, Zhejiang Province
Kobe Steel will expand the plant of Kobe Special Steel Wire Products (Pinghu) Co., Ltd. to install new production equipment. The new facility will be used to produce special steel wire rods for use in making automotive bolts and nuts. It is scheduled to start operations in July 2015. The monthly production capacity will be increased from 2,500 tons in 2014 to 3,500 tons with an investment of JPY 1.8 billion. This decision was made to enhance its production capacity prior to an increase in demand.
HI-LEX
To construct new plant for automotive cables in Hangzhou
HI-LEX will increase its production capacities in China and Hungary to meet growing orders from European and U.S. automakers. In total, JPY 1.5 billion will be invested in this project. In China, the company plans to acquire a land use right of 40,000 square meters in Hangzhou City to construct a new plant. The plant will produce control cables and window opening/closing devices. The new plant is expected to start operations as early as in FY 2017 to supply products to a nearby plant of a Ford group automaker.
Fujikura Rubber
To add second plant at subsidiary in Zhejiang Province
Fujikura Rubber will additionally establish a second plant within the premises of Anji Fujikura Rubber Ltd. by May 2016. This expansion will increase the subsidiary's floor space by 2.4 times with an investment of CNY 94.7 million. The decision was made to increase production of automotive parts whose demand is expected to increase.
Minebea
Establishes production and sales JV for ball bearings in Cixi City, Zhejiang Province
In July 2014, Minebea Electronics & Hi-Tech Components (Shanghai) Ltd. established a JV with a precision bearing manufacturer, Ningbo WT Bearing Co., Ltd. (WT) in Cixi City, Zhejiang Province. The new JV, Cixi New WT Bearing Co., Ltd., was capitalized at CNY 183.6 million. Minebea holds 75% of the shares in the JV and WT owns the rest, 25%. The plant started operations in October 2014 by continuously utilizing WT's existing building and equipment. Minebea plans to increase sales to Chinese automakers with medium-quality bearings for steering wheels, seats, and radios consisting of made-in-China materials.

 

Shandong Province

GMB
Establishes additional plant near existing plant in Jimo City, Shandong Province
GMB established another plant at a site adjacent to a plant of Qingdao GMB Automotive Co., Ltd. The new plant started operations in September 2014 with an investment of JPY 1.3 billion. This plant is dedicated to producing valve spools to be mounted on automatic transmissions. The production has been increased by 10% from the conventional volume. Out of the increase, 80% is supplied to Hyundai Motor and 20% to Shanghai General Motors.
Toyo Tire & Rubber
To enhance production capacity for truck and bus tires; Plant for passenger cars also expected to be in full operation
Toyo Tire & Rubber plans to increase the production capacity at Toyo Tire (Zhucheng) Co., Ltd. in Shandong Province. The capacity to produce tires for trucks and buses will be enhanced by between 15% and 20% within 2015 from 400,000 units per year in 2014. The company hopes to increase exports to the U.S., as well as to meet increasing demand within China. Meanwhile, a subsidiary in Jiangsu Province that produces tires for passenger cars is expected to reach full capacity within 2015. The subsidiary, Toyo Tire (Zhangjiagang) Co. Ltd., has an annual production capacity of 2 million units.
Nissin Kogyo
Plant in Rushan City, Shandong Province starts producing automotive parts as well
Nissin Kogyo has been enhancing its capacity to produce automotive parts in China. As part of it, production of aluminum automotive parts was transferred from Xhongshan Nissin Industry Co., Ltd. in Guangdong Province to Shandong Nissin Industry Co., Ltd. in Rushan City in 2014. The plant in Rushan used to produce motorcycle parts only, but now also manufactures engine mount parts and knuckles for automobiles.

 

Fujian Province

JTEKT
Starts producing P-EPS systems at subsidiary in Fujian Province
In June 2014, JTEKT started producing pinion-assist type electric power steering (P-EPS) systems at JTEKT Steering System (Xiamen) Co., Ltd. The company established a new production line after receiving orders for parts for Chinese models from a European automaker. This is the first time for JTEKT to produce P-EPS systems in China. Conventionally, the plant has produced column-assist type EPS systems and hydraulic power steering systems. By expanding its product range, the company intends to receive more orders from European, Japanese, and U.S. automakers.

 

 



Activities of Japanese suppliers in North China

 

Tianjin City

Sanden
Planning to establish new development center for HVAC units at its subsidiary in Tianjin City
Sanden is considering establishing a new development center for automotive heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) units in China. Currently, HVAC units for the Chinese and Asian markets are developed by Tianjin Sanden Automotive Air-Conditioning Co., Ltd. The company intends to further enhance its development capacity under strong sales and increased operations. Details are expected to be determined as early as possible.
Sumitomo Riko
New plant for interior parts and sound-insulating materials starts operations in Tianjin City
In March 2014, Sumitomo Riko started operations at a plant of Tokai Chemical (Tianjin) Auto Parts Co., Ltd. with an investment of JPY 471 million. The plant manufactures interior parts such as headrests and armrests as well as engine covers and sound-insulating materials that utilize urethane foaming technologies. Products are supplied not only to Japanese but also to Chinese automakers. On a monetary basis, the production capacity is CNY 155 million in FY 2015.
Pacific Industrial
Introduces ultra-high-tensile processing equipment at plant in Tianjin City
Pacific Industrial introduced ultra-high-tensile processing equipment at Tianjin Pacific Auto Parts Co., Ltd. The newly installed 2,500-ton transfer press machine started operations in January 2014. The introduction was made to meet the needs for lightweight vehicles with high strength.
Tsubakimoto Chain
Newly constructed second Chinese plant in Tianjin City starting operations in early 2015
In early 2015, Tsubakimoto Chain is starting operations at Tsubakimoto Chain (Tianjin) Co., Ltd., its second plant in China that produces timing chain systems. Combined with its first plant in Shanghai, the company plans to double its production capacities in China to meet increasing orders from Japanese, European, and U.S. automakers. Tsubakimoto Chain also intends to receive orders from Chinese OEMs. While the Shanghai plant assembles components shipped from Japan, the Tianjin plant is provided with an integrated system to start from producing components, enabling high cost competitiveness.

 

 



Activities of Japanese suppliers in Northeast China

 

Liaoning Province

Kasai Kogyo
Sets up JV in Dalian City with Dongfeng Visteon
In September 2014, Kasai Kogyo established Dongfeng Kasai (Dalian) Automotive Trim Systems Co., Ltd. jointly with Dongfeng Visteon Automotive Trim Systems Co., Ltd. This 50-50 JV was capitalized at CNY 65 million. The new plant will start operations by the middle of 2015 and supply door trims and other interior parts to a new plant established by Dongfeng Nissan in Dalian City. The plant will produce parts for 100,000 to 150,000 vehicles per year. The company aims to achieve sales of JPY 2 billion in FY 2016.
Kinugawa Rubber Industrial
Constructing new body seal plant in Dalian City; Mold development center to design molds for its Chinese plants
Kinugawa Rubber Industrial will establish a satellite plant to form and finish auto body seals. The company plans to start operations at the new plant within 2015 and supply products to Dongfeng Nissan's and Chery Automobile's plants in Dalian. Currently, finished products for Chery Automobile are supplied from its WuFu plant in Anhui Province. The company intends to reduce costs by transferring the final process to a site near the customer. Meanwhile, Kinugawa (Dalian) Mould Development Co., Ltd. is starting to design and produce molds to be used at its plants in China. By the end of FY 2014, the company plans to increase design staff at this center.
Kobe Steel
Sets up JV for high-strength steel sheets in Anshan City, Liaoning Province
In August 2014, Kobe Steel established a JV with Angang Steel Company Limited for producing and selling cold-rolled high-strength steel sheets for automobiles. The new JV, Kobelco Angang Auto Steel Co., Ltd., was capitalized at CNY 700 million, with 49% held by Kobe Steel and 51% by Angang Steel. A total of CNY 1.75 billion will be invested to mass-produce high-strength steel sheets with a tensile strength of 590 MPa or higher. The plant is scheduled to start operations in early 2016.
Tamadai
Starts producing aluminum die-casting parts at Chinese parent company in Dalian City
At the end of 2013, Tamadai was sold by its parent company, Mitsubishi Materials, to Dalian Jinwen Metal Products Co., Ltd. and converted to the Chinese company's wholly owned subsidiary. In the second half of 2014, Tamadai started mass production of aluminum die-casting parts at this Chinese parent company. With this entry to the Chinese auto parts market, the company intends to find new customers, mainly among Japanese automakers. As for its existing plant in Japan, production of some products has been transferred to the Dalian plant since September 2014 for cost reduction. In June 2014, the company started prototyping in Dalian using molds shipped from Japan after approval from customers.
Bridgestone
Relocates truck and bus tire plant in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province
Bridgestone relocated a plant of Bridgestone (Shenyang) Tire Co., Ltd. to Shenyang Economic & Technological Development Zone and held the opening ceremony in September 2014. At this new plant, the company aims to enhance its functions to improve quality of tires. In the first half of 2016, the plant is expected to produce 5,000 units per day.
Mitsuba
To enhance sunroof motor production capacity at Dalian plant
Mitsuba plans to invest a total of JPY 54 billion in plants and equipment between FY 2014 and FY 2016. This investment is meant to meet growing demands for small automotive motors in China, India, and other Asian countries. In China, Mitsuba Electric (Dalian) Co., Ltd. is expected to produce sunroof motors 1.5 times more in 2016 compared to the 2013 level.

 

 



Activities of Japanese suppliers throughout China

 

Aisin Seiki
Aiming to triple FY 2020 sales from FY 2011
Aisin Seiki plans to triple the sales of the entire group in China to JPY 300 billion in FY 2020 compared to the figure in FY 2011. To achieve this goal, the company aims to increase sales of sunroofs, door locks, and engine oil pumps to European, U.S., and Chinese automakers outside the Toyota Group. In 2015, Aisin (Nantong) Technical Center of China Co., Ltd. in Jiangsu Province will be provided with component evaluation equipment to accelerate development. The equipment will have the same level of capacity as those used in Japan.
NOK
Planning to increase sales of sealing products by reinforcing sales activities in China
NOK plans to increase its sales of automotive sealing products in China by 40% in FY 2016 from the FY 2013 level. In addition to increasing supplies to its major customers (Japanese/U.S./European automakers and suppliers), NOK aims to win more orders from Chinese automakers. The company intends to reinforce its sales activities by gradually increasing branches of its two JVs, Wuxi NOK-Freudenberg Oilseal Co., Ltd. and Changchun NOK-Freudenberg Oilseal Co., Ltd.
F-Tech
Receives new orders from GM for suspension parts for global models
Following new orders from General Motors in China, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada for suspension parts, F-Tech will start producing them in each country by 2017. In China, production will be conducted by Austem Co., Ltd. of Korea under contract.
JTEKT
To restructure bearing operations in China
By FY 2018, JTEKT plans to streamline its ball bearing production among its three plants in China to improve production efficiency and reduce costs. Under the plan, Wuxi Koyo Bearing Co., Ltd. (WKB) will be dedicated to small-sized products while production of miniature and small-diameter ball bearings is transferred to Koyo Bearing Dalian Co., Ltd. (KDC). KDC will strengthen its expertise in producing miniature and small-diameter products to become more competitive. At the same time, Koyo Needle Bearings (Wuxi) Co., Ltd. will be dedicated to producing medium-sized products and transfer production of small-sized products to WKB.
NHK Spring
Considering constructing new plant near Beijing
NHK Spring is assessing the feasibility of new investment in China as its production capacities are expected to run short. Currently, the company has nine subsidiaries in China. NHK Spring is considering constructing a new plant near Beijing, which has attracted many European and U.S. automakers. An alternative is to export products to China from a new subsidiary in Kyushu, Japan, which will start operations in 2016.
NSK
To increase production of EPS systems in China
In FY 2015, NSK plans to increase its global production volume of EPS systems by 7% y/y to 9.1 million units. At a plant in China (plant name yet to be released), the company will establish an additional production line to satisfy a growing demand for column type EPS systems. In addition, NSK will promote local production of screw gears, electronic control units, and other components to reduce imports from Japan.
Hitachi Automotive Systems
Enhancing sales, procurement, and development functions in China
Hitachi Automotive Systems will increase the number of local sales offices in China from four in FY 2013 to six in FY 2015. At the same time, the number of sales staff will be increased from 50 to 75. With respect to enhancement of its procurement functions, the company established a joint laboratory with Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The laboratory has been engaged in evaluation of quality and properties of local materials as well as in research of manufacturing process technologies. Through these activities, the company aims to find new suppliers and raise the local procurement ratio from 35% in FY 2013 to 50% in FY 2015. In the field of development, a new technical center was established at the Guangzhou branch of Hitachi Automotive Systems (China) Ltd. The company will increase the number of design staff from 90 in FY 2013 to 210 in FY 2015 to establish an integrated system from development to design and manufacturing. JPY 30 billion will be invested in this project.
Mabuchi Motor
To invest in labor-saving equipment and enhance capacity to produce motors for electric equipment
Mabuchi Motor will accelerate introduction of labor-saving equipment to counter rising labor cost in China and Southeast Asian countries. By 2016, the company aims to save human labor by 30% from the 2013 level. Meanwhile, Mabuchi Motor will enhance its capacity to produce motors for electric equipment to meet expected demand increase. In China, the company plans to keep its top-level market share by developing and releasing new high-torque products, in addition to medium-torque motors for power window systems.
Musashi Seimitsu Industry
To increase exports of cast components from China to North America
Toward FY 2016, Musashi Seimitsu intends to expand its product range and production capacity to support growth of production at Honda group manufacturers in China. In terms of sales, the company aims to double the figure from JPY 10 billion in FY 2013 to JPY 20 billion in FY 2016. Regarding exports from China, Musashi Seimitsu plans to increase exports of cast components to be used for differentials to the North American market. In 2014, production of exports started at Musashi Auto Parts (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd. in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province. In 2015, Musashi Auto Parts (Nantong) Co., Ltd., which was established in Jiangsu Province in June 2014, is also starting exports to North America. In August 2014, Musashi Auto Parts (Zhongshan) Co., Ltd. was established in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province as its local headquarters in China. It was capitalized at CNY 60 million.

<Automotive Industry Portal MarkLines>