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.
U.S. Market Analysis: Market share for SUVs hits 40% (Apr. 2017)
LMCA Client Alert: Trump Trade Policy (Jan. 2017)
U.S. Strengthening of production facilities, new facilities: NTN, TACHI-S, Tsubakimoto Chain, Topre, Nippon Sheet Glass, Nippon Piston Ring, Bridgestone, etc.
|Advics||Production of electric parking brakes at U.S. plants begins in 2017
ADVICS constructed a new plant building on the grounds of its subsidiary ADVICS Manufacturing Ohio, Inc. (Ohio) in September 2016. It will begin production of a new type of electric parking brake (EPB) in 2017. The company previously only manufactured EPBs in Japan, but due to an increase in their use in global models from Japanese OEMs, ADVICS is preparing its supply structure for overseas (U.S. and China) plants. (Reported July 2017)
|NTN||Construction of a second plant for shaft machining and heat treatment processing, scheduled to come on stream in 2018
NTK Precision Axle Corporation (Indiana) was established by NTN, Takao Kogyo, and Neturen and built its second plant on land adjacent to the driveshaft finishing plant operated by Driveshaft Anderson, Inc. (Indiana), which came on stream in April 2017. The second plant is scheduled to begin production in April 2018, and will be used for shaft machining and heat treatment processing. Roughly USD 100 million was invested in the project. The company plans to double the production of drive shafts in the U.S. by FY 2021.
MITSUI & CO.,
|Increased production capacity for forged aluminum suspension parts
KOBELCO, Mitsui, and Toyota Tsusho's subsidiary Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products, LLC (Kentucky) is adding manufacturing equipment at its aluminum forging plant including smelters and forging presses, and will be bringing it on stream sequentially from Summer 2017. The plant's monthly production capacity increased from 540 thousand units in 2015 to 750 thousand units. In addition, roughly USD 53 million is being invested to expand plant facilities by adding a smelting line and two additional forging presses. These facilities will come on stream sequentially starting around autumn 2018 and will all be in operation at the beginning of 2019. The plant's monthly production capacity is estimated to increase to 970,000 units in order to meet the demand of Japanese and American automakers seeking to reduce vehicle weight.
|JTEKT||Production lines increased for new type of EPS at Tennessee plant in FY 2017
JTEKT's subsidiary JTEKT Automotive Tennessee-Vonore LLC (Tennessee) began production of a newly developed rack parallel-type electric power steering (RP-EPS) unit for high-powered vehicles in the summer of 2017, and has been supplying them to Toyota for its new Camry. The company also began production on a dual pinion EPS that will be supplied to the U.S. plants of European automakers. The monthly production capacity in FY 2017 is 30,000 units. JTEKT aims to incorporate demand for mid- and large-size, as well as luxury vehicles.
|Sharp||Plans for large panel plant to manufacture displays for vehicles and other purposes
Sharp is planning to invest over JPY 1 trillion in a large panel-manufacturing plant with the intent of creating "the most advanced 8K ecosystem ever in the U.S." It plans on manufacturing mid and large-size LCD display panels for industrial and medical use, vehicles, and televisions. The company plans on finalizing its investment plans by September 2017.
|Sumitomo Rubber||Plans to increase local tire production ratios in the U.S. by 20% by 2019
Sumitomo Rubber USA, LLC (New York) aims to increase its daily production capacity of tires for passenger vehicles and light trucks from 5,000 at the end of 2016 to 10,000 by the end of 2019. The company will increase its ratio of local tire production in the U.S. 20% by 2019. Specifically, the company will improve its ability to supply tires for high-performance SUV, fuel-efficient vehicles, and other value-added purposes.
|Daido Kogyo||Establishment of an integrated production system that ranges from parts procurement to assembly at its chain plant in 2017
Daido invested USD 7 million in its subsidiary Daido Corporation of America (Tennessee), which produces four-wheel vehicle chains, to establish an integrated chain production system that ranges from parts procurement to heat treatment and assembly. It will come on stream in April 2017 and begin supplying products in September of the same year. The local procurement ratios of raw materials and parts will be improved sequentially in order to mitigate the risk of foreign exchange rate fluctuations and reduce shipping costs, as well as to respond to increases in demand resulting from a potential rejuvenation of the auto industry in the U.S. under the Trump administration. The company expects sales of USD 40 million in FY 2017 and aims to earn USD 43 million by FY 2019.
|Taiho Kogyo||Strengthening of production structure for engine parts in the U.S.
Starting in March 2017, Taiho Corporation of America (Ohio), the U.S. subsidiary of Taiho Kogyo, began manufacturing vacuum pumps for use in high-efficiency engines as part of its plans to increase global production. This is the company's second overseas facility after its Thailand plant. Additionally, Taiho is expanding its client base for its resin coating used in fuel-efficient sliding bearings that it began producing for Toyota vehicles in 2016, and will augment production lines in 2018-2019.
|TACHI-S||Supplying seat frames for the Tesla Model X
Tachi-S began manufacturing rear seat frames for the current model of the Tesla Model-X EV at its U.S. factory in FY 2016. This is the first time the company has received orders from Tesla, and it applied weight reduction technology to develop a design exclusively for the Model-X. In the future, the company will aim to offer driver and passenger seats for other Tesla models to increase its business with the OEM. TACHI-S is also trying to attract interest from other start-up companies. (Reported February 2017)
|Tsubakimoto Chain||Increased production capacity of engine timing chain parts at two plants
Tsubakimoto Chain's subsidiary U.S. Tsubaki Automotive LLC (Massachusetts) is expanding its plant, and will increase production of engine timing chain drive systems by approximately 25% by the end of FY 2017. Around JPY 3 billion was invested in the project. Additionally, by mid-2019, the company will triple its production capacity at U.S. Tsubaki Inc.'s Portland plant (Tennessee) over the 2017 amount. The company's new plant, which is being constructed on adjacent land, has roughly twice the floor space of the current facility. Roughly JPY 3.5 billion was invested in the project. The company judged the move essential to meet increased orders resulting from an expected resurgence in automotive manufacturing in the U.S., among other factors.
|TS TECH||Increase seat plants, raise production efficiency by 20%
TS Tech's automobile seat production facility TS Tech Alabama, LLC (Alabama) constructed a new plant building, which went on stream in December 2016. The TS Tech changed the layout of its plant to increase production efficiency by 20%. More than JPY 1 billion was invested in the project. The expansion is intended to handle an increased number of products and parts for Honda and VW. For VW, the company also began production on third-row seat frames for a new model SUV.
|Topre||Increasing production capacity of pressed parts 50% by 2020
By 2020, Topre plans to increase production capacity for pressed parts at its subsidiary Topre America Corporation by 50% in comparison to 2016. The company constructed a new press plant in Ohio and plans to bring it on stream by October 2018. Around JPY 6 billion has been invested in the project. Additionally, the company is expanding its existing Tennessee plant, adding large presses and other related equipment. It is scheduled to come on stream in September 2019. Approximately JPY 4 billion has been invested in the project.
|Toyo Tire & Rubber||Increasing tire plant production capacity by 30% in 2017
Toyo Tire & Rubber invested over JPY 10 billion in its subsidiary Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc. (Georgia) to increase production capacity from 9 million units in 2015 to 11.5 million in 2017. The company aims to increase its FY 2016 North American sales of pickup truck, SUV, and CUV tires 30% by FY 2020. Toyo Tires' FY 2020 tire business sales target is JPY 40 billion, a 30% increase from FY 2016.
|Toray Industries||Plans to bring carbon fiber plant on stream delayed a year
To meet increased orders from The Boeing Company, Toray's subsidiary Toray Composites (America), Inc. began construction of a second carbon fiber plant in South Carolina in 2016. However, a significant drop in demand resulting from Boeing delaying additional production of passenger planes has resulted in Toray changing its plan to bring the plant on stream from May 2017 to roughly one year later. The company planned to increase supply to other industries such as automobiles to ensure stable operation when the plant comes on stream. (Reported May 2017)
|Toyoda Gosei||Increased production capacity at plastic fuel filler pipe plant by 2020
Toyoda Gosei has invested roughly JPY 2 billion to increase production at its plants in Japan and at its U.S. subsidiary TG Kentucky, LLC (Kentucky). The company plans to increase the total annual production capacity for plastic fuel filler pipes at plants in both countries to 2 million units by FY 2020, roughly four times more than the annual production capacity in 2017. Because plastic pipes weigh half as much as metal pipes, Japanese and U.S. automakers are adopting the components for a growing number of vehicles, and the company intends to meet this increased demand.
|Toyoda Iron Works||Increasing production capacity for pressed parts at four plants in North America
Toyoda Iron Works is concentrating investment to add equipment at plants in North America and China between FY 2017 and FY 2018. The company plans to install four new lines at four of its North American facilities. It also plans to implement a 3,000 ton-press for processing high-tensile steel. Toyoda Iron Works and its 18 subsidiaries plan to make capital investments of JPY 46.5 billion in FY 2017. Roughly 40% will be dedicated to adding equipment at production facilities in North America and China. (Reported May 2017)
Toyoda Iron Works has four facilities in North America: Toyotetsu America, Inc. (Kentucky), Toyotetsu Mid America, LLC (Kentucky), Toyotetsu Texas, Inc. (Texas), and Toyotetsu Canada, Inc. (Ontario, Canada).
|Nisshinbo Brake||Increasing production capacity of brake materials in response to copper restrictions
Between FY 2017 and FY 2019, Nisshinbo subsidiary Nisshinbo Automotive Manufacturing Inc. (Georgia) will work to replace hardware in order to mass-produce copper-free composite materials and increase production capacity for copper restriction-compliant components to 20-30% more than FY 2016. Additionally, the company also plans to improve production capacity for low vibration, abrasion-resistant brake materials. Roughly JPY 1 billion will be invested over the three years until FY 2019.
|Nippon Sheet Glass||Implementing state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment for heads-up display windshields
Pilkington North America, Inc. (Kentucky), a subsidiary of NSG Group announced it will update the manufacturing process at its automotive glass plants. The plan call for the introduction of lines with new, high-precision presses (APBL) capable of mass-producing high-precision windshields for use in heads-up displays. The new equipment is expected to come online in July 2017. The company also plans to update its existing equipment. USD 7.5 million has been invested in the project.
|Japan Vilene||Increased production capacity for plastic floor mats
Japan Vilene's subsidiary VIAM Manufacturing, Inc. (Tennessee) is increasing production capacity of plastic floor mats by 50% by 2018. The company plans to add two large injection-molding machines during 2017, one machine during 2018, and eventually have nine machines total. Production volume was not made public. Investment in the project is believed to be JPY 1 billion or less. The company expects to increase market share by incorporating increased demand focused in the northern U.S., which receives relatively higher snowfall.
|Nippon Piston Ring||Increasing production capacity at Michigan plant, introducing labor-saving lines at Kentucky plant
Nippon Piston Ring aims to meet increased orders from VW by increasing valve seat production capacity in the U.S. and China. The majority of the company's JPY 6 billion investment in FY 2017 has been spent in these two countries. Its U.S. subsidiary NPR of America, Inc. will increase production capacity at its Michigan facility by 20% of its FY 2015 production capacity by the end of FY 2017.
Additionally, NPR of America, Inc. Kentucky plans to introduce labor-saving lines by FY 2018. These new lines have just recently been introduced at plants in Japan, and for the supplier is urgently investigating implementation in U.S. plants in order to help with a strained labor supply and increasing labor costs in the U.S. (reported March 2017)
|Piolax||New heat treatment furnace added to Georgia plant, processing capacity increased by 70%
Hose clamp and metal fastener manufacturer Piolax Corporation (Georgia), a subsidiary of PIOLAX, constructed a new building at its plant and installed a heat treatment furnace. It will come on stream in 2018 and increase processing capacity by 70%. The company is improving its supply structure due to expected increases in demand going forward after acquiring new orders. It has invested roughly JPY 300 million on the project. (Reported June 2017)
|HI-LEX||Expansion of door module production structure at two Michigan plants
Hi-Lex Controls, a subsidiary of HI-LEX, is expanding door module production structure at its two plants in Michigan. The company is expanding in 2017 with new production lines at each of its plants in response to new orders from Ford and FCA for its new model pickup trucks/SUVs. Roughly JPY 3.2 billion has been invested in the project. The company has invested roughly JPY 1 billion on their Litchfield plant, and roughly JPY 2.2 billion on their Hudson plant. (Reported February 2017)
|Panasonic||Mass production of lithium-ion battery cells for Tesla begins in January 2017
Panasonic's Automotive & Industrial Systems (AIS) began mass-producing lithium-ion battery cells and power storage systems for Tesla's Model 3 in January 2017, and shipments started in June of the same year. Because production will increase in the latter half of FY 2017, this is expected to contribute to Panasonic's profits. Tesla is manufacturing battery modules using these same battery cells.
|Hitachi Automotive Systems||Plans to produce electric vehicle motors, supply to Honda and other OEMs
Hitachi Automotive Systems and Honda Motor Company established the joint venture Hitachi Automotive Electric Motor Systems, Ltd. (Headquarters: Hitachinaka, Ibaraki prefecture) in July 2017, and will begin manufacturing electric vehicle motors in FY 2019. The company has also established subsidiaries in the U.S. and China, which are scheduled to come on stream in FY 2020. The company plans to use the motor manufacturing plant of subsidiary Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc. (Berea, Kentucky) to supply parts to Honda for use in their EVs and PHVs. The company also plans to supply other OEMs besides Honda.
|Fine Sinter||Second plant to fully come on stream in June 2017, new line for shock absorber parts installed
The second plant of Fine Sinter subsidiary American Fine Sinter Co., Ltd. (Ohio) came on stream in June 2017. The plant manufactures automatic transmission and engine parts used in Toyota's TNGA vehicles. A new powder metallurgy production line also came on stream that reduces combustion time to 45 minutes, a third of the time previously required. The length of the line was also reduced from 35 meters to 10. While this reduced production capacity, it also cut investments by 40%. The company plans to handle smaller production runs while gradually expanding the size of its operations.
|FALTEC||Production of millimeter wave radars set to begin in 2018
Faltec's subsidiary Faltec America, Inc. (Georgia) is implementing new lines for manufacturing millimeter wave radar covers that are scheduled to come on stream in 2018 at its floor carpeting plant. Automatic emergency brakes will be mandatory in cars in the U.S. starting in 2022, which is expected to result in an increase in millimeter wave radar demand. Initial plans call for an annual production capacity of 500,000 units, and a total of roughly JPY 1 billion has been invested in the project. The company is looking to expand beyond existing clients like Nissan and Honda. If orders necessitate it, the company plans to use a two-line system to achieve an annual production capacity of 1 million units.
Toyoda Iron Works
|Plans to double size of pressed car body parts plant by 2019
Fukai Toyotetsu Indiana Corp. (Indiana), a 50:50 joint venture between Fukai and Toyotetsu supplying pressed car body parts to Subaru, plans to double the floor space at its plant and add three press machines for a total of 5 by 2019. As a result, the joint venture's roughly JPY 3 billion in capital has doubled. The company intends to meet demand from Subaru, which is planning to increase its annual U.S. production at the end of FY 2018 to 430,600 vehicles, and is also planning to manufacture new models. If the increase in production proceeds smoothly, FY 2020 sales will increase from the originally projected amount of JPY 9.1 billion to JPY 14 billion.
|Bridgestone||Plans to make additional investment for value-added and large diameter tire production at radial tire plants
In January 2017 Bridgestone made plans to spend an additional USD 180 million on its subsidiary Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC's plant in Wilson, North Carolina. The company will be making staged improvements to plant processes such as rubber mixing over the next 10 years. To meet increased demand for large diameter and run flat tires, the company is constructing a new building and installing state-of-the-art Banbury mixers for mixing rubber materials. Plans call for it to come on stream in autumn 2018. In keeping with the company's aims to improve production capacity for passenger vehicle radial tires that were previously announced in January 2016 (improving daily production capacity from 32,000 in 2015 to 35,000 in 2018), the total investment in the project will be USD 344 million.
|Increasing production capacity at PP compound plant, establishment of a development facility
Advanced Composites, Inc. (Ohio), a joint venture of Mitsui Chemicals and Prime Polymer, replaced a portion of its aging equipment at its plant, which manufactures polypropylene (PP) compounds used in bumpers and instrument panels, to increase yearly production capacity from 410 thousand tons to 440 thousand tons in June 2017. Several hundred million yen has been invested into the project. The company aims to improve supply to Japanese manufacturers, in addition to GM, Ford, VW and others, which all have growing needs for weight reduction. Plans also call for expanding production capacity to 480 thousand tons by 2020 to meet expected increases in demand.
Additionally, the company plans to bring a development facility online near Detroit in 2017, centered on Advanced Composites, Inc. The facility will aim to increase sales of PP compounds, and it will make proposals from the design stage to U.S. OEMs.
Additionally, it has also been reported that Mitsui Chemicals' plans for establishing a new U.S.-based automobile synthetic oil and plastics modifier plant have been put off due to rising construction costs. (Reported June 2016)
|Yamamoto Seisakusho||Increased production capacity for clutch plates
Yamamoto Seisakusho completed the installation of a new thick clutch plate press line in March 2017 at the plant operated by its subsidiary Yamamoto FB Engineering, Inc. (Kentucky), resulting in a two-line system that raises the plant's monthly production capacity from roughly 150 thousand to 300 thousand units. Roughly JPY 100 million has been invested in the project. If demand continues to increase, plans call for an additional line to be installed by the beginning of 2019. (Reported November 2016)
|Yorozu||Second production facility opened a year ahead of schedule in January 2017
The new suspension plant at Yorozu's second U.S. production facility Yorozu Automotive Alabama, Inc. (Alabama) came on stream over a year earlier than initially planned, and began manufacturing pressed parts in January 2017. The company is controlling costs for outsourced pressed parts to keep employees from leaving due to increased workload and prevent further losses in profits at the first production facility in Tennessee. The facility will have lines for assembly and coating, and an integrated production system for suspension components online by Q3 of 2017. Including land acquisition expenses, the total investment in the project will be roughly JPY 14 billion by FY 2018. The company is aiming for sales of roughly JPY 13.5 billion in FY 2020.
U.S. Strengthening of business structures, acquisitions: Koito Manufacturing, Teijin, TDK, Nippon Electric Glass, Mitsubishi Rayon, etc.
|Increment P||Establishment of a strategic center for supplying map data of Japan and the ASEAN region in 2016
Increment P established its subsidiary Increment P North America, Inc. (San Jose, California) in October 2016 to serve as a strategic base of operations. The company has roughly USD 600,000 in capital. As North American IT companies plan to expand sharing services and autonomous driving globally, demand for map data of Japan and the ASEAN region is expected to increase. The company will use its new U.S. facility to strengthen its consulting and map-sharing activities.
|Okaya & Co.||Investments in U.S.-based companies with truck platooning autonomous driving technology, efforts being made to implement the technology in Japan
Okaya invested USD 300,000 in U.S.-based Peloton Technology (Mountain View, California), which supplies autonomous truck platooning solutions. The Silicon Valley offices of Okaya (U.S.A.), Inc., which was established in April 2017, will be working closely with Peloton Technology to advance the implementation of autonomous truck platooning in Japan and Southeast Asia.
|Koito Manufacturing||Collaborating with U.S. companies for sensor technology on headlight conceptual designs
In January 2017, Koito Manufacturing and U.S.-based Quanergy Systems (Sunnyvale, California) announced plans to collaborate for headlight design concepts with a built-in compact Quanergy S3 solid state LiDAR sensor. The jointly developed headlight will be on display at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January. LiDAR acts as the main sensor for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicle (AV) systems. It provides real-time 3D views of the vehicle's surroundings that allow it to recognize and track nearby objects.
|Chuo Spring||Merger of two subsidiaries responsible for manufacturing precision springs and control cables
Chuo Spring merged precision spring manufacturer Chuo Precision Spring Glasgow, Inc. and control cable manufacturer ACK Controls Inc. in February 2017. The two companies are wholly owned subsidiaries that are located on the same premises. Chuo Precision Spring Glasgow absorbed ACK Controls. The company's name post merger is CHUH ATSU North America, Inc. (Kentucky). The two companies share suppliers. Chuo Spring expects to increase efficiency by consolidating management.
|Tsubaki Nakashima||Acquisition of U.S.-based NN's precision bearing components business in 2017, aiming to strengthen business in Europe and the U.S.
In July 2017, Tsubaki Nakashima announced its plans to acquire NN, Inc.'s precision bearing components business for USD 375 million. This includes all of the company's precision ball and precision roller manufacturing and sales facilities in the U.S., four European countries, and China. The acquired business's sales in 2016 were roughly USD 250 million, and profits were roughly USD 23 million. The increasing move towards electrification and autonomous driving technologies is resulting in an increased demand for balls and rollers used in motor bearings. This acquisition will strengthen operations in Europe and the U.S.
|Teijin||Acquisition of U.S.-based composite material molding manufacturer in January 2017
Teijin acquired all shares of Continental Structural Plastics Holdings Corporation (hereafter referred to as CSP, Michigan), an automotive composite molding compound manufacturer, in January 2017 for roughly JPY 84 billion. CSP is a specialized manufacturer of carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP), and has strong ties to U.S. manufacturers and the U.S. branch of Toyota. Teijin is aiming to use CSP's CFRP manufacturing capabilities to expand its automotive composite materials business, and plans to triple its 2015 sales to USD 2 billion by 2030.
|TDK||Acquisition of U.S.-based sensor company in May 2017, plans to manufacture value-added products
TDK acquired inertial sensor developer InvenSense (San Jose, California) in May 2017 for over JPY 150 billion. TDK plans to utilize its sensor actuators, a strategic growth product, to strengthen IoT and automotive products, and to manufacture value-added products that use sensor fusions such as advanced driver-assistance systems. By expanding automotive sensor production, TDK expects overall sensor related product sales by March 2018 (JPY 4.29 billion) to increase y/y by roughly 30%.
|Nichicon||License agreement with U.S.-based Qualcomm for EV/PHV wireless charging systems
In July 2017, Nichicon announced it signed a license agreement with U.S.-based Qualcomm Incorporated (San Diego, California) to use its EV/PHV wireless charging systems. Nichcon already sells and manufactures rapid chargers for EVs/PHVs, but plans to utilize Qualcomm's wireless technology to commercialize personal and public wireless charging systems in FY 2019.
|Nippon Electric Glass||Acquisition of PPG Industries' glass fiber business
Nippon Electric Glass signed a contract to acquire the glass fiber arm of PPG Industries (Pennsylvania) in May 2017 for USD 545 million, with procedures expected to be completed by the end of 2017. The company purchased all shares, intellectual properties related to the glass fiber business, and IT/sales-related human resources for PPG Industries Fiber Glass Products, Inc. (HQ located in Delaware, with business facilities in three other states) which is in charge of manufacturing and R&D for reinforced resin glass fibers. This will greatly improve the company's global production system for reinforced resin glass fibers, which are used in automobiles and a wide variety of other industries. The company also acquired the European glass fiber business of PPG Industries in 2016.
|Mitsubishi Rayon||Acquisition of two U.S. carbon fiber-related manufacturers
Mitsubishi Rayon Carbon Fiber and Composites (California), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Rayon, announced it acquired two U.S. carbon fiber related companies in 2017. The first company is SGL Carbon Fibers LLC (hereafter SCF, Wyoming), a U.S. carbon fiber manufacturing facility owned by SGL Group with an annual production capacity of 1,000 tons or more. The company plans to use SCF's facilities to meet increased demand for Mitsubishi Rayon's high-performance large tow carbon fiber and improve supply. The company is also considering installing production equipment within SCF's plant grounds to produce carbon fiber and intermediate materials. The second company is Gemini Composites LLC (Washington), which exclusively designs and develops sheet-molding compounds (SMC) used during carbon fiber processing for automobiles. Through its acquisitions, Mitsubishi Rayon aims to improve its ability to develop high-performance parts that use SMC.
|Riken||U.S. joint venture for manufacturing steel piston rings to be dissolved at the end of 2018
Riken announced in March 2017 that Allied Ring Corporation (Michigan), a joint venture between Riken Corporation of America and German MAHLE GmbH subsidiary MAHLE Engine Components USA, Inc., would be dissolved at the end of 2018. The joint venture produces and manufactures steel piston rings, but it was judged necessary to dissolve it to flexibly meet product quality needs. Both companies will pursue their own strategies for achieving and maintaining growth.
U.S. Strengthening and construction of new research and development facilities: H-ONE, Sumitomo Rubber
|H-ONE||Development of foundational technologies for vehicle frame components begins at U.S. R&D center
H-ONE has been designing car frame parts and testing for collision safety performance at its KTH R&D Center (Ohio), established in November 2015 and will begin development of basic technologies to help with weight reduction and safety within the next few years. While the company is currently only conducting this research in Japan, it plans to speed up development by conducting research in the U.S. as well. Most of all, the company will be doing basic research on new materials for large-size and luxury vehicles and researching production technologies.
|Sumitomo Rubber||U.S. Technical Center comes on stream in January 2017, tire test course also being renovated for four-wheeled vehicles
Sumitomo Rubber USA, LLC (New York), a subsidiary of Sumitomo Rubber, opened its U.S. Technical Center, a new research and development facility, on its plant grounds in January 2017. It will be used primarily to develop tires for the North and South American markets. In March 2017, the company will also be renovating its U.S. Tire Test Course (Alabama), which until now has been used exclusively for motorcycle testing, to test automobiles as well. In the future, the company aims to implement a process in which it can swiftly design, test, and receive feedback in order to quickly develop products that meet the needs of its customers in the Americas.
Canada Investment in local companies: Hanwa
|Hanwa||Investments in a lithium carbonate manufacturing company with aims to expand sales worldwide
In April 2017, Hanwa signed a contract to invest in Canadian lithium carbonate manufacturer Bacanora Minerals Ltd. (hereafter referred to as BCNR), which is located in Alberta. BCNR plans to take the high-purity lithium carbonate scheduled for manufacture at the currently in-development Mexico-based Sonora Lithium Project and sell it in Japan, Asia, Europe, and the U.S. for use in lithium-ion batteries. This will meet demand for lithium carbonate, which is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire. Mexican production is expected to come on stream between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019.
North America, USA, Canada, Japanese suppliers, parts makers, suppliers
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