Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Business Report FY ended Mar. 2020

Financial Overview

(in million JPY)
  FY ended Mar. 31, 2020 FY ended Mar. 31, 2019 Rate of
Change (%)
Sales 800,928 826,257 (3.1) -Sales decreased as a result of lower revenue because of lower unit-production volumes of new vehicles worldwide, even though the Company received more new orders for automotive-lighting products and responded to the increase in advances being made to automotive LED lamp systems.
Operating income 82,411 101,534 (18.8) -In spite of the Company’s streamlining operations, income fell due to lower revenue that stemmed from reduced unit-production of new vehicles, and because of increased expenses for strengthening R&D capabilities and higher depreciation expenses in line with investing in facilities and equipment to respond to new orders.
Ordinary income 85,264 105,494 (19.2) -
Current net income 58,022 72,895 (20.4) -
Automotive-lighting Business
Sales 738,451 762,943 (3.2)


Initiatives on Self-driving and ADAS

Participating in the Shizuoka Self-driving ShowCASE Project
ーKoito Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Koito) announced that it will participate in the “Shizuoka Autonomous Driving ShowCASE Project” organized by Shizuoka Prefecture. According to the company, this project is Japan’s first testing conducted to verify on-time operation support provided for an autonomous bus by preferential signal control using vehicle positional information. The verification tests will be carried out in Numazu City from January 22 through 31. Koito turned KI Holdings Co., Ltd., which handles signals and other lighting equipment, into a subsidiary in 2019. This is part of Koito’s efforts to develop automotive lamps that work in conjunction with the infrastructure. In this testing, the company will shoulder the responsibility of providing signal control technologies. Koito plans to utilize verification results for the development of lamps and smart signals equipped with sensors. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on January 23, 2020)

Increasing the Pace of Sensing Business
-Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Koito) will start a sensing business. The company has begun developing products using the Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology and plans to start mass-production of infrared ray cameras over the coming years. Koito will propose integrated sensor systems to its customers aiming to make the sensing business profitable from the second half of the 2020s. When autonomous vehicles and connected cars become more prevalent, the positioning of head lamps, Koito’s major products, is expected to change. The company will combine headlamps with cameras and sensors to add new usages other than illuminating to enhance the value of its headlamps. Commercial production of LiDAR headlamps and infrared cameras will begin in a few years. The sensors will be customized in accordance with customer needs, including built-in sensors in headlamps or sensors proposed as separate items. According to Koito President Hiroshi Mihara, the company will propose the fusion of multiple sensors to the market. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on January 6, 2020)


<Investments in Venture Startups and Reorganization of Subsidiaries>
Invested in US-based Cepton Technologies Developing ADASs and LiDAR for Self-driving Systems
-Cepton Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of LiDAR-based solutions, announced that it has raised over USD 50 million in a Series C funding round led by Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd. with an investment of USD 50 million, the funding round included participation from Cepton’s existing investors. As part of the transaction, Koito will obtain non-exclusive rights to manufacture and sell Cepton’s LiDAR sensor design for an automotive application, using key components supplied by Cepton. Cepton will use the proceeds to accelerate development and deployment of its advanced LiDAR technology in ADAS applications, in autonomous vehicle applications, as well as in other fast-growing markets such as smart cities / intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and security. Cepton's unique and patented Micro Motion Technology (MMT) differs from traditional beam-steering technologies, such as mechanical rotation, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and scanning mirrors. The MMT architecture enables a mirrorless, frictionless and rotation-free LiDAR solution to increase the reliability and manufacturability of the product, while delivering affordable high performance. This latest investment brings Cepton’s total funding to nearly USD 100 million since 2016. Cepton is headquartered in San Jose, California, with offices in Germany, Canada and the UK. (Cepton press release on February 5, 2020)

Absorbed Entire Operations of KI Holdings to Grow Self-Driving Business
-Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Koito) announced that it will implement an absorption-type merger of its wholly-owned subsidiary, KI Holdings Co., Ltd. (Totsuka Ward, Yokohama City), as of April 1, 2020. With this merger, Koito aims to expand business in the autonomous driving field, enhance cooperation, reduce indirect costs, and accelerate decision making. Koito has been restructuring its group organization since 2019 in order to improve efficiency based on the centralized management of assets and liabilities of the Koito Group companies and rationalize its management system. Koito turned KI Holdings into a wholly-owned subsidiary in August 2019, and this absorption-type merger will further accelerate the realization of synergies. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on February 5, 2020)

Israel-based BrightWay Vision (BWV) Becomes Subsidiary under Equity Method of Accounting
-Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd (Koito) announced that it has acquired the shares in BrightWay Vision Ltd. (BWV) and included them into Koito’s scope of consolidation as a company accounted for by the equity method. BWV is a startup company which develops and manufactures forward monitoring system for Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). Koito has decided to invest in BWV to promote its R&D of high precision camera systems which allows capturing images under bad weather conditions such as rain and fog. The investment amount is USD 24 million and the shareholding ratio is 36.92%. (From a press release on June 25, 2019)


Recent Business Development

Reorganized Chinese Production Operations
-Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Koito) will restructure its development and production system to further explore the Chinese market. In April 2019, Koito set up a division to prepare for product development in the Chinese market to review the structure of its three production plants in the country by early 2020. Electronic control device development and styling functions will be added to the plants, which currently have design functions. The company also plans to set up a research and development (R&D) base in China. Koito intends to raise its 10% market share of headlamps in the country by establishing a development and production system that caters to the needs of local consumers and meets the changes in the market environment. Koito has manufacturing bases of automotive headlamps in Guangzhou, Hubei, and Fuzhou, and supplies the lamps to Japanese automakers operating in China and Chinese automakers. Koito President Hiroshi Mihara said China will be even more important to increase the company’s global share, and the company will start the restructuring of the development and manufacturing system. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on September 17, 2019)


R&D Expenditure

(in million JPY)
FY ended Mar. 31, 2020 FY ended Mar. 31, 2019 FY ended Mar. 31, 2018
Overall 36,100 34,000 36,100
-Japan 22,200 21,300 19,000
-North America 10,000 9,200 8,700
-China 1,000 1,100 6,000
-Asia 2,100 1,900 1,800
-Europe 500 300 300


R&D Structure

-As of the end of March 2020, 3,131 employees are conducting R&D activities.

-R&D activities are conducted mainly at the following 5 locations:

  • Japan: Technology Center
  • USA: Technical center at North American Lighting, Inc.
  • Europe: Technical Section at Koito Czech s. r. o.
  • China: Technical Center at Guangzhou Koito Automotive Lamp Co., Ltd.
  • Thailand: Technical Center at Thai Koito Company Limited.


R&D Activities


  • Core, automotive lamp technologies (optics, electronics, mechanisms, design/architecture)
  • New light sources (lasers, OLEDs, etc.)
  • Autonomous
  • ITS-related system

<North America, China, Asia and Europe>

  • Developing core technologies in the field of automotive lighting, namely in the areas of optics, electronics, etc.

Koito’s Lamps Chosen for All GaN Vehicle Concept Car
-A range of Koito’s products are featured on the GaN Vehicle, an electric vehicle concept developed by Nagoya University which utilizes gallium nitride devices. The use of gallium nitride in electric vehicles significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions. Koito’s products on the GaN Vehicle include laser high-beam headlamps; low-beam headlamps; position lamps; turn signal lamps in the front, rear and side; and backup lamps. Through the use of gallium nitride, the lamps are able to achieve five times the luminous efficiency while consuming one-third of the power and taking up half of the volume needed for standard lighting systems. The GaN Vehicle concept will be on display at the Ministry of the Environment’s booth at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. (From a press release on October 24, 2019)

Exhibited at Tokyo Motor Show 2019
-Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Koito) announced that it will showcase next-generation technologies and products at the Tokyo Motor Show under the concept of sensor lighting solutions that support mobility society. The company will exhibit the world premiere of a blade scan adaptive driving beam (ADB) that enlarges irradiation range of head lamps. It will also display an autonomous driving concept model which enables 360-degree sensing by integrating sensors, required for autonomous vehicles, with lamps. Smart street light concept that installs sensors to detect the surrounding environment and alert functions that project onto the road surface will be displayed. (From a press release on October 15, 2019)

Developed Blade Scan ADB (Adaptive Driving Beam) for Market
-On September 9, Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (Koito) announced that it has achieved practical utilization of a new headlamp system, “BladeScan ADB (Adaptive Driving Beam).” The new headlamp system automatically controls high-beam lighting range in response to the driving conditions. Koito aims to promote the widespread use of the world’s first headlamp system starting with its adoption for Toyota Motor Corporation's Lexus RX. The new system emits LED light to two fast-revolving blade mirrors (reflectors) and lights the front by using the light’s residual image effect. By turning on/off 12 LEDs in line with the rotation of the blade mirrors, the BladeScan ADB ensures light distribution equivalent to the use of 300 LEDs. The system also helps to minimize the shading area for oncoming vehicles and vehicles ahead. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on September 11, 2019)

Integration of Blickfeld’s LiDAR into Koito headlamps
-Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd. and Blickfeld announced that they will explore technologies to develop a LiDAR sensor that can be fully integrated into a headlight. The integration of Blickfeld’s LiDAR into Koito headlamps will enable automotive manufacturers to possess breakthrough LiDAR technology in which the sensor is fully integrated into the vehicle, which will in turn facilitate unprecedented progress in serial Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Vehicle systems (AV). The core of the Blickfeld LiDAR is a proprietary silicon MEMS mirror specifically developed for LiDAR applications. The compact design of the miniature solid-state LiDAR by Blickfeld allows direct integration into a vehicle’s lighting system, enabling real-time 3D mapping and object detection, classification, and tracking, without marring the design of the vehicle. (From a press release on May 21, 2019)


Technology Licensing-out Agreement

(As of Mar. 31, 2020)
Company Agreement details Contract Period
Hella Automotive Mexico S.A. de C.V.
Provide technological information, sales and manufacturing license 28 years from
Apr. 22, 1992
Industrias Arteb S.A
Provide technological information, sales and manufacturing license 5 years from
Oct. 4, 2017
Farba Otomotiv Aydinlatma ve Plastik Fabrikalari A.S.
Provide technological information, sales and manufacturing license 21 years from
Oct. 24, 1997
Lumotech (Pty.) Ltd.
(South Africa)
Provide technological information, sales and manufacturing license 15 years from
May 4, 2006
EP Polymers (M) Sdn. Bhd.
Provide technological information, sales and manufacturing license 25 years from
Apr. 29, 1995
AuVitronics Ltd.
Provide technological information, sales and manufacturing license 20 years from
Mar. 7, 2005
AMS Co., Ltd.
Provide technological information, sales and manufacturing license 8 years from
Jan. 16, 2013
AVTOSVET Limited Liability Company
Provide technological information, sales and manufacturing license 8 years from
Mar. 21, 2013


Capital Expenditure

(in million JPY)
FY ended Mar. 31, 2020 FY ended Mar. 31, 2019 FY ended Mar. 31, 2018
Japan 24,800 21,800 14,000
North America 12,100 9,300 6,100
China 3,500 8,600 5,800
Asia 10,200 7,700 5,600
Europe 5,000 1,500 1,900
Other 900 4,700 -
Total 56,700 54,000 33,700


Planned Capital Investment

(As of Mar. 31, 2020)

-Currently, the Company is unable to calculate a reasonable and appropriate amount for capital investments due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.