Lear Corporation Business Report FY ended Dec. 2019

Financial Overview

(in million USD)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2019 FY ended Dec. 31, 2018 Rate of change (%) Factors
Net Sales 19,810.3 21,148.5 (6.3) 1)
Net Income 830.7 1,246.7 (33.4) -
Net Sales by segment
Seating 15,097.2 16,021.9 (5.8)
E-systems 4,713.1 5,126.6 (8.1)

1) Net Sales
-Sales in the fiscal year ending December 31, 2019 were USD 19,810.3 million, down 6.3% from the previous year. Production volumes decreased in nearly all regions due to the impact of strikes and foreign exchange. The effect of strikes on sales was approximately USD 1,700 million; the effect of foreign exchange was USD 700 million. On the other hand, new business launches in each region boosted sales by USD 1,100 million.

Recent Developments

Xevo Inc.
-In April 2019, the Company acquired Xevo Inc. ("Xevo"), a Seattle-based, global leader in connected car software, for approximately USD 322 million. Xevo is a supplier of software solutions for the cloud, vehicles and mobile devices that are deployed in millions of vehicles worldwide.

Xevo, its automotive software company, has partnered with Hyundai Motor Company to deliver Xevo Market capabilities into Hyundai vehicles in the U.S. and Europe. Xevo Market is a merchant-to-driver interaction platform and a powerful new media channel for automotive and mobile commerce.  (From a press release on September 5, 2019)

Plug and Play
ーThe Company and Plug and Play, a global startup accelerator and corporate innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley, announced a strategic partnership focused on advancing mobility innovation in the automotive industry. The partnership will be coordinated through the Silicon Valley office of Lear Innovation Ventures (LIV) in San Mateo, California, and provides Lear with the opportunity to collaborate with and mentor startups in the Plug and Play ecosystem, and heighten its involvement in the mobility technology space. (From a press release on June 13, 2019)

The Company has signed CARMERA, a leader in real-time, high-definition maps for autonomous mobility, as a partner in its EXO Technology Partnership Program. Lear's EXO high-accuracy vehicle positioning technology is a proprietary Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) solution that provides highly accurate, near-instant positioning in challenging weather and urban environments. The cloud computing and software-based technology enables the deployment of advanced autonomous mobility solutions by working with standard automotive GNSS receivers to deliver fast, centimeter-level accuracy anywhere.(From a press release on May 29, 2019)

Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc.
-The Company has signed Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) as the first development partner in its EXO Technology Partnership Program. Lear's EXO high accuracy vehicle positioning technology enables the safe deployment of advanced autonomous mobility solutions by working with standard automotive Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers to deliver fast, centimeter-level accuracy anywhere on the globe.(From a press release on January 9, 2019)

-The Company and Gentherm announced a strategic joint development partnership to drive the future of passenger thermal seating solutions. The partnership is for advanced development of a highly integrated, modular heat and cool solution for Lear's Intu seating system that will provide world-class passenger comfort. (From a press release on January 8, 2019)


Lear Innovation Ventures (LIV) Possibilities

ーIn January 2019, the Company launched Lear Innovation Ventures (LIV) Possibilities, led by John Absmeier, Lear's Chief Technology Officer. Lear will invest in advanced development teams, partnerships, and early stage technologies by working with venture capital firms, accelerators, and incubators, and provide direct capital to start-ups and internal innovation initiatives. (From a press release on January 8, 2019)

Maniv Mobility
ーThe Company has invested in an Israel-based venture capital fund managed by Maniv Mobility that is focused on advancing mobility technology. Maniv Mobility's portfolio and investing activities are largely focused on Israeli start-up companies in the connected, autonomous, ridesharing and mobility sectors, as well as on investments in the U.S. and other markets. (From a press release on March 11, 2019)

Autotech Ventures
ーThe Company has invested in Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Autotech Ventures to support startups in deploying revolutionary mobility technologies. Autotech Ventures’ portfolio and investing activities are largely focused on software, services and electronics startup companies working to enable connected, autonomous, energy-efficient vehicles and services.  (From a press release on January 7, 2020)



-The Company announced a collaboration to integrate Lear's Intu comfort and wellness seating system into Rinspeed AG's newest and smallest autonomous concept vehicle, the microSNAP. Lear's Intu system, jointly developed by its Seating and E-Systems engineers, is comprised of a full suite of intelligent technologies that demonstrate enhanced passenger comfort, wellness, entertainment and safety. BioBridge is Lear's smart, non-intrusive biosensing technology that uses radio frequency (RF) sensing to detect stress and drowsiness through heart and respiratory rates, and then activate corresponding heat and massage treatments. ProActive Comfort intelligent seat adjustment technology can be customized to changing preferences with preset modes like sport, comfort, wellness and more. (From a press release on January 7, 2019)


R&D activities 


-Research and development activities in the Seating segment in the fiscal year ending December 2019 were mainly for the products and technologies listed below.

-ProActive Seating
Uses proprietary MySeat by Lear™ technology powered by our TheraMetric™ analytical process.

-Lear Crafted Comfort Connect and Advanced Comfort Systems
Adjustable cushions, seat backs and side bolsters which support correct posture and provide improved comfort and appearance.

-Guilford TeXstyle fabrics
Customizable fabric engineered to improve the vehicle experience and durability

-TeXstyle Enhance
A range of secondary embellishment technologies to enhance standard fabrics, enabling unique design within an array of fabric choices.

Anti-soiling performance leather finishing technology

-Head restraints

-Mini recliners and micro adjust tracks
Seat mechanisms, which provide precision movement and facilitate interior packaging space flexibility

-High speed smart fold technology
A regulated high speed folding adjustment mechanism that delivers premium convenience while maintaining leading safety and comfort benefits

-Dynamic Environmental Comfort Systems and ComforTune technologies
Offer weight reductions of 30% - 40%, as compared to current foam seat designs.

Reduces our carbon footprint by 614,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.


-Began production of our Automotive News PACE Award winning Solid State Smart Junction Box in 2016.

-Have developed advanced technology electronic controls, including a Matrix LED Control System capable of individually dimming and switching on/off up to 100 LEDs. This system enables steerable light beams and other advanced lighting features and can be paired with driver assistance system sensors for functionality, such as automatic high beam management and obstacle highlighting. 

-Have developed an ethernet audio bridging amplifier that facilitates faster processing of digital data at a lower cost. 

-The E-Systems segment has 2,300 R&D personnel in 18 countries, and six technology centers in Belgium, China, Germany, Spain and the United States (Southfield, Michigan and Seattle, Washington).



-As of December 31, 2019, the Company has approximately 2,300 patents and patent applications pending.

Capital Expenditure

(in million USD)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2019 FY ended Dec. 31, 2018 FY ended Dec. 31, 2017
Seating 370.4 459.8 398.3
E-Systems 213.9 208.4 176.3
Other 19.6 8.8 19.9
Total 603.9 677.0 594.5


Trends at manufacturing facilities in FY2019

Feb. 2019

Employee reduction

After operations shut-down at five North American GM plants, 175 Detroit plant employees dismissed.

Feb. 2019


A strike at Whitby, Ontario Seating plant

Mar. 2019

New plant established

Third production plant in Chihuahua, Mexico opened.

Jun. 2019

Plant expansion

Decided to build a 240,000-square-foot seat assembly plant in Hammond, Indiana, USA, to continue supplying products to Ford.

Jun. 2019

Plant closure and consolidation

Shutdown of operations at electronic systems plant in Taylor, Michigan, consolidating to plant in Traverse City, Michigan.