Keiper GmbH & Co. KG (A part of Johnson Controls) Business Report up until FY ended Dec. 31, 2010

Business Highlights

Recent Development

New Companies

-In May 2009, the Company added a new location in Asia by founding Keiper Korea Ltd. based in Seoul, Korea. (From a press release on May 27, 2009)

-In March 2005, the Company founded a new subsidiary, Keiper (Shanghai) Automotive Seating Technology Co. Ltd. in China. The new plant is expected to start production in December 2005. The Company plans to use this facility to supply the Chinese production lines of the VW "Touran" with rear seat structures.

Business Restructuring

-In Oct. 2009, the Company announced that a sales slump of more than 30 percent in 2009 and the relatively weak outlook for the coming business year have forced the company to cut approx. 550 jobs, out of 2,600, in Germany. This will affect up to 450 employees working in vehicle seat component production at the Rockenhausen and Kaiserslautern-Einsiedlerhof plants. Up to 100 jobs will be cut at the Technical Center in Kaiserslautern and at its site in Remscheid. (From a press release on October 20, 2009)

-In 2009, the Company managed to complete the reorganization of its administration and engineering units with a much lower number of layoffs than anticipated. Effective 1 April 2009, the Company cuts 226 jobs in administration and engineering at its sites in Germany. This number includes 118 positions in the Technical Center at company headquarters in Kaiserslautern, 38 administration jobs at the Rockenhausen plant, and 70 positions in administration and engineering at its site in Remscheid. (From a press release on Apr. 6, 2009)

-The Company is planning structural changes in the coming years at its plant sites in Germany. In order to cut costs, some of the production launches for the company's new products will be relocated to to plants in Eastern Europe by 2014. At the same time, up to 900 jobs could be eliminated at plant sites in Germany by 2014. The Company generates around half of its revenues with seat structures. In order to economically handle orders in the business, a second production facility is currently being built in Poland. According to current plans, production of new Company's products will start there in 2010. This will also affect production-related administrative positions in Germany. (From a press release on Nov. 19, 2008)

-The Company management has decided to shut down the plant located in the Kaiserslautern-Einsiedlerhof industry park at the end of 2010 and transfer production operations to the Keiper Rockenhausen plant. The Kaiserslautern-Einsiedlerhof plant has been a provider of vehicle seat structures, components, adjusters and locking systems. (From a press release on Mar. 13, 2008)


-In 2007, the Company signs a contract to supply seat structures and components for the GM Delta platform.


-In 2010, Keiper LLC of U.S.A. received an Excellent Award from Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA). TEMA honored its performance in the introduction phase of the new Toyota "Sienna" minivan. The Company supplies the Lock 2000 Structure seat locking system, a special application for second-row seats in the model. The parts are manufactured in Eldon, Missouri. This is the second Excellent Award presented to the supplier by TEMA this year. (From a press release on September 13, 2010)

-In June 2010, the Company received the Volkswagen Group Award 2010. The Company was recognized for its Easy-Fold kinematics used for the second and third row seats on the new "Sharan". (From a press release on June 18, 2010)

-In 2010, KEIPER LLC, based in USA, received an Excellent Award in the category of Technology/Development from Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA). The automotive supplier was recognized for its Lock 2000 Structure seat locking system designed for second-row seats in the Toyota "Sienna" minivan. The parts are manufactured at the Company's plant in Eldon, Missouri, USA. (From a press release on April 1, 2010)


R&D Structure

-In February 2005, the Company opened its new crash simulation facility (CSF) in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The new CSF offers added performance with a modern servo-hydraulic catapult designed for harder impulses and higher maximum accelerating force. The Company uses the new crash simulation facility to test the dynamic stability of seat components, single seats, and complete seat sets for automobiles and aircraft. It opened its first crash simulation facility in August 1990 at the Keiper Technical Center in Kaiserslautern.

Product Development

-In September 2007, working together with DaimlerChrysler the Company introduced the rear seat sets for the full range of new Mercedes-Benz "C-Class". Compared to the previous versions, the laser-welded seat assemblies feature lower weight, fewer parts, and a higher level of interchangeability.

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure

(in million euros)
  Dec. 2010
Dec. 2009 Dec. 2008
Germany N.A. 8.7 18.5
Foreign N.A. 24.8 20.8
Total 30.4 33.5 39.3

Investments in Germany

-The Company announced that it is planning to invest more than 10 million euros in the Rockenhausen plant in Germany before the end of 2010. The company's core competences for the production of seat recliners will continue to be focused in the Rockenhausen site. (From a press release on May 10, 2010)

Investments Outside Germany

-In August 2010, Keiper do Brasil Ltda. opened a new plant in Maua, Brazil, with an investment of 11 million Brazilian reals (around 5 million euros). The new facility produces front and rear seat structures for car manufacturers in Brazil. The Maua plant is the company's third vehicle seat manufacturing facility in Brazil, after the Ipiranga plant in Sao Paulo and the Curitiba plant in the south of the nation. The Brazilian unit expects to generate sales of 400 million reals (approx. 180 million euros) in 2010. (From a press release on August 27, 2010)

-In Sep. 2009, the Company opened a new Polish plant in Skarbimierz. Manufacturing of front seat structures for GM Delta platform vehicles already started in Sep. 2009. The Company plans to assemble its complete commercial vehicle seats at this location, starting in 2012. The Skarbimierz site is the Company's second facility in Poland after Swiebodzin. (From a press release on September 2, 2009)

-In 2008, the Company is expanding its presence in Poland. The company recently held a cornerstone laying ceremony in the town of Skarbimierz. Starting in 2009, the Company will be manufacturing front seat structures for passenger cars at the new plant. The automotive supplier has been active in Poland through its subsidiary Keiper Polska Sp. z o.o. since 2001. The Company already produces seat structures and components in Swiebodzin. The decision to build a its second plant in Poland is directly related to new contracts for General Motors and the close proximity to the GM plant in Gliwice. (From a press release on May 9, 2008)