Aisin AI Co., Ltd. Business Report up until FY ended Mar. 2008

Business Highlights

Recent Years


-In September 2007, the Company was awarded a contract to supply the TN2 transfers, which are high-torque capacity transfers for rear-wheel-drive vehicles, for the new Toyota "Land Cruiser". Production of the TN2 started in the same month. The Company aims to sell 300,000 units globally in FY2007. (From a press release on Sep. 25, 2007).

-In March 2005, the Company started producing RWD 5-speed manual transmissions to support Toyota's innovative multi-purpose vehicle (IMV) project. These transmissions will be delivered to the Samrong Plant of Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd., starting in April 2005 and be mounted on the "Hilux Vigo" IMVs. Sales targets are 60,000 vehicle in 2005 and more than 100,000 vehicles in 2006 and after. (From a press release on Mar. 17, 2005)

Mitsubishi Motors
-In August 2005, the Company announced that it has started delivering RWD 5-speed manual transmissions for "Triton" pickup trucks built at Mitsubishi Motors (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (MMTh). Aisin AI's Thai facility supplied its first lot to MMTh in June 2005. Sales are expected to reach 20,000 units in 2005 and 80,000 units in 2006 onward. (From a press release on Aug. 31, 2005)

-In September 2004, the Company started supplying 6-speed manual transmissions for the Porsche "911 Carrera", marking the first transaction with Porsche. The transmission unit is Aisin AI's first manual transmission for rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicles. The 6-speed MT will be produced at Aisin AI's main plant. (From a press release on Sep. 16, 2004)

-The Company has accepted orders from GM-Avtovaz (Russia) for 5-speed manual transmissions (4WD type), with deliveries to begin in November, 2003. These transmissions will be used in the new "Chevrolet Niva" export model, an all-wheel drive SUV with a 1.8 liter gas engine that is to go on sale in the latter half of 2004. The order is expected to be worth up to 1.5 billion yen. Manufacture and assembly will take place at Aisin AI's main plant. (From a press release on Dec. 11, 2003)

-In June 2003, the Company announced that it has won a contract from General Motors of the U.S.A. to supply RWD 5-speed manual transmissions and will launch delivery in October the same year. The transmissions will be used in the "Colorado" and "Canyon" series of pickup trucks, and sales are expected to reach 3.6 billion yen in FY2004. Manufacturing and assembly of the transmissions will take place at Aisin AI's main plant in Aichi Prefecture, while Aisin World Corp. of America (AWA) will handle sales. GM becomes Aisin AI's second North American customer after DaimlerChrysler. (From a press release on Jun. 3, 2003)

-In April 2003, the Company announced that it has begun delivering its RWD 6-speed manual transmissions for the Mazda "RX-8". Sales are expected to reach 3 billion yen in the first year. This is the second time that Aisin AI has won a supply award from Mazda, following the RWD 6-speed transmission program for the "Roadster", delivery for which started in December 1997. (From a press release on Apr. 15, 2003)

Recent Development in Japan

-In July 2006, the Company produced its 10 millionth manual transmission in Japan. Its first manual transmission, which was designed for FWD vehicles, was manufactured in FY1997. Since then, the production volume has grown significantly thanks to carmakers using these transmissions on vehicles destined for export. (From a press release on Jul. 13, 2006)

Recent Development Outside Japan

-In January 2007, Aisin AI Europe GmbH in Germany launched operations. The new company is responsible for sale and after service, thereby establishing a stronger foothold for the Group to expand business in Europe. (From a press release on Jan. 1, 2007)

-Investing the full amount from Japan, Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. and the Company acquired an additional 65.015 percent of the stock shares in Tangshan Aisin Gear Co., Ltd., which is located in Tangshan City, Hubei Province, from Tangshan Gear Group Co., Ltd. in April 2003. This 65.015 percent was all the shares that the Tangshan Gear Group Co., Ltd had owned in Tangshan Aisin Gear Co., Ltd., which was a joint venture between Tangshan and the Aisin Group. In making this move, the Aisin Group turned Tangshan Aisin Gear Co., Ltd. into its subsidiary. As a result of the share transaction, which was valued at 240 million yuan, the Tangshan facility is currently owned 77.015 percent by Aisin Seiki and 20 percent by the Company, with Toyota Tsusho Corporation still holding the same percentage of 2.985 percent. Tangshan Aisin manufactures 170,000 manual transmissions per year for Toyota's local plants and Chinese automakers such as Soueast (Fujian) Motor. Its annual production volume is expected to reach 500,000 units in 2007. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Apr. 1, 2003)

-In September 2002, the Company acquired 100% of the shares for Mazda Engineering (Thailand) Co., Ltd. from Mazda Motor, making it its wholly owned subsidiary. The subsidiary, which was renamed as Aisin AI (Thailand) Co., Ltd., conducts production and sales of auto parts such as manual transmissions and gears. Aisin AI plans to supply its products to AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd.; Isuzu Engine Manufacturing Co., (Thailand) Ltd., and other customers through the new facility, which will become Aisin AI's first supply hub outside Japan. (From a press release on Sep. 10, 2002)


R&D Facilities

Name Location
Technical center Aichi Pref., Japan

Product Development

High-torque transfers for RWD vehicles
-In September 2007, the Company announced its newly-developed high torque transfer for rear-wheel-drive vehicles. With its redesigned power transmission structure, the new transfer unit is lighter and more compact, offering higher torque capacity, compared with conventional transfers. The new transfer is used in the Toyota Land Cruiser.

6-speed manual transmission for FWD vehicles
-In Jul. 2005, the Company developed 6-speed manual transmissions for front-engine, front-wheel-drive vehicles with an engine displacement of 2.0-3.8 liters. The 3-shaft gear train configuration allows the 6-speed transmission to provide a high level of capacity with the same overall length as existing 5-speed transmissions. The Company manufactures this transmission on mix production lines that can handle manufacturing different models: the Toyota Avensis, the Mazda Atenza (called Mazda6 outside Japan) and Premacy (known as Mazda5 outside Japan), and the Mitsubishi Eclipse. It aims to sell 210,000 units in fiscal 2006, and more than 400,000 units in fiscal 2007. (From a press release on Jul. 25, 2005)

Transmissions for Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs)
-In Sep. 2004, the Company announced a plan to develop transmissions for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The transmissions will incorporate its next-generation automatic manual transmission (AMT) technology. It aims to bring this transmission to the market as soon as possible, doing it in line with new developments taking place at Toyota, its main customer, which will increase production and sales of HEVs worldwide. This is likely to spur the growing hybrid market. The Company aims to differentiate its products by providing excellent driving efficiencies at low cost. This will be achieved through a joint development project with Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. With an accurate transmission controlling mechanism, the AMTs developed by the two companies achieve a greater level of cost efficiency than that offered by existing manual transmissions. The Company says that in order to ensure a higher level of performance than that of continuously variable transmissions, it will use more than six gear ratios in the new transmissions for HEVs. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Sep. 28, 2004)

Automated manual transmission
-In April 2003, the Company announced that in collaboration with Aisin Seiki and Toyota Motor it has developed new, automated manual transmissions. The new manual transmissions are installed in the Toyota Yaris (this model is called the Vitz in Japan) sold in Europe, marking the first time that Toyota has used such transmission systems in its vehicles. The automated manual transmission systems optimize transmission control, which results in higher fuel efficiency. Compared with normal manual transmission systems, they offer a 4 percent improvement; and compared with automatic transmissions, they offer a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy. An automated MT is built by adding extra components such as actuators into a manual transmission structure with clutches. The new technology enables gear shifting without stepping on the clutch, providing easy-to-drive convenience in automatics. Leveraging this advanced technology, Aisin AI intends to expand its business, targeting Europe, where the majority of car drivers opt for manual transmissions for their superior fuel economy and the sporty driving feel they offer. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun, on April 17, 2003)