Alps Electric Co., Ltd. Business report FY2008

Business Highlights

Financial Overview (in millions JPY)
FY2008 FY2007 Rate of Change (%) Factors
Sales 538,995 692,656 (22.2)


Operating income (26,524) 19,876 - -
Ordinary income (23,305) 13,123 - -
Net income (70,064) 4,418 - -
Electronic Components
Sales 297,948 391,424 (28.4) -The electronics industry suffered from the severe business climate, which has caused a slowdown in the cellular phone market as well as a fall in demand for vehicles. This resulted in lower production volume worldwide. Due to the continued slumping global economy, the situation further deteriorated in the second half of the year.
Operating income (20,062) 6,318 -

Automotive business at the Electronic Component Division
Electronic Component Business
-Sales stood at 76,800 million yen, down 31.7% from the previous year.
-Sales of in-vehicle sensors and switches decreased due to a fall in vehicle production worldwide.

Electronics Component Business
-Sales stood at 78,100 million yen, down 28.4% from the previous year.
-Due to surging oil prices and declining consumption levels that reflected the weakening economy, vehicle sales dramatically fell. The downtrend was remarkable especially in North America, where sales of large vehicles decreased significantly. As a result, sales of the Company's products dropped in all areas in the second half of the year, as Japanese and European automakers started to slash their production volumes.

Outlook for FY2009
Immediate Profit Recovery and Structural Reform Measures

-The Company announced its Immediate Profit Recovery and Structural Reform Measures designed to improve its profitability. The Company will cut labor costs and limit general expenses and investments. As for structural reforms, it will establish a new organizational structure by setting up new business sectors from Apr. 1, 2009. Engineering departments and sales departments will be integrated in each business sector to strengthen the Company's initiatives aimed at building new business and promoting sales. To lower the break-even point, about five business sites in and outside Japan will be reorganized. Unprofitable products will also be phased out. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Feb. 7, 2009)

Structural reforms of the electronics business
Sales Sales Division
Components Division
Communication Device Division
Peripheral Business Division
Automotive Electric Device Division


AUTO Business Division HMI Business Division
Production MMP Business Division

HMI=Home, Mobile & Industry
MMP=Mechatronics, Materials & Process

Highlights at the AUTO Business Division
-Sales for FY2009 (ending in March 2010) are expected to reach 95 billion yen.
-The Company, which has been focusing on developing and supplying customized products such as control panels and steering modules designed for each vehicle model individually, will add to its lineup of major products common/standardized components and high-frequency products that are able to be used in various vehicle models.


R&D Expenditures (in millions JPY)
FY2008 FY2007 FY2006
Overall 40,304 42,255 46,804
Electronic components 13,850 15,015 18,002

Electronic Components Division
-It's Electronic Components Division is engaged in various R&D activities with Japanese and foreign universities and laboratories including Kenbridge University in the U.K and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the U.S.A. In addition, Alps is working to build a main business development office which will conduct R&D on process and electronic parts. In addition, it is forming a business unit engaged in developing more customer-oriented products in each product area.

Electronic Component Business
-The Company developed two types of automotive throttle position sensors for the South American and Chinese markets. It has already started commercial production for the South American market, and is still preparing for the production launch for the Chinese market in 2009. It has also completed development of a linear position sensor for turbocharged diesel engines sold in Europe. Mass production of this product is scheduled to begin in 2009.

-The Company developed its new RK45C hollow shaft type potentiometer with built-in LED for car air-conditioning and audio systems, and started its mass production. The chip LED used on the new potentiometer is capable of emitting neutral colored light, which has been difficult to achieve with conventional LEDs, and it can respond to such fine color tones as red, ice-blue, green and white. Embedding the chip LED on a higher position close to the switch cover produces higher luminance. Sales of conventional bullet type LED products will be continued. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Dec. 11, 2008)

Communication Device Business
-The Company developed MOST (automotive LAN standard) compliant connector, FLTM1G1 Series, and started its sample shipment. It is the Company's first commercialized optical communication connector. It can be used with two levels of supply voltage, 3.3V and 5V, which has expanded the possibility of circuit design. ALPS aspherical plastic lens is installed for connection with the optical fiber cable, which has improved binding efficiency and prevented optical fiber displacement. It will be marketed as MOST compliant connector for audio players, car navigation systems and etc. As heat resistive resin is used for the connecting housing case, it is now auto dip solderable, using the solder bath. The noise suppressive, solid metal sealed cover has made it electromagnetic compatible. The outer dimensions are 25.20 x 26.45 x 13mm. Volume production is scheduled to begin in September 2009. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Feb. 28, 2009)

Automotive Electronics Division
-It's automotive Electronics Division is working on general R&D activities, from developing parts, on up to complete systems in the area of HMI (Human Machine Interface. This will be based on products which make full use of the Group's proprietary as well as elemental technology. These parts will be focused around input, communications, and sensor devices.

<Areas of R&D Activities>
The Company is working to develop the following technologies and products:
-Developing force feedback technology, a cockpit demonstration system based on capacitance sensing technology, and a blind input panel.
-Developing an electronic shifter that utilizes by-wire technology.
-Developing a biaxial haptic commander system, which will become the second generation of the Company's multiple-input device designed to facilitate the operations of cockpit electronics equipment, a product area which is becoming increasingly more complicated.
-Developing an obstacle detection system consisting of a wide-view rear camera that can detect obstacles.

-In September 2008, the Company announced that it has completed the development of the e-Click Changer multifunctional operation device for automobiles to facilitate safe control of the air conditioner. The "e-Click Changer" is a controller for automobiles that enables three different operations with one dial. With two-layered rotating dials, the e-Click Changer provides three functions: (1) switching air-flow direction, (2) controlling temperature and (3) adjusting the air-flow force through the operation of the outer dial. It also provides fine adjustments for each function through the use of the inner dial. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Sep. 26, 2008)

-The Company is set to develop a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) able to detect contact status of tires on the road surface, adding a new function to its existing TPMS without use of a battery. While maintaining proper air pressure, the new TPMS will use up gripping power of a tire for greater safety and improved driving control. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Oct. 10, 2008)

Alps Show 2008
The 35th Alps Show was held for two days on September 25 and 26, 2008 under the theme of “You Meet Comfort” in pursuit of creation of comfort for man and the earth.
About 900 items in all sections including “Automotive” were exhibited. About 60 series of new products were on display. Attendants were about 5,000.
Some of reference display items in the “Automotive” section are shown below.
e-click Changer(Reference display)
(On-board multifunctional operation device)
- On-board controller that enables three different operations with one dial.

- The controller was originally developed for operation of automotive air-conditioner functions. With two-layered rotating dials, the outer dial selects three functions : (1) switching air-flow direction, (2) controlling temperature, and (3) adjusting air-flow force, while the inner dial adjusts each function.
- The operation feeling of a dial differs depending on each function. An operator can discern which function is being controlled by touching the dial. This device was developed by the company’s cherished mechatronics engineering expertise of the clockwork structure. By turning the outer dial, the number of detents of the inner dial changes.
Blind Input Panel & dash; Circle Type(Reference display)
- Consolidated input device designed to be installed on the center console
- Operation by hand at the driving position possible by minimizing the eye movement
- Fingertip rotation by electrostatic capacity sensor ”GlideSensor™”
Multifunctional air conditioner panel unit (with audio storage) (Reference display)
Exhibit Panel
- Multifunctional air conditioner panel unit integrated with audio player function
- Interchangeable between air conditioner and audio functions
Steering Angle Sensor(Reference display)
Image1 - Analysis angle of the sensor was upgraded from the previous 1.5°up to 0.1°
Application for E-field Communication Entry System(Reference display)
Exhibit Panel
- Activated by the human body
- Activated not only by hand, but by foot

Investment Activities

Capital Investment (in millions JPY)
FY2008 FY2007 FY2006
Overall 47,202 43,153 45,307
Electronic components 34,363 26,349 29,525

Electronic component division
-The Electronic Component Division focused its investment activities on producing parts for new products, and increasing the production volume of contact sheets (for cellular phones), and automotive sensors and switches.

Capital Investment Projects
Division Type of facility Planned investment
(million yen)
Start Completion
Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
MMP Division (formerly the Mechatronic Devices Division)
(Osaki, Miyagi Pref.)
(Nagaoka, Nigata Pref.)
(Tsunoda, Miyagi Pref.)
Electronic components Manufacturing facilities 6,383 Apr. 2009 Mar. 2010
Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
Headquarters Offices, Process Technology Development Center
(Ota, Tokyo)
(Sendai, Miyagi Pref.)
Electronic components Headquarters and branch facilities, R&D center facilities 2,285 Apr. 2009 Mar. 2010
Alps Electric Co., Ltd.
MMP Division (formerly the Automotive Devices) Division
(Osaki, Miyagi Pref.)
Electronic components Facility to produce automotive electronics parts 1,500 Apr. 2009 Mar. 2010
Alpine Electronics, Inc.
Iwaki Plant
(Iwaki, Fukushima Pref.)
Audio equipment Facility to produce mechanical devices, tools/jigs, and dies 2,921 Apr. 2009 Mar. 2010