Clarion Co., Ltd. Business Report FY2010

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2010 FY2009 Rate of change (%) Factors
Sales 178,318 174,762 2.0 -In Japan, auto sales in the first half of the year were up due to the special demand created by the eco-car subsidiaries and incentives that were being offered. However sales were sharply down during the second half of the year due to the heaving buying consumers had done in the first half because of the incentives.  In addition, new-auto sales recorded their sharpest year-on-year, one-month drop ever in March because of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
-New-auto sales in North America and Asia, spearheaded by China, increased year-on-year, due to mainly the OEM market sector recovering favorably. 
Operating income 4,936 624 690.5 -The Company suffered from lost business opportunities due to the impact of the tight supply of auto parts; and also posted higher transport costs.
-Sales were lower because of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
-The ratio of the cost of goods improved as a result of the Company's placing more effective controls on fixed costs and its implementing cost-savings activities to reduce variable costs.
Ordinary income 4,153 47 8736.2
Net income 1,383 549 151.9
Automotive equipment business
Sales  161,605 156,372 3.3 -

Business Partnership

-The Company has formed a technical partnership with Nokia Corporation to develop and promote the use of smartphone technology in automobiles. The two companies will collaborate in development of Terminal Mode, a technology proposed by Nokia to enable a new way of mobile devices and car infotainment systems to seamlessly work together. Through this agreement, Clarion will join the smartphone interface project that Nokia and Consumer Electronics for Automotive (CE4A) are working on. Clarion also aims to build an application service business for in-car devices utilizing Nokia's Ovi Store online application store offered to smartphone users. Based on the collaboration, Clarion intends to accelerate its development activities and expand business in the in-car information system market not only in Europe and North America, where Nokia has a strong presence, but also in China and other emerging markets. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on June. 23, 2010)

Plant Closure

-The Company will close Clarion Manufacturing Corporation of the Philippines (CMCP), which is Clarion's consolidated subsidiary in the Philippines. Since 1990, CMCP has been manufacturing car audio systems and car radios, exporting them mainly to North America, Europe and Japan. CMCP is scheduled to cease production in January 2011 and start the liquidation process in March the same year. Based on the liquidation, Clarion is expecting to post an extraordinary loss of 533 million yen in the third quarter of FY2010 ending in March 2011. The shutdown is part of Clarion's reorganization project for its global production structure. Meanwhile, in China, the company has been expanding its production operations. (From a press release on November 24, 2010)

>>>Financial Forecast for the Next Fiscal Year(Sales, Operating Income etc.)

Outlook for FY2011

(in million of JPY)
FY2010 Year-on-year Fluctuation
Sales 176,500 178,318 (1,818)
Operating income 3,500 4,936 (1,436)
Ordinary income 2,000 4,153 (2,153)
Net income 1,200 1,383 (183)


R&D Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2011 FY2010 FY2008
Overall 142
86 1,596

R&D Activities

IVCS・Car Navigtation Systems Sector
-The Company worked to increase its new onboard services in the car navigation systems sector such as improving functions such as those that make it possible to connect with outside communications services and those that make use of networks and cloud computing. Examples are Google Local Search, and Send to functions. 

- The Company has starting working on the development of a GPF (Global Platform) based on the fundamental concept of achieving lower costs, responding more effectively to highly sophisticated developments, making customization easier, developing HMI (Human Machine Interface) functions that can deliver a higher level of functions,  offering upgradability in which it is possible to change and add software and apps, and offering connectivity with all makes of smart-phones and services so as to enable them to be compatible with each other. The Company hopes to commercialize these in the future. .

Car-audio Sector
-The Company is investing to create products that make it possible to play music through connectivity with USB and Bluetooth devices, without the need for an onboard CD player. Also, it is making proposals to car makers, emphasizing convenience and innovation as part of the ever growing mobile telephone market.  

Special Devices Sector
 - The Company is developing drive recorders for city buses. These recorders, which come in a range of introductory low prices to increase market penetration, make use of memory cards.  The Company is offering solutions tailored specifically to the needs of city buses such as a maximum of 600 hours of video recording time, a video-recording function with a maximum of 600-hours recording time, simultaneous audio recording,  etc. by including features that enable connection with external networks and enable people to easily search videos of areas near bustops where they want to travel to, by accessing network auto guide systems. 
-The Company provided its Clarion Bus Location Service free of charge for the WEB-3 (Waseda advanced Electric micro Bus) advanced electric microbus that Waseda and other universities created,

Product Development

Full Digital Speaker System for In-Vehicle Use
-Developed the world's first full digital speaker system for in-vehicle use. With the advent of this speaker, it is now possible to create an all new full digital car audio system that reproduces all the information present in digital audio sources to their fullest. This newly developed speaker is the convergence of "Dnote" digital signal processing technology, and the in-car acoustic technology that Clarion has accumulated over the years. Inputting and reproducing digital signals directly from digital sources such as CDs makes it possible to play the sound of those digital sources with all the quality they possess, without loss. In addition, it succeeds in reducing driving voltage by over 50 percent, and keeping power consumption at approx. one-eighth that of conventional speakers, for enormous energy savings. Clarion intends to incorporate this newly developed speaker technology in high sound quality car audio systems optimised for vehicles where saving energy is essential, such as electric cars, hybrid cars, and idle-stop equipped vehicles. (From a press release on March 10, 2011)

Image Processing Technology
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced on Feb. 14 that it has licensed its camera image processing technology, used in its Around View Monitor and Moving Object Detection systems, to Clarion Co., Ltd.  Nissan and Clarion jointly developed the technology and Clarion was not allowed to sell the systems to other companies without Nissan’s consent.  The automaker has decided to license the technology to the partner as part of its efforts to raise sales through active use of its intellectual properties.  Clarion will now be able to promote Around View Monitor and Moving Object Detection, targeting other companies including automakers. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on February 15, 2011)

Technology Licensed-in

(As of Mar. 31, 2011)

Partner Country Outline of tie-ups Contract period
Discovision Associate U.S.A. licensed patent on manufacturing optical disc players Dec. 1, 1994
to the patent expiry date
Vehicle Information and Communication System Center Japan license on the use of VICS technical information Nov. 28, 1995 -
expiry date agreed by two parties

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2010 FY2009 FY2008
Investment 1,601
1,946 5,796
Automotive equipment -
1,725 5,487

Automotive equipment
-Installing additional equipment to increase production capacity; and purchasing new dies to cope with model changes at its plant in China.

Investment Outside Japan

-The Company will establish a new plant in Thailand. The company, which aims to boost sales in ASEAN countries, intends to avoid overconcentration of production in China. The new Thai facility will serve as an export hub for products to be delivered to India and Europe. Supplying from Thailand will also allow the company to benefit from lower tariffs. Clarion will acquire new shares of stock in SIAM CM Electronics Co., Ltd. (SCE), a subsidiary of Clarion (Malaysia) Shd., Bhd. in which Clarion has a 45 percent ownership. When the transaction is completed, SCE will adopt a new corporate name, Clarion Asia (Thailand). Production at the new plant, which will be built in the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate, is scheduled to begin in April 2012. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on February 25, 2011)