Aichi Steel Corporation Business Report FY ended Mar. 2019

Financial Overview

(in million JPY)
FY ended Mar. 31, 2019 FY ended Mar. 31, 2018 Rate of change
Sales 257,315 236,237 8.9 -Sales increased because of strong demand for steel and forged products, the Company's core products
11,119 11,813 (5.9) -Operating income decreased because of price increases for raw materials, secondary materials, and energy, coupled with increased in depreciation costs, even though sales volumes increased, selling prices increased, and profits were posted by subsidiaries overseas.
11,324 11,774 (3.8) -
Net income attributable to owners of the parent 6,503 8,182 (20.5) -


-In May 2018 at the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF) held in Shanghai, China, -the Company’s steel used in high-pressure hydrogen won the bronze medal for the Best New Technology Award. In 2014, the Company developed the AUS316L-H2, a stainless steel for high-pressure hydrogen. It is being used in hydrogen filling ports on the Toyota Mirai fuel-cell vehicle. This product was given high recognition for its ability to enhance the safety and reliability of fuel-cell vehicles.


R&D Expenditure

(in million JPY)
FY ended Mar. 31, 2019 FY ended Mar. 31, 2018 FY ended Mar. 31, 2017
Steel 2,268 2,560 2,255
Forged products 353 36 38
Electromagnetic products 1,370 1,179 1,010
Total 3,992 3,777 3,304


R&D Structure

-The Company has about 250 employees engaged in R&D as of March 31, 2019.


R&D Activities

Delivering magnetic marker systems for validating and testing self-driving technology

-A magnetic marker systems is a type of technology that enables self-driving buses to run by detecting magnets embedded in road surfaces. MI sensors, which are ultra-high-sensitive sensors, detect the vehicle’s location with precise accuracy. The Company plans to commercialize them in 2020.

<Major deliveries>

-Aichi Steel Corporation (Aichi Steel) announced on May 15 that it will supply its magnetic marker system for autonomous bus service demonstration tests that will be conducted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Hokkaido. Autonomous buses will run along magnetic markers embedded in road surfaces at an interval of 1 meter, and the ministry will test whether the buses can pull over to bus stops smoothly. Aichi Steel has previously supplied magnetic marker systems for the ministry’s demonstration projects, and contributed to autonomous driving in locations where GPS signals are not available. The ministry will conduct autonomous bus demonstration tests at Cosmall Taiki, a roadside rest area in Hiroo, Hokkaido, for about a month from May 18. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on May 16, 2019)

-Aichi Steel Corporation will refine its vehicle position estimation technology based on magnetic induction. Electronic tags will be embedded in magnetic markers installed on the road surface, and a vehicle will read information about absolute positions, approaches to intersections, and other information from the tags. This will help improve control. The improved technology will be suitable for autonomous valet parking at multilevel parking lots. It will also offer improved flexibility in route setting and can be combined with other positioning technologies to substantially reduce the cost of installing markers. Aichi Steel will first promote the refined technology for uses such as large parking lots and autonomous driving at premises. The technology has already been used in national demonstration projects since last year and tests proved the capability of the technology to reliably estimate vehicle positions even in tunnels where GPS radio waves are unable to reach or in inclement weather conditions where the camera is likely to malfunction. The company decided to expand the scope of application of its vehicle position estimation technology by taking advantage of the feature of vehicle-road coordination while increasing the degree of perfection of its sensors in preparation for the practical implementation of “Last One Mile autonomous driving” technology and other projects promoted by the national government. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on April 26, 2019)

-Six Japanese companies, including Aichi Steel Corporation, SB Drive Corporation, Advanced Smart Mobility Co., Ltd., and All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd., announced on January 10 that they will conduct autonomous bus demonstration tests from January 15 to 25. The demonstration tests will identify safety requirements for autonomous bus operations at airports where aircrafts and special vehicles operate. Autonomous buses will run along magnetic markers embedded in road surfaces. The magnetic markers have RFID tags that successively acquire vehicle position information. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on January 11, 2019)

-On December 7 seven companies including East Japan Railway Company (JR-East) and Aichi Steel Corporation (Aichi Steel) announced that they will conduct verification tests for an autonomous bus in the northeastern area of Japan through the "Mobility Innovation Consortium" sponsored by JR-East. The term of this project will run from December 12 to March 8, 2019. Magnetic markers will be installed on a road surface of about 400 meters on a bus rapid transit (BRT) lane around Takekoma Station, on the Ofunato Line. A bus that is modified based on the Hino Liesse and equipped with magnetic sensors will run at a maximum speed of 40 km/hour with its location being determined. The magnetic markers are fitted with radio frequency ID tags to send information about sections of the road to the bus and improve positioning accuracy. Aichi Steel will provide a magnetic marker system for use in the verification testing. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on December 8, 2018)


Product Development

Rotor assembly units (Rotary units inside drive motors)
-Aichi Steel Corporation (Aichi Steel) has prototyped a large motor for the driving of electrified vehicles for the first time. Aichi Steel, which is aiming to commercialize rotor assembly units (rotary units inside drive motors), created a whole motor in order to perform a test evaluation. The company intends to identify issues based on the evaluation, and eventually offer rotor assemblies for motor unit makers and automakers. The prototype motor features compact design and high-speed rotation. The company envisions entering the field of drive motors as a rotor assembly maker, not a motor maker. Aichi Steel’s two core technologies for rotor assembly are a log-analysis type lightweight attack detection system, and an information high-speed secure boot system. The company will recommend adopting these two systems simultaneously. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on January 23, 2019)


Capital Expenditure

(in million JPY)
FY ended Mar. 31, 2019 FY ended Mar. 31, 2018 FY ended Mar. 31, 2017
Steel 11,096 9,952 11,250
Forged products 7,298 6,529 8,739
Electromagnetic products 2,490 2,458 818
Others 30 81 24
Total 20,914 19,020 20,831


Investments in Japan

-Aichi Steel Corporation (Aichi Steel) announced that it has constructed a new heat rolling mill line for differential ring gears at its forging plant (Tokai City, Aichi Prefecture). Aichi Steel aims to improve competitiveness of differential gears, which are one of its main forged products, in terms of production capacity, quality, delivery times, and costs. The company will strengthen its strategy for drive system parts, which are likely to grow worldwide for next-generation vehicles such as hybrid, electric, and fuel cell vehicles. Aichi Steel plans to establish more new production lines at its main forging plant. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on March 14, 2019)

-On November 7 Aichi Steel Corporation (Aichi Steel) announced that it has completed a new line at its Gifu Plant in Japan for the production of the “Power Card Lead Frame” heat-dissipating component used in the inverters of electric-powered vehicles. The total investment amount for the buildings and equipment was approximately JPY 3 billion, with the line having a monthly production capacity of 1.8 million units (for 60,000 vehicles). The company boosted production capacity of the parts used in the next-generation vehicles as part of Toyota’s strategy to advance vehicle electrification. Aichi Steel now has a production system consisting of two manufacturing sites, the Chita Plant in Aichi and the Gifu Plant. The new two-story structure has a floor area of about 4,200 square meters. Power Card Lead Frames are the main components of the power cards installed in the inverter of hybrid vehicles. Aichi Steel supplies the product to Denso Corporation, with a 100% share of the products supplied to Toyota. Going forward, the site still has space to add another line in the Gifu Plant. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on November 9, 2018)

Investments outside Japan

-Aichi Steel Corporation (Aichi Steel) announced a plan to raise CNY 8 million to make additional investment in Zhejiang Aichi Mechanical & Electrical Co., Ltd, to strengthen its magnet business in China by enhancing supply capabilities. In addition to its current seat motor business, Aichi Steel is also considering entering the EV motor market. (From a press release on March 25, 2019)


Planned Capital Investment

(As of Mar. 31, 2019)
Type of
Type of
Planned investment
(in million
Start Completion Production capacity upon completion
Chita Plant
(Aichi Pref., Japan)
Steel etc. Facilities for producing steel, rolling equipment, etc. 14,969 Nov. 2015 Sep. 2022 *
Kariya Plant
(Aichi Pref., Japan)
Steel Rolling equipment, etc. 683 Oct. 2015 Oct. 2021 *

Forging Plant
(Aichi Pref., Japan)

Forged products Facilities for producing forged products 6,997 Dec. 2013 Mar. 2022 *

Higashiura Plant
(Aichi Pref., Japan)

Electro magnetic products, etc. Facilities for producing magnet applied products, etc. 13 Feb. 2019 Nov. 2019 *
Gifu Plant
(Gifu Pref., Japan)
Electro magnetic products, etc. Facilities for producing electronic functional materials and components, etc. 1,512 Jun. 2018 Oct. 2025 *
Electronic Components Plant
(Aichi Pref., Japan)
Electro magnetic products Facilities for producing electronic functional materials and components
310 Aug. 2018 Dec. 2020 *

*The production capacity upon completion is expected to be around the same level as what it was at the end of March 2019.