Nippon Seiki Co., Ltd. Business Report FY ended Mar. 2015

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in millions of JPY)
  FY ended Mar. 31, 2015 FY ended Mar. 31, 2014 Rate of Change (%) Factors
Sales 226,956 220,144 3.1 -Sales of automotive meters increased year-on-year in the Americas (JPY 5,400 million) and in Europe (JPY 1,400 million).
-Sales outside Japan increased year-on-year to JPY 7,000 million, especially to GM and Chrysler in the Americas; to BMW and PSA in Europe, and to SAIC-GM in Asia.
Operating income 16,436 18,215 (9.8) -Higher expenses for designing and developing meters, and higher depreciation costs.
-Cost ratios worsened due to higher labor costs, etc. in the ASEAN Region.
Ordinary income 23,619 23,029 2.6 -
Current net income 14,467 13,908 4.0 -
Automotive and general-purpose instrument business
Sales 174,436 167,820 3.9 -Sales of automotive instruments, motorcycle instruments, and general purpose instruments increased.
Operating income 13,856 17,034 (18.7) -

Long-term Business Plan

-NS Group's long-term roadmap: for the fiscal year ending in March 2018, JPY 270.0 billion in sales, with plans to increase sales to JPY 300.0 billion.

-Expanding to other sectors: smartphone interactive clusters, 2PlaneHUD, laser HUDs, advanced Safe-i systems, etc.
>>>Link to "Product Development" for details

-Increasing design and development resources: fully integrate operations globally, from design and development, up to testing.
>>>Link to "R&D Structure" for details

-Automotive meter business:
The Company plans to increased its unit production, from the current 10,086,000 as of the fiscal year that ended in March 2015, to 12,614,000 for the fiscal year ending March 2018. In particular, the Company predicts that unit production will increase from 3,023,000 to 4,424,000 in North America (+46%), from 1,430,000 to 2,141,000 in China (+50%), and from 1,036,000 to 1,299,000 in Europe (+25%).

-Growth strategy for HUDs:
The current annual production of HUDs worldwide is 600,000 units, as of the fiscal year that ended in March 2015. The Company foresees production increasing to 1-1.2 million units in the fiscal year ending March 2018.
>>>Link to "Product Development" for details

Increasing orders for HUDs

-The Company announced that it has started supplying head-up displays (HUDs) to Audi. This will be the first time that the Company's HUDs are used in Audi models. Nippon Seiki has supplied instruments to Audi since the 1990s. The Company's HUDs can be used on a range of Audi models and will initially be installed on the Audi Q7 large SUV, which is built at Volkswagen's plant in Slovakia. The HUD has a thin-film transistor (TFT) display and projects an image on the windshield. Information such as speed, warnings, and navigation data is displayed with full color approximately 2.1 meters away from the driver's eyes. The HUD uses high-intensity LEDs to create a clear image even in bright sunlight. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on July 17, 2015)

-The Company announced that its cumulative sales of head-up displays (HUDs) have exceeded 2 million units in August 2014. The Company has been supplying HUDs to BMW Group and General Motors. It also started supplying its combiner HUDs to Mazda Motor Corporation in 2013, which further increased sales volume of HUDs. A HUD system projects driving speed and navigation information on a windshield, allowing a driver to check such information without taking their eyes off the road ahead. HUDs are regarded as a tool to support driving safety, and are increasingly mounted on vehicles. Nippon Seiki has the largest share in the global HUD market. In the fiscal year ended in March 2014, the Company generated JPY 11.1 billion by selling 400,000 HUD units. The Company expects to achieve sales volume of 700,000 units and revenue of JPY 17 billion in the fiscal year ending in March 2017. To meet growing demand for HUDs, Nippon Seiki has established two plants in Hiroshima and North America, in addition to the existing plant in Niigata. Production in other areas is under consideration. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on September 5, 2014)

-The Company aims to boost sales of its head-up display (HUD) units to JPY 22 billion by FY 2017, up 80 percent from those in FY 2013 (April 2013 - March 2014). The Company expects to double its production volume, as vehicles fitted with head-up displays are increasing. A head-up display system projects driving speed and navigation information on a windshield or a combiner, allowing a driver to check such information without taking their eyes off the road. Use of this technology is forecast to grow significantly in the mid- and long-term perspective. Nippon Seiki is poised to meet rising demand for the advanced display technology in the global market, while increasing local production and streamlining its product development processes. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on June 18, 2014)

Outlook for FY ending Mar. 2016

(in millions of JPY)
  FY ended Mar. 31, 2016
FY ended Mar. 31, 2015
(Actual Results)
Rate of Change
Sales 230,000 226,956 1.3
Operating income 12,500 16,436 (23.9)
Ordinary income 14,500 23,619 (38.6)
Net income 8,500 14,467 (41.2)

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

R&D Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY ended Mar. 31, 2015 FY ended Mar. 31, 2014 FY ended Mar. 31, 2013
Overall 4,459 3,616 3,401
-Automobile and general-purpose instruments business 4,146 3,416 3,155

R&D Structure

-R&D activities are overseen by the R&D Center in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture; and NS Technical Center, also in Nagaoka, which collaborate with the R&D functions at each business creating mass-marketed products, conducting design activities, and developing production technology.

Strengthening R&D Structure
-Japan: Strengthen core production plants by reorganizing production and development structure.
Construction of a new testing facility located at the headquarters premises was completed in October 2014. It started testing in November. It has radio-wave noise-testing/evaluating equipment that can respond to the needs for both high precision and diversified testing.

-Outside Japan: Strengthen ability to create products by expanding production operations and integrating designing activities so as to increase market share in both major and developing markets.
N.S. International, Ltd. in the U.S. hired more engineers in Detroit, where its new facility launched operations in September 2014. With testing and prototyping capabilities, the facility can complete designing and development processes in North America.

R&D Activities

Automobile and General-Purpose Instruments Business
-Developing driving-support information display systems such as head-up displays, and developing next-generation HMI (Human Machine Interface) devices.
-Developing smartphone technology.
>>>Smartphone interactive cluster (exhibited at 2015 JSAE)
-Developing on-board optics and actuators.
-Developing on-board sensor devices.

Product Development

-Head-up display (HUD)

  • Windshield HUDs: Develop technology for wide-angle, bright HUDs and AR-HUDs. (AR-HUDs: HUDs that can display space in three dimensions, displaying superimposed displays of actual scenes based on information from ADAS (advanced driver assist systems).
  • Combiner HUD: increase application to compact cars
  • 2PlaneHUD: Next-generation HUD that spatially separates the display into two screens, i.e., a close-up screen and a far-away screen. Display 1 shows status information such as speed, speed limit, road signage, ACC setting, etc.; and Display 2 gives driver-assist information such as routes, frontal collision warning (FCW), blind-spot warning (BSW), only when needed.

-Biological sensor: measures human body functions, pulse, heartbeat, brainwaves, feelings

-Advanced Safe-i system: Instrument panel that can understand, read, and sense people's feelings
>>>Advanced Safe-i system (exhibited at 2015 JSAE)

Capital Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY ended Mar. 31, 2015 FY ended Mar. 31, 2014 FY ended Mar. 31, 2013
Overall 12,027 12,061 9,891
-Automotive and general purpose instrument business 9,384 9,520 8,127

Automotive and General Purpose Instrument Business
-The company made capital investments to better respond to new models and expand its production capacities and renew facilities, investing in facilities to manufacture substrate boards and assemble meters and instruments.

-Japan: (Headquarters) JPY 3,100 million to increase testing facilities and respond to new models.
-U.S. (N.S. International, Ltd.): JPY 1,690 million to build and strengthen new designing and development facilities
>>>Link to "R&D Structure" for details

Planned Capital Investment (Meters for automobile and general-purpose use) (As of Mar. 31, 2015)

Name of company
or facility
Purpose Planned total investment
(in million JPY)
Starting Planned Completion

Head office Plant
(Nagaoka City, Niigata Pref.)

Testing building 2,200 Dec.
NS Advantech Co., Ltd.
Head office Plant
(Ojiya City, Niigata Pref.)
Forming and printing machines 476 Apr.
NS Advantech Co., Ltd.
Nagaoka Plant
(Nagaoka City, Niigata Pref.)
Coloring equipment 211 Apr.
NS Electronics Co., Ltd.
(Nagaoka City, Niigata Pref.)
Board mounting equipment 154 Feb.
NS West, Inc.
Head office Plant
(Hiroshima Pref., Japan)
Board mounting equipment 200 Aug.
Nippon Seiki de Mexico S.A. de C.V.
(Nuevo Leon, Mexico)
Board mounting equipment 149 Jan.
NS Sao Paulo Componentes Automotivos Ltda.
(Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Assembly and testing facilities 166 Mar.