NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. Business Report FY ended Mar. 2016
|(in million JPY)|
|FY ended Mar. 31, 2016||FY ended Mar. 31, 2015||Rate of
|Net income||30,815||36,753||(16.2)||-An extraordinary loss of JPY 14,837 million was posted in payment of a settlement to some customers as a result of U.S. antitrust violations by the Company.|
|Sales||322,856||292,794||10.3||-Sales of factory-installed auto parts for new models as well as sales of after-service parts increased in line with the growth of the automotive markets, especially in North America and Europe.
-Wells, a consolidated subsidiary, contributed to the increase in sales.
-Favorable currency translation due to the weak yen.
-The Company announced that it will change its operating structure on April 1 by abolishing its existing divisional system and introducing product-based business units. Until now, the Automotive Components Group has dealt with spark plugs and sensors and the Technical Ceramics Group has handled semiconductors and other products, but the new operating structure will be divided into nine business divisions including spark plug and fuel cell business divisions. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on March 4, 2016)
-On May 8, 2015, the Company signed an agreement to acquire all the stock shares in Wells Vehicle Electronics Holdings Corp. (formerly UCI Acquisition Holdings (No.2) Corp.). The acquisition was completed on July 1, 2015. As a result, Wells became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company.
-The Company announced that it has acquired 100 percent of Wells Manufacturing, L.P. and the Wells Vehicle Electronics business from UCI Holdings Limited. NGK paid USD 257.5 million (approximately JPY 31 billion) for this deal under the agreement announced in May 2015. Wells, based in Wisconsin, U.S., manufactures switches, ignitions coils and other various automotive components, and has a significant share in these segments in the U.S. aftermarket. Wells believes that this deal will boost its international sales, as NGK Spark Plug has an extended global sales network. NGK Spark Plug hopes that this transaction will help its efforts to further expand its auto parts business. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on July 4, 2015)
Recent Development Outside Japan
-The Company is aiming at expanding its share in the market of spark plugs for new vehicles in China to 30% by fiscal year 2020 (that ends in March 2021). The Company's share in China is just below 20%, less than half of its global share of 40%. China produces the largest number of vehicles in the world, and in order to enhance its presence there, the Company will target the major market segment of middle to low-end vehicles and low-end vehicles, which are seeing rising unit sales. The Company will strengthen promotional campaigns targeting locally-funded Chinese automakers. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on August 24, 2016)
Hydrogen-detection sensors for FCVs
-The Company has started sales of hydrogen leak detection sensors for fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). In addition to improved accuracy through adoption of a heat conduction detection method, the sensor's resistance to age deterioration, vibration, and shock has been increased, and it was recently adopted for use in new FCVs. The Company started development of the sensor in 2006, and this resulted in a heat conduction detection method where hydrogen leaks are detected with high precision by measuring the amount of heat the hydrogen takes from the heater. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on March 15, 2016)
On-board emission meters
-The Company will introduce a compact on-board emission meter to the market in 2016. This is the Company's first emission meter. The prototype meter has been exhibited at the CEATEC JAPAN 2015. The Company has utilized its unique oxygen (O2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) sensing technologies to develop the product. In anticipation of growing demand for on-board measurement systems, the Company will further reduce the size and cost of its meter in an effort to increase sales. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 8, 2015)
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs)
-A fuel cell that creates electricity and heat through an electrochemical reaction. The Company is working on developing "stacks" that generate SOFC electricity, which helps to further grow hydrogen-based infrastructure.
Lead-free piezoelectric ceramics
-Development of lead-free piezoelectric ceramics that achieve the same level of performance as conventional ones, but without the use of lead. Developing piezoelectric ceramics that generate voltage when power is added from external voltage piezoelectric ceramics.
-The Company's R&D functions include the main R&D Center at the home office, the new-business development office, the fuel-cell development office, and the engineering functions at each business. In addition, the Company participates in joint-development activities both in and outside Japan with academic organizations and associations, universities, and public R&D organizations, working to develop and introduce the latest technological breakthroughs.
-The Company has technical centers in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, and Korea.
-The Company is working to increase the performance of spark plugs by improving their resistance to high heat and high voltage, as well as enhance their high-ignition capability. This is in addition to reducing the size of their diameters and elongating them. This involves seamless R&D activities, from developing materials, up to designing products and developing new production methods.
-The Company is developing long-reach plugs that optimize engine-cooling performance by making the plugs smaller in diameter and more elongated, combining new insulation that improves their voltage-resistance performance. These plugs are being factory-installed on models built by European OEMs.
-The Company is verifying spark-plug specs, which meet performance demands, offer longer durability, and have longer-lasting ignition capability; for high-efficiency turbos.
Glowplugs for diesel engines
-The Company is developing spark plugs that meet exhaust-gas regulations, offer better performance against rising temperatures, and have longer product lives. It is also developing control systems that control temperatures.
-The Company is developing a new product that integrates glowplugs and voltage sensors into a single unit. In order to commercialize this unit, the Company is now verifying its laser-welding technology to make precision welding possible; as well as verifying production technology involved with product designs and production methods.
-The Company is developing energy-saving and resource-saving sensors that need to comply with exhaust-gas regulations, making them more environmentally efficient by improving their performance in terms of coping with high temperatures, thermal shock, vibration, and moisture.
-The Company is developing sensors for onboard diagnostics (OBD) that are needed for new, exhaust-gas regulations; and sensors that control EGR systems.
-The Company is expanding value-added features of oxygen-intake sensors, which it has decided to launch, for controlling EGR systems for automobiles, in order to expand their use.
-The Company developed and commercialized an ignition unit that improves the durability of spark plugs for gasoline engines.
-Development of a next-generation application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for every range of air-fuel ratio, which has the capability to interface with automotive engine control circuits.
|(in million JPY)|
|FY ended Mar. 31, 2016||FY ended Mar. 31, 2015||FY ended Mar. 31, 2014|
|-R&D expenditures, excluding costs for upgrading current products; and applied research||5,401||4,596||4,017|
|-Automotive Components Group||1,460||1,157||839|
|(in million JPY)|
|FY ending Mar. 31, 2017
|FY ended Mar. 31, 2016||FY ended Mar. 31, 2015||FY ended Mar. 31, 2014|
|-Automotive Components Group||48,200||37,682||31,876||34,353|
Investments in Japan
-The Company will consolidate some of its production of ceramic insulators for spark plugs at its subsidiary SparkTec TONO Co., Ltd.'s Nino Plant in Kani City, Gifu Prefecture, and double the production capacity there by 2020. Along with shifting some of its insulator production to the high-efficiency plant, the Company will upgrade its equipment and boost annual production capacity. The Company is aiming to increase its global spark plug sales by about 200 million units from the current sales volume to 1 billion units in 2020, and will expand its production capacity for spark plug insulators in accordance. It will integrate its insulator production capacity in the Chubu region into the Nino Plant, which was completed in 2014. The Company discontinued insulator production at its headquarters plant in Nagoya in March 2016, and will discontinue production at its Komaki Plant in Aichi Prefecture by the end of 2017, with the respective insulator production capacities of these plants to be shifted to the Nino Plant. The Nino Plant's monthly insulator production capacity is 20 million units as of June 2016. The Company will upgrade production facilities at the Nino Plant and increase the plant's capacity to 30 million units by the end of this year, and to 40 million units by 2020.(From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on June 24, 2016)
-The Company announced that construction has been completed for a new spark plug parts plant in Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture. The new plant is a production facility of NGK Spark Plug's subsidiary, Nittoku SparkTec WKS Co., Ltd. The new plant will begin producing electronic parts such as center electrodes and terminals for spark plugs in March. Investment in the new plant amounted to JPY 7 billion. With the new plant in operation, the production capacity of the Company's subsidiary is expected to increase 30% from the current level by 2020. The Company is aiming to gain momentum to expand its market share with the increased production capacity. The new plant has environment-friendly features, including air-conditioning equipment utilizing geothermal energy, and a system for visualizing energy consumption. The Company began construction of the new plant on about 26,000 square meters of land in May 2015. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on March 1, 2016)
Planned Capital Investment
|(As of Mar. 31, 2016)|
|Company Name||Segment||Planned investment
(in million JPY)
|Type of facilities / purpose|
||Automotive||34,400||Production increase and R&D facilities|
|Technical ceramics||11,100||Production increase and facilities to streamline operations|
|Consolidated subsidiaries in Japan||Automotive||2,200||Production increase and repair facilities|
|Technical ceramics||1,211||Production increase and facilities to streamline operations|
|Consolidated subsidiaries outside Japan||Automotive||11,666||Production increase and facilities to streamline operations|
|Technical ceramics||1,223||Production increase and facilities to streamline operations|
Outlook for FY ending Mar. 31, 2017
|(in million JPY)|
|FY ended Mar. 31, 2017
|FY ended Mar. 31, 2016
>>>Financial Forecast for the Next Fiscal Year (Sales, Operating Income etc.)
-The Company predicts that negative factors will offset positive business performance factors. Operating profit is forecast to be JPY 9,300 million, achieved through increasing sales, improving product lineup, and streamlining operations. However, negative factors such as negative currency translation (JPY 25,200 million) and increased costs (JPY 7,600 million) will be greater than the positive factors.
Long-term Management Plan: NGK Theory of Evolution (launched in 2010)
- Delving deeper (covering the FY ending in March 2011 through the FY ending in March 2013) Delve even deeper into aspects of current businesses; and plant seeds for growing new businesses.
- Newness (covering the FY ending in March 2014 through the FY ending in March 2016) Launch new products and businesses
- Evolving (covering the FY ending in March 2017 through the FY ending in March 2019) Speed up launches of new products and businesses
- True value: Become a company creating innovative products, achieving high rates of return, and developing human talent, in order to provide true value in 2020.
7th Mid-term Management Plan (covering the FY ending in March 2017 though the FY ending in March 2021)
-Objectives to be achieved by the fiscal year ending in March 2021:
- Sales: JPY 520,000 million
- Operating Profit: JPY 100,000 million
-Further strengthen existing businesses
- Spark plug and sensor businesses: expand market share in emerging countries, develop products that better respond to environmental regulations, and increase sales of automotive products by taking advantage of Wells' expertise.
-Plan for renewing ceramic package (PKG) business
- Establish independent subsidiaries: Establish NTK Ceramics (a new company) and Ceramic Sensor Nakatsugawa (CS Nakatsugawa) sometime around July 2016. By October 1st, consolidate the semiconductor package businesses at NGK and NTK Ceramics (a wholly owned subsidiary) into NTK Ceramics. And consolidate the automotive sensor business of NTK Ceramic into CS Nakatsugawa.
- Selection and consolidation of products: Sometime around March 2018, withdraw from the crystal PKG business and concentrate on automotive, medical, and high-speed communications sectors, which include autonomous driving and LED products. By the fiscal year ending in March 2019, return to profitability on a monthly basis, and to full profitability for the entire fiscal year ending in March 2020.
-Creation of new businesses
- Launch new products for non-internal combustion engine vehicles, which includes next-generation vehicles; and expand business into new sectors such as environment/energy and medical