Autoliv, Inc. Business Report FY ended Dec. 2018

Financial Overview

(in million USD)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2018 FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 Rate of
change (%)
Net Sales 8,678.2 8,136.8 6.7 1)
Operating Income 686.0 859.6 (20.2) 2)
Sales by Product Line
Airbag products 5,698.6 5,342.3 6.7 3)
Seatbelt products 2,979.6 2,793.6 6.7 4)


1) Net Sales
-The Company’s net sales increased by 6.7% in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 to USD 8,678.2 million. Excluding currency and acquisition effects, the Company had total organic sales growth of 4.8% over the previous year. Foreign currency translation effects increased sales by 1.9%. Organic sales increased across all of the Company’s operating regions, with the greatest growth taking place in the Americas, due to new model launches, and India, due to increased sales.

2) Operating Income
-In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, the Company’s operating income was USD 686.0 million, a 20.2% decrease from the previous year. Operating margin decreased from 10.6% in the previous year to 7.9% of sales, due to higher costs for antitrust related matters, increased research, development and engineering costs. These increased costs were partially offset by lowered selling, general and administrative expenses.

3) Airbag products
-Sales of airbag products increased by 6.7% in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018 to USD 5,698.6 million. Organic growth increased by 4.9%, driven by increased sales of steering wheels in North America, Europe and China, as well as increased sales of inflatable curtains in North America. These gains were partially offset by a decrease in organic sales of inflatable curtains in Europe.

4) Seatbelt products
-The Company’s seatbelt products had sales of USD 2,979.6 million in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, an increase of 6.7% over the previous year. The segment had organic sales increase of 4.5%, which was driven by increased sales in North America, India and China. Decreased sales in Europe partially offset those gains.

Restructuring (Veoneer spin-off)

-The Company announced that its Board of Directors has concluded its strategic review and decided to prepare for a spin-off of its electronics business segment. This action would create a new, independent publicly traded company during the third quarter of 2018. The electronics segment consists of active safety products (automotive radars, cameras with driver assist systems, night vision systems and positioning systems), restraint control and sensing and brake systems. After the spin-off, the Company’s current passive safety segment would continue to operate under the Autoliv name, while the electronics business will assume a new company name to be announced at a later stage. Both companies are to be headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. (From a press release on December 12, 2017)

-The Company announced that the new electronics spin-off company will be named Veoneer. When publicly listed, Veoneer’s offering will include safety electronics, sensors and software for active safety, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD) as well as advanced brake control solutions. After the spin-off, the Company’s current passive safety segment will continue to operate under the Autoliv name. (From a press release on January 29, 2018)

-The Company announced leaders for Veoneer and Autoliv ahead of the planned spin-off of the Electronics business, expected to be completed in the third quarter 2018. Jan Carlson will be the Chief Executive Officer of Veoneer following completion of the spin-off. Mr. Carlson will assume this role within the Veoneer business segment as of April 1, 2018 while continuing to serve in his role of Chairman, President and CEO of the Company until the spin-off. After completion of the spin-off, Mikael Bratt will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Mats Backman will, after completion of the spin-off, continue in his role as Chief Financial Officer of the Company. Mathias Hermansson will become Chief Financial Officer of Veoneer as of April 1, 2018. In addition, Johan Lofvenholm, will become Chief Operating Officer of Veoneer following the completion of the spin-off. Mr. Lofvenholm currently serves as President of the Electronics business segment of the Company. (From a press release on March 22, 2018)

-The Company announced that the process of spinning off the Electronics business under the name Veoneer is progressing well. The Company now anticipates trading in Veoneer to begin in the early part of the third quarter of 2018 with listings on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stockholm. The initial capitalization of Veoneer is expected to be provided through a capital injection from the Company and will provide up to USD 1.2 billion of cash liquidity in Veoneer. (From a press release on April 26, 2018)

-The Company completed of the spin-off of its electronics segment, Veoneer, Inc. With the completion of the spin-off, Veoneer will begin regular way trading on the New York Stock Exchange and will begin trading on Nasdaq Stockholm as an independent company. Prior to the spin-off as previously announced, the Company made cash contributions to Veoneer so that Veoneer has total cash liquidity of approximately USD 1 billion. The Company funded the contribution through a mixture of new external funding and existing cash. (From a press release on July 2, 2018)

Recent Developments

-The Company is proposing a USD 32 million expansion of its North American headquarters north of Detroit, according to plans submitted to the city of Auburn Hills, Michigan. The Company will modernize the office and technical center and add a floor, converting the headquarters to a three-story building. The first phase of the project is expected to begin later in 2018, with a target completion date set for fall 2020. (From multiple sources on July 24, 2018)


-Major launches in 2018

Maker / Model Parts Supplied
Nissan Altima Knee airbag, Side airbag, Inflatable curtain airbag, Seatbelt with pretensioner
Ford Focus Knee airbag, Passenger airbag, Side airbag, Seatbelt with pretensioner
Honda Crider Driver airbag with steering wheel, Passenger airbag, Side airbag, Seatbelt with pretensioner
Kia K3 Steering wheel, Seatbelt with pretensioner
Ram 1500 Driver airbag with steering wheel, Passenger airbag, Side airbag
Mercedes Sprinter Driver airbag with steering wheel, Passenger airbag, Side airbag, Inflatable curtain airbag, Seatbelt with pretensioner
Subaru Forester Passenger airbag, Side airbag, Inflatable curtain airbag
Audi Q3 Driver airbag with steering wheel, Passenger airbag, Active seatbelt with pretensioner
VW Jetta Driver airbag, Seatbelt with pretensioner, Steering wheel

-The Company announced that Veoneer, its electronics business, has been selected by one of the leading automakers as a partner to develop and produce mono-vision camera systems comprised of camera hardware, software and algorithms. Veoneer’s mono-vision system is designed to meet or exceed the market standards set by NHTSA and European NCAP for 5-star safety ratings, and are best in class for pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist. Veoneer will begin delivering mono vision camera systems for the customer in 2022. (From a press release on May 29, 2018)

-The Company announced that together with its software joint venture Zenuity, it has been selected to develop and produce the first Level 3 advanced driver assistance systems for Geely. The Company was selected as a supplier for Geely’s Level 3 project, which includes ADAS electronic control units and software, radar systems, as well as mono-vision and stereo-vision camera systems. (From a press release on March 8, 2018)


-The Company was honored with the Global Contribution Award, Toyota's highest award for suppliers. This is the fifth time that the Company has received the Global Contribution Award. (From a press release on February 26, 2018)


-For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2019, the Company expects that its net sales will increase by approximately 4%, with an increase in organic sales contributing a gain of 5% while negative currency translation effects decreasing sales by 1%.

R&D Expenditure

(in million USD)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2018 FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016
Net R&D Expenditure 413 371 357
% of Sales 4.8 4.6 4.5

-In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, no single project accounted for more than 2% of the Company’s research and development expenditures.

-The Company’s expected expenditure for research, development and engineering is expected to be less than 4.8% of its sales in the fiscal year ending in December 31, 2019.

R&D Facilities

-The Company has 14 technical centers in the following ten countries.

  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Japan
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • U.S. 

-The Company’s subsidiary, Autoliv Japan Ltd., will establish a new R&D office, Japan Technical Center Tsukuba, in Ibaraki Prefecture in January 2019. The total capital investment will total JPY 7 billion. The new R&D center will recruit 100 employees over the next three years in addition to 100 employees who will relocate from existing offices. The Company will strengthen its development capabilities for air bags, seat belts, and steering wheels to increase its sales to Japanese automakers, which currently accounts for 30% of its global sales. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 30, 2018)

R&D Activities

-The Company announced that it joined the new European H2020 research project OSCCAR to improve the protection and safety for occupants in future vehicles. By partnering with vehicle manufacturers, research organizations and other automotive suppliers in the OSCCAR project (Future Occupant Safety for Crashes in Cars), the Company will contribute to harmonized methods and tools for future restraint development. Guiding principles and concepts for occupant protection will be developed and assessed by using harmonized human body models for complex test cases and with consideration of heterogeneity characteristics like gender, age and other demographic factors, allowing for a dedicated and individual increase in safety. (From a press release on July 18, 2018)

-The Company announced that Veoneer participated in a geofencing urban environment technology demonstration in Stockholm, Sweden. Geofencing refers to a geographic zone where the entry, speed and fuel use of connected vehicles can be controlled digitally. In 2017, the Swedish government initiated a project to create safer, more climate-smart cities using geofencing technology. The participants in the project, led by the Swedish Transport Administration, include the Gothenburg and Stockholm governments, Veoneer, Scania, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group. (From a press release on May 29, 2018)

Product Development

Next-Generation Learning Intelligent Vehicle at CES 2019
-Veoneer, Inc. will demonstrate automotive safety technologies at CES 2019 in Las Vegas. Veoneer will display LIV, the next-generation Learning Intelligent Vehicle. LIV's core utilizes deep learning algorithms that enable effective communication, including sensing driver gaze, emotion, cognitive load, drowsiness, hand position, posture. The system fuses this information with data on the external environment to yield safer driving experiences. Veoneer is partnering with Ericsson, utilizing Ericsson’s secure cloud platform and cutting-edge 5G-ready network. (From a press release on November 23, 2018)

Zeus computer for autonomous driving
-Veoneer, Inc. has developed the Zeus supercomputer with Zenuity’s Autonomous Driving software stack. Zeus is an ADAS/AD ECU which fuses data from cameras, radars and other sensors, interprets the situation and takes action. Zeus has been designed to meet the requirements of level 4 autonomous driving. Veoneer and Zenuity, the joint venture between Veoneer and Volvo Cars, developed Zeus. Veoneer is responsible for hardware and basic software, while Zenuity is responsible for the development of autonomous driving software and vehicle integration. Zeus is based on the scalable architecture of NVIDIA DRIVE AGX Xavier and runs the NVIDIA DRIVE OS operating system. (From a press release on October 10, 2018)


-As of December 31, 2018, the Company holds approximately 6,050 patents encompassing a wide range of innovations and products in automotive safety and key supporting technologies.

Capital Expenditure

(in million USD)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2018 FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016*
Total 555 570 499
% of sales 6.4 5.5 5.0

*Figures are based on Company prior to spin-off of electronics segment

-The Company’s capital expenditures from 2016 through 2018 were dedicated to support growth and vertical integration, with particular focus in Europe, North America and China. The Company’s investment in Europe was used primarily for the expansion of facilities which manufactured seatbelts and airbags. The Company’s investment in North America was focused on new production equipment and buildings for new program launches. In China, the Company’s investment was used to increase production capacity for airbag and seatbelt products.

Investments outside Sweden

-According to local Mexican government officials, the Company is investing USD 120 million to expand its two manufacturing plants in Tijuana, Mexico. Through 2022, more than 200 people will be added to the Company’s current 3,500-employee workforce. (From Mexico-Now article on July 23, 2018)