Lear Corporation Business Report FY2009

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in million dollars)
  FY2009 FY2008 Rate of change (%) Factors
Net Sales 9,739.6 13,570.5 (28.2) -
Gross Profit 360.2 747.6 (51.8) -
Net Sales 7,812.9 10,726.9 (27.2) -Lower industry production volumes in North America and Europe, as well as the impact of net foreign exchange rate fluctuations, negatively impacted net sales by $2,500 million and $355 million, respectively.
Electrical Power Management Systems
Net Sales 1,926.7 2,843.6 (32.2) -Lower industry production volumes in North America and Europe, as well as the impact of net foreign exchange rate fluctuations, negatively impacted net sales by $687 million and $50 million, respectively.

Chapter 11

-In July 2009, the Company announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The filing covers its U.S. and Canadian operations. Subsidiaries outside the U.S. and Canada are not part of the filings. According to the Company, it has already secured support from a majority of its creditors on the reorganization plan. (From a press release on July 7, 2009)

-In Nov. 2009, the Company announced that the United States Bankruptcy Court has confirmed its Plan of Reorganization, clearing the way for the company to exit from Chapter 11 after four months. (From a press release on Nov. 5, 2009)

Joint Ventures

-The Company announced that it will start production in Thailand and India, jointly with Tachi-S Co., Ltd., a major seat system supplier. They will establish new companies in both countries in Aug. 2009 to start mass-producing seats for the Nissan's ultra mini A-platform vehicle in 2010, Their joint ventures, named TACLE Seating, have successfully supplied seats to Nissan's overseas plants from Tennessee, U.S.A. and Tyne and Wear County, U.K. The two new plants will bring the total TACLE Seating joint ventures to four. TACLE Seating Thailand Co., Ltd., Rayong, will be capitalized at approx. 470 million yen, 51% held by the Company (Mauritius) Ltd. and 49% held by Tachi-S. The total investment by Tachi-S will be 230 million yen. Production is scheduled to start in February 2010. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Jul 27, 2009)


R&D Expenditure

(in million dollars)
  FY2009 FY2008 FY2007
Overall Approx. 83 113.0 134.6


-The Company has over 100 patents and patents pending in its high-power product segment.

R&D Structure

-Technology development is conducted worldwide at its six advanced technology centers and at its product engineering centers.

R&D Facilities

Gobal innovation and technology center Southfield,
-Develop and integrate new concepts

-Its central location for consumer research, benchmarking, craftsmanship and industrial design activity
High Power Global Center of Excellence Southfield,
-Support growth opportunities in the hybrid and electric vehicle market through the development of high-power and hybrid electrical systems and components.

R&D Activities

-The Company has developed independent brand and marketing strategies for its product segments and focused its efforts in three principal areas:
(i) where the Company has a competitive advantage, such as its flexible seat architectures, its industry-leading ProTec(R) products, including its self-aligning head restraints, and its electronic technology, including its solid state junction boxes,
(ii) where the Company perceives that there is a significant market opportunity, such as electrical products for the hybrid and electric vehicle market, and
(iii) where the Company can contribute the most to the next generation of more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles, such as its alternative lightweight, low-mass products, including SoyFoam(TM) and Dynamic Environmental Comfort System(TM).

Electrical Power Management Systems
One area of significant emerging technology that the Company is active in is electrical power management systems and components for the hybrid and electric vehicle market. The Company's product portfolio includes the following:

-High-power distribution systems including high voltage wire harnesses found throughout the vehicle and battery pack, high-power terminals and connectors (designed to carry high amounts of electric current, to be packaged tightly and to provide proper sealing, high-use reliability and ease of use for the consumer) and battery disconnect units, as well as manual service disconnects.

-Energy management systems including DC-DC converters, battery monitoring systems, dual storage management units and its patent-pending integrated power module, which integrates the functionality of charging and energy management for an efficient solution for the upcoming generation of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure

(in million dollars)
  FY2009 FY2008 FY2007
Seating 65.5 106.3 114.9
Electronic & Electrical 44.8 60.8 80.3
Interior -(*) -(*) 1.2
Other 8.5 0.6 5.8
Total 118.8 167.7 202.2
* The Company completed the divestiture of its interior business in the first quarter of 2007.