Lear Corporation Business Report FY ended Dec. 2017

Financial Overview

(in million USD)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 Rate of change (%) Factors
Net Sales 20,467.0 18,557.6 10.3 1)
Net Income 1,380.9 1,040.5 32.7 -
Net Sales by segment
Seating 15,873.0 14,356.7 10.6 2)
E-systems 4,594.0 4,200.9 9.4 3)

1) Net Sales
-The Company’s sales for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 increased by 10.3% over the previous year to USD 20,467.0 million. New business, primarily in North America, Europe and Asia positively contributed to net sales by approximately USD 1.4 billion. Furthermore, the acquisition of Antolin Seating increased sales by USD 350 million.

2) Seating
-The Company’s seating segment had sales of USD 15,873.0 million for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, an increase of 10.6% over the previous year. New business positively affected net sales by USD 1.2 billion, while the acquisition of Antolin Seating positively impacted net sales by USD 350 million.

3) E-Systems
-The Company’s E-systems segment’s sales for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 were USD 4,594.0 million, an increase of 9.4% over the previous year. New business, obtaining control of an affiliated company, and higher volumes on key platforms positively contributed to the segment’s net sales by USD 210 million, USD 116 million, and USD 45 million, respectively.


-The Company announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Israel-based EXO Technologies, a developer of GPS technology providing high-accuracy solutions for autonomous and connected vehicle applications. EXO Technologies has operations in San Mateo, California and Tel Aviv, Israel. Its proprietary technology works with existing GPS receivers to provide centimeter-level accuracy without the need for terrestrial base-station networks. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. (From a press release on December 11, 2017)

-The Company announced the completion of its acquisition of Grupo Antolin's automotive seating business. The transaction is valued at EUR 286 million. Grupo Antolin’s seating business focuses on just-in-time seat assembly, seat structures, mechanisms and trim. The business has annual sales of approximately EUR 300 million with operations in five countries in Europe and North Africa. It is headquartered in France and includes 12 manufacturing facilities, two technological centers and 2,273 full-time and contract employees. (From a press release on April 28, 2017)


-The Company announced that it was selected by the Wyoming Department of Transportation as its exclusive partner to supply advanced vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure road-side units and on-board units. Wyoming is one of the U.S. Department of Transportation's pilot sites for connected vehicles, with a focus on trucking and highway driving in adverse weather conditions. In addition to supplying all related safety applications to this pilot program, the E-Systems segment will supply its Locomate Roadstar product with features such as Dedicated Short-Range Communications, high-precision GPS, Wi-Fi, and security. (From a press release on March 20, 2017)


-For the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018, the Company forecasts its net sales to be approximately USD 21.5 billion. The adjusted net income attributable to the Company is projected to be approximately USD 1.24 billion.

R&D Expenditure

(in million USD)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015
Overall 148 144 127

Technological Alliance

-The Company and Honeywell announced that they are collaborating to provide automotive software technology and infrastructure solutions to address threats associated with connected and autonomous vehicle development. The two companies have developed a system to identify and validate software commands and data generated by more than 100 million lines of code governing modern vehicle operation. Honeywell’s software and global security centers monitor in-vehicle network communications, while the Company’s electrical gateways and security modules provide a toolset to detect and report anomalies preceding a failure or intentional hack of the vehicle. Captured data can be transmitted in either real time or via a scheduled download to Honeywell security centers for analysis and remediation. (From a press release on September 12, 2017)

R&D Activities

-The Company has developed active sensing and comfort seat capabilities, utilizing electronically controlled sensor and adjustment systems and internally developed algorithms. These seat designs automatically and constantly adjust the seat's cushioning and support based on the occupant's position and ideal alignment for health and wellness. The Company also has developed technologies that will monitor certain bio-metric readings through seat sensors with a high level of accuracy and reliability.

-The Company aims to develop intelligent and dynamic seating solutions called "INTU Seating" which will provide future benefits as consumers demand seats that can sense key user attributes and communicate these attributes within the vehicle network and to external networks. The seats will anticipate and adjust to the occupant's needs and preferences related to posture, health, comfort and safety.

-The Company provides a “Drop & Go” adaptive seating solution that provides cargo flexibility combined with integrated seat electrification. “Drop & Go” seats allow for a large number of seat configurations for various storage applications, including full removal.

-Other seating technology developed by the Company includes "ProActive Posture" seating uses proprietary "MySeat by Lear" technology powered by "TheraMetric" analytical process. This process provides a driver with a seating position that promotes better posture and cumulative wellness benefits. "Lear Crafted Comfort Connect" and "Advanced Comfort Systems" are adjustable cushions, seat backs and side bolsters which support correct posture and provide improved comfort and appearance.

-The Company also features seating systems with advanced materials, such as customized TeXstyle fabrics with improved durability, TeXstyle Enhance that feature secondary embellishment technologies to improve design, and SoyFoam seats, featuring 24% renewable material.

-In lighting, the Company has developed advanced technology electronic controls, including a Matrix LED Control System capable of individually dimming and switching on/off up to 100 LEDs.

-The Company has developed an 11 kW wireless charging system that enables electric vehicles to safely recharge at the highest power level available without plugs or wires.

-The Company has developed a firewall module, including proprietary software, which protects the vehicle from cybersecurity intrusion through one of its most vulnerable points, the on-board diagnostic port. The Company has also enhanced its V2X product line by adding secure, over-the-air software update capabilities.

R&D Facilities

-The Company has 20 global engineering centers, including eight advanced technology centers. The global innovation and technology center in Southfield, Michigan, U.S., is the Company’s central facility for research and development.

R&D Structure

-As of December 31, 2017, the Company has 5,500 engineers working in research and development.


-As of December 31, 2017, the Company has approximately 2,200 patents and patent applications pending.

Capital Expenditure

(in million USD)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015
Seating 398.3 341.6 317.2
E-Systems 176.3 162.4 134.4
Other 19.9 24.3 34.2
Total 594.5 528.3 485.8

-The Company expects to invest approximately USD 630 million in capital expenditures for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2018.

Investments in U.S.

-The Company broke ground on a new USD 30 million plant in Hammond, Indiana, U.S. that will make SUV seats for Ford Motor Co. The new plant will begin operations by April 2019 to produce seats for 2020 model-year vehicles. The Company reportedly plans to consolidate its current operations in Hammond and Portage at the new Hammond plant which will employ approximately 875 workers. (From Detroit News article on November 2, 2017)

-The Company announced construction of a USD 29.3 million plant for the subassembly and final assembly of automotive seats. The 150,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will be located at the former administration building of Buick City, north of downtown Flint, Michigan. The Michigan Strategic Fund board approved a USD 4.35-million performance-based grant to support the 435 jobs that will be created at the plant. The Company will begin construction in the fall with operations scheduled to start in spring 2018. (From a press release on August 22, 2017)

Investments outside U.S.

-The Company is currently expanding production of automotive components at its Arteaga plant in Mexico. The Company will hire 300 new employees by the end of 2017, bringing the total workforce at the plant to 1,000. (From a Mexico-Now article on October 9, 2017)

-The Company started the first phase of operations at a new facility in Matamoros, Mexico, to manufacture wiring harnesses. Currently, half of the 300,000-square-foot facility is occupied, but the company expects the plant to operate at full capacity by the end of 2017. Approximately 1,200 workers were recruited for the first phase of operations, which will increase to 3,000 when the plant reaches its intended production rates. The official inauguration for the site will be held on August 15. (From a Mexico-Now article on July 6, 2017)

-The Company opened its 45th plant in Mexico in the municipality of Calera, Zacatecas. The USD 21 million facility, named Lear Mexican Trim Operations, has hired 1,300 workers for the first phase of operations to manufacture seat covers. An additional USD 9.5 million will be invested in 2018 to expand operations, which will add 600 jobs. (From a Mexico-Now article on May 20, 2017)

-The Company held a signing and groundbreaking ceremony on August 31, 2017 for a new automotive trim project in China. The total investment in the project is USD 100 million. In the project’s first phase, the Company will invest in the Eagle Ottawa leather plant, which is expected to complete in February 2018. The second phase will cover other locations, which are scheduled to conclude in June 2018. At full capacity, the project is expected to generate sales of approximately CNY 3 billion (USD 474 million). (From some releases on September 1, 2017)