Ficosa International, S.A. Business Report FY ended Dec. 2017

Recent Years

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014
Net Sales N/A N/A 1,100 949

Ficosa as a consolidated subsidiary of Panasonic

-Panasonic Corporation announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of additional shares in the Company after the satisfaction of all conditions to the closing of the transaction as of July 4. Panasonic has acquired an additional 20% of the Company’s issued shares held by Ficosa Inversion. Combined with the shares Panasonic already holds, Panasonic now owns 69% of the issued shares of the Company, making it a consolidated subsidiary. With this transaction, Panasonic positions the Company as one of Panasonic’s business divisions. Panasonic is aiming to reach sales of two trillion yen in its automotive business in FY 2018. Panasonic and the Company are combining their respective technologies to jointly develop products such as electronic mirror systems, next-generation cockpit systems and ADAS, which will facilitate business expansion in the fields where future growth is anticipated. (From a press release on July 5, 2017)

Business Partnership

-Videantis and ADASENS (part of the Company's group) announced that they are partnering to bring advanced sensing technologies to self-driving vehicles and automotive ADAS applications. The partnership combines the ADASENS portfolio of computer vision functions with Videantis’s low-power, high-performance embedded vision processor. Automotive vision computation tasks often require multiple powerful CPUs and GPUs, which burn hundreds of Watts, to process images into meaningful information that is used to control the car. The Videantis processor architecture performs these complex machine vision and image processing tasks much faster and at much lower power levels, enabling this technology to be embedded into smaller ECUs and even directly into tiny cameras. (From a press release on December 5, 2017)

-The Company and Panasonic Corporation have signed the first contract of a co-developed product. Both companies will produce an interior rearview mirror for a major European OEM which will incorporate an electronic toll function that allows the automatic payment of motorway tolls without stopping the vehicle. The project, which will last for seven years, is valued at EUR 50 million and will be produced in the Company’s Vildecavalls plant. Panasonic has developed the credit card reading module while the Company has been in charge of electronic management for the system. (From a press release on September 28, 2016)


-The Company announced that it has closed five important contracts for battery management systems (BMS) for the Chinese market. These orders, placed by two tier-one automobile manufacturers, are valued at over EUR 200 million and will be used for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The Company’s battery management systems give users the required safety and allow them to monitor the battery charge level at all times, as well as its health. The software, hardware and mechanics for these orders are being developed at the Viladecavalls Technology Centre (Barcelona, Spain), while production, which will begin in 2019, will take place at the Taicang Technical Centre (China). (From a press release on February 23, 2018)

-The Company announced that it has closed its first contract to supply rotary shift-by-wire systems to an Asian automobile manufacturer. With a total value of EUR 34.5 million, the order expands the Company’s portfolio of products in the shift-by-wire field. Furthermore, the company is not only providing the rotary shifter selector but the whole system, which includes the electronic control unit (ECU) and the gearbox actuator (GBA). The Company has also closed a contract with another renowned Asian car manufacturer to produce a shift-by-wire lever, valued at a total of EUR 6.9 million. (From a press release on November 28, 2017)

-In 2016, the Company won EUR 181.6 million in new contracts for rear-view mirrors with major automotive OEMs, an increase of 30% over the previous year. These contracts have an average length of five years and a total value of approximately EUR 1,000 million. To accommodate these contracts, the Company expects to produce 27.3 million units per year by 2021.

-The Company announced that it supplies front mirrors and smaller close-proximity mirrors for a European utility vehicle manufacturer. These are developed in Wolfenbuttel. The central development system for utility vehicles and the German production center for the Company are based in Lower Saxony. (From a press release on December 12, 2016)

-The Company has won a contract with a major European car manufacturer to produce a system composed of the backrest suspension mat and the cushion mat with electromechanical lumbar adjustment. The order will be produced at Fico Cables, the Company's facility in Porto, Portugal. Manufacturing will start in early 2018. (From a press release on July 7, 2016)

-The Company has been awarded four contracts from two American OEMs to produce 8.9 million rear-view mirrors over a period of five years in North America. The total value of these orders is USD 510 million (approximately EUR 449 million). Three orders will be produced in the new facility in Cookeville, Tennessee and will be the first new projects to go to the new factory, which will begin operations in October 2016. The value of this Cookeville production will represent an economic value of USD 460 million (EUR 405 million), and will begin in the first quarter of 2018. Furthermore, Ficosa North America is currently recruiting 240 new workers for positions including project managers, technicians, engineers, operators and human resources specialist. (From a press release on June 15, 2016)

-The Company announced that Renault's new Espace incorporates the Company’s "Shift by Wire” automatic gearshift. The gearshift weighs only 0.5 kg, representing a weight reduction of over 75% compared to conventional automatic gearshifts. The shift system is based on a movement detection module, called "Minishifter" because of its small size, which is mounted on the electronic board. This module reproduces the lever movements and, through a magnet, transmits them to a three-dimensional magnetic sensor that sends the signal to the ECU. This automatic gearshift was developed and produced in the Ficosa Technology Centre in Viladecavalls, Barcelona, Spain. (From a press release on July 22, 2015)


-The Company has been recognized by Toyota Motor Europe with the Value Analysis award. (From a press release on April 12, 2016)

-The Company has been recognized by Toyota with three prestigious awards. The Company’s production centers in Portugal and Turkey have been awarded by Toyota Motor Europe in the categories of Quality and Value Analysis, respectively; while Ficosa China has been distinguished with the prize for Quality granted by FAW-Toyota. (From a press release on April 14, 2015)

R&D Expenditure

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2017 FY ended Dec. 31, 2016 FY ended Dec. 31, 2015 FY ended Dec. 31, 2014
Overall N/A N/A 60.0 56.1

-The Company invests 6.5% of its yearly income into research and development.

R&D Facilities

-The Company has 14 research and development centers across the world located in the following countries:

  • Brazil
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Mexico
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • U.S.

R&D Structure

-The Company has approximately 1,000 employees working in research and development.

Product Development

Telematics control unit
-Panasonic Corporation (Panasonic) announced that it started volume shipment of a telematics control unit (TCU), a new product jointly developed by its in-house company, Automotive & Industrial Systems Company, and Ficosa International S.A., from December 2017. The new product is Panasonic's first TCU and the second jointly developed product after an electric inner mirror that the company started shipping from September. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on January 16, 2018)

Intelligent rearview mirror system
-The Company, together with Panasonic Corporation, presented an intelligent rearview mirror system (IRMS). This system, which has an integrated display in the structure of the interior rearview mirror, works as a mirror or monitor that relays images from the camera located at the rear of the vehicle, based on the driver's needs. IRMS is the first product developed as the result of the alliance with Panasonic. This solution extends the rearward field of vision by up to 50 degrees, more than double compared to a traditional mirror. This system also includes a Panasonic LCD screen. Currently, the Company is working with different car manufacturers on the integration of intelligent interior rearview mirror. The Company believes that vehicles with this system may be launched by the beginning of 2018. (From a press release on March 30, 2016)

Sensor and camera lens cleaning system
-The Company has developed a new solution to automatically clean sensor and camera lenses integrated into the car. Named Sensor & Camera Cleaning, the system removes dirt from cameras and sensors through a hybrid system that expels water and/or pressurized air depending on the need and the position of the lenses, guaranteeing proper performance at all times. (From a press release on October 28, 2015)

Electronic mirror utilizing cameras and displays
-The Company has developed an electronic mirror composed of cameras and displays which serves as an alternative to a car’s exterior rear-view mirrors. This system, known as CMS (Camera Monitor System), represents progress towards the development of the autonomous car. The electronic mirror offers a safer and more comfortable driving experience through its inclusion in ADAS vision systems. It is composed of two cameras integrated into the sides of the car chassis, which transmit images at low latency to two high-resolution displays installed inside the vehicle. The Company has been working since 2007 in developing an electronic mirror system, with this version emerging as a fourth-generation system. As this new system is a prototype which is close to the mass production concept, the Company is working with several clients to customize it according to their needs. (From a press release on October 14, 2015)

Smart Connectivity Module
-The Company presented the latest technological developments in automobile connectivity at the Mobile World Congress 2015. The Company developed a new solution which was created to merge its Smart Antenna Module (SAM) with one of its telematic 4G LTE connectivity modules. The new product, called Smart Connectivity Module (SCM), allows functions such as browsing the internet, watching movies, listening to music, playing games online and accessing the GPS among other functions, to multiple users at the same time and from different mobile devices. (From a press release on February 27, 2015)

Investments outside Spain

-The Company announced that it has established itself in Africa for the first time, opening a new production centre in Rabat (in the Technopolis free zone), Morocco. With an investment of EUR 50 million, the new plant will employ 700 people and post an estimated yearly turnover of EUR 150 million by 2022. At this new plant, which has a total surface area of 12,000 square meters that can be expanded to 17,000, the Company is inaugurating its centre of excellence in cameras, where the Company will develop and produce highly complex vision systems that are crucial for the car of the future. These facilities will also produce electric cable sets. In addition, they will manufacture traditional products for the local market, such as rear-view mirrors, shifter systems and washer systems, with the goal of providing a better service. (From a press release on March 20, 2018)

-The Company announced the opening of a new, USD 50 million, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Cookeville, Tennessee. The 270,000-square-foot facility will produce rear view systems for Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler and General Motors. The plant has an annual production capacity of 4.5 million rear view mirrors. CEO Javier Pujol explained that the Cookeville facility will strengthen the Company’s business alliance with Panasonic in North America, which started in 2015, “We are boosting a plan to align the industrial strategy of Ficosa with Panasonic in the region of North America in order to accelerate the launch of new products in the areas of connectivity, efficiency and safety.” (From a press release on October 31, 2016)

-The Company is hiring hundreds of employees for their new 270,000-square-foot automotive manufacturing facility in Cookeville, Tennessee, U.S. The plant, which will produce rear view systems for automotive manufacturers such as Nissan, Ford, Volkswagen, Fiat Chrysler, and General Motors, will increase production capacity in the U.S. (From a press release on June 3, 2016)

-The Company is expanding its presence in the U.S. by building a new integrated production center in The Highlands Industrial Park in Cookeville, Tennessee. The new plant will have a total surface area of 270,000 square feet. The project represents a total investment exceeding USD 50 million and is expected to have over 900 employees. Primarily dedicated to producing rear-view mirrors, the Cookeville factory will supply clients such as Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Volkswagen and Nissan, with a capacity to produce 4.5 million units per year. Construction will start at the beginning of June 2015. The plant is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2016. (From a press release on May 26, 2015)

-The Company is reinforcing its presence in Brazil with a new plant in Jandira, Sao Paulo. With a total area of 13,000 square meters and 273 workers, the factory will manufacture rear-view mirrors, and control and command systems, underhood solutions and electronic systems for automobiles. Its customers include Volkswagen, Audi, Ford, Fiat, General Motors, Peugeot, Citroen, Renault and Nissan. It has the capacity to produce a total of 4 million rear-view mirrors and 3 million control and command systems a year. The alliance with Panasonic will increase the Company’s industrial capacity and presence in Brazil and Mercosur, as the Jandira facility will be backed up by the Panasonic plants in Manaus and Exterma. The Jandira facility will also include a R&D center that will develop solutions for the Mercosur region. (From a press release on August 8, 2016)

-The Company announced the opening of a new production facility in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China. This is the Company’s third plant in China. The Shenyang plant covers an area of 10,000 square meters and can be expanded to 17,000 square meters. The plant is expected to employ about 400 people over the next four years. These new facilities are principally engaged in producing rear-view mirrors as well as automatic changeover systems and parking brakes for clients including BMW, Brilliance, Great Wall and BAIC. The Company has been chosen by BMW as its sole mirror supplier in China. (From a press release on May 21, 2015)