NSK Ltd. Business Report FY ended Mar. 2018

Financial Overview

(in millions of JPY)
FY ended Mar. 31, 2018 FY ended Mar. 31, 2017 Rate of Change (%) Factors
Sales 1,020,338 949,170 7.5 -
Operating income 97,248 65,341 52.9 -
Current net income 69,312 45,560 52.1 -
Automotive Business Division
Sales 723,564 696,271 3.9 Factors are as below
Operating income 65,963 64,577 2.1 -


-The Company's automotive division achieved a 3.9% year-over-year (y/y) increase in sales for the fiscal year that ended in March 2018 to JPY 723,564 million, showing a gradual increase globally.

  • Japan: Sales increased mainly from transmissions.
  • Americas: Sales declined due to the sluggish U.S. automotive market.
  • Europe: Sales increased as a result of strong automobile sales in the region.
  • China: Sales remained flat due to the change in sales composition and other factors.
  • Other Asia: Sales increased mainly in India.

Product Development

-The following are R&D achievements developed by the automotive business during the fiscal year that ended in March 2018.

  • High-performance tapered roller bearing hub unit for pickup trucks, large SUVs and commercial vehicles
  • Long-life roller bearings for automotive gearboxes
  • Silent-type thrust needle roller bearings to meet electrification needs for automobiles
  • Successfully supplied power to in-wheel motors from the road wirelessly during driving
  • Variolink suspension to control moves of automobiles

A Thrust-needle Bearing with Improved Quietness
- It has developed a thrust-needle bearing with improved quietness. The new bearing offers an improvement in quietness of about 10% owing to the adoption of resin and other design changes. NSK will promote the use of the new bearing for components like transmissions in electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles, and other electrified vehicles that need to improve quietness in their cabins. The company aims to achieve sales of JPY 1.5 billion in fiscal year 2021 (ending March 2022) by meeting such needs. The new bearing features a retainer that is made from resin instead of iron, as well as a reduced contact area because of a convex shape applied to the housing surface along which needle rollers slide. These improvements have led to a reduction in the area of contact between metals. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on November 24, 2017)

A Low-friction Seal with Superior Sealing Performance for Deep Groove Ball Bearings

- It has developed a low-friction seal with superior sealing performance for deep groove ball bearings. The new product features an optimally designed contact between the inner bearing ring and seal. It reduces the force of the sealing lip pressing against the ring and thereby cuts friction. NSK will roll out products adopting the new seal with an aim to achieve sales of JPY 2.5 billion in 2021. The company has offered a lineup of two types of bearing seals; superior sealing performance contact seals and low-friction contact seals. The new product has both functions. It will contribute to improved reliability and energy saving. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 3, 2017)

Wireless Power Supply from Road Coils to the In-Wheel Motor (IWM)
-It has succeeded in the experiment of wireless power supply from road coils to the in-wheel motor (IWM) of a running electric vehicle (EV) for the first time ever. The experiment was jointly conducted with the research group of Hiroshi Fujimoto, Associate Professor of the Graduate School of the University of Tokyo, and Toyo Electric Mfg. Co., Ltd. If the technology is put to practical use, EVs' cruising range will be greatly increased. NSK has developed a hub bearing unit with a decelerator structure where a motor shaft and a wheel shaft are displaced. The new bearing unit will contribute to miniaturization of IWM while maintaining the speed reduction ratio that is required for driving performance. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on April 7, 2017)

Electric Power Steering Production Method that Offers Weight Reduction
-It has developed a new electric power steering production method that offers weight reduction. The shaft section is hollowed out by a unique cold molding technique, which reduces the weight of torque transfer parts by 15% and the whole system by 2.5%. NSK has also realized integral molding of parts that used to be welded. The new method contributes to improving parts reliability, and reduces production costs by reducing manufacturing processes. NSK is aiming at the commercialization of lightweight electric power steering systems utilizing the new method in 2020, and will promote the products to automakers. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on March 30, 2017)

A Low-friction Tapered Roller Bearing for Automotive Transmissions
-It has developed a low-friction tapered roller bearing for automotive transmissions. The new bearing offers improved roller surface roughness and reduces sliding friction generated inside the bearing. It reduces friction by up to 60% at low rotational speeds and a 20% for the average of the entire range of speeds. NSK will promote the new bearing as a product that meets the needs of the automotive industry for improved fuel efficiency, with an aim to achieve sales of JPY 2 billion in 2022. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on March 3, 2017)

R&D Structure

-With core R&D operations conducted in the technical centers in Japan (Fujisawa, Kanagawa Pref.), the Company has six technical centers in Japan, two in Americas, three in Europe, and three in Asia, conducting R&D activities at 15 centers in total.

R&D Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
FY ended Mar. 31, 2018 FY ended Mar. 31, 2017 FY ended Mar. 31, 2016
Overall 17,059 13,858 11,155
Automotive Business Division 13,222 10,042 7,732

-The Company will strengthen development of automotive parts for electrified vehicles. The company will cooperate with Nidec Corporation to enhance powertrain development for electric vehicles (EVs) and will work to develop a highly durable EV drive unit that adopts a decelerator using its bearings. NSK will also enhance sales promotions of its ball screws for electric brakes. With the advent of the age of electrified vehicles, NSK intends to foster automotive parts business for electrified vehicles as one of its two core businesses along with its electric power steering system business. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on May 17, 2017)

-The Company announced that it has entered a capital alliance with WHILL, Inc., a U.S.-based venture company that develops and sells personal electric vehicles. Under the alliance the two companies will collaborate in developing bearing and mechatronics technologies for next-generation vehicles. WHILL's personal EVs adopt patented front Omni-wheels that enable both vertical and horizontal movement with the bearings rotating in a lateral direction attached around the outer edge of the wheel. WHILL expects that NSK's bearings will enhance the quality of its products. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on April 22, 2017)

Capital Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
FY ended Mar. 31, 2018 FY ended Mar. 31, 2017 FY ended Mar. 31, 2016
Overall 68,788 58,602 54,996
Automotive Business Division 49,646 39,677 34,194

Investments in automotive business
-The Company made capital investments to boost its production facilities manufacturing needle bearings in Japan and Korea, and to enhance productivity.

Investments in Japan

-The Company will start production of module parts for electric (cooperative regenerative) brakes by the end of March 2019. The company has been primarily supplying ball screws only, and this will be the first time for it to supply modules. The Company has received orders from a major automotive parts supplier for components that are to be used in automobiles produced outside Japan, and will start mass production of the main parts for the modules at facilities in Japan including its Otsu Plant. Demand for cooperative regenerative brakes is likely to grow in response to environmental regulations. The Company has positioned its actuator business as one of its growth sectors, and is aiming to further expand it on the occasion of the start of mass production. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on November 11, 2016)

Planned Capital Investments for FY ending March 2019

Planned Capital Investment
(in millions of JPY)
Overall 85,000 -
Automotive related products 59,000 -Invested to strengthen operations in Japan and Korea.
-Invested to rationalize and enhance production facilities.

-The automotive business is increasing its investment in facilities to respond to the growing demand for needle bearings in Japan and Korea.

-The company announced that it held a groundbreaking ceremony for a third building at its Haruna plant (Takasaki, Japan), where needle bearings for automatic transmissions (ATs) and other systems are produced. Demand for needle bearings is growing in line with increasing demand for ATs and multistage AT systems. In response to this, the company will bolster its needle bearing production capacity and consolidate its design development department and manufacturing engineering department at the new building in an effort to improve the efficiency of product development. The new building will have a site area of about 10,000 square meters. Construction on the new building is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2018. The company will invest JPY 5 billion in this project. NSK will place the design development and production engineering departments near the production section to enhance cooperation between these departments. By doing so, it will streamline processes, such as shortening product development time, and develop new products that adapt to changes in the automotive market and fulfill new needs. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on November 21, 2017)

Overseas Investment

-The company inaugurated its second plant in Mexico, located in the Guanajuato Puerto Interior industrial park, to produce clutches, friction products, and clutch assembly products under the name of NSK Warner Mexico. The company invested USD 34 million in the 10,000-square-meter facility and will employ 120 workers there by the end of 2018, once it becomes fully operational. NSK will supply transmission components for Honda and expects USD 120 million in annual revenue during the first complete year of operation. The company previously opened a subsidiary in the same industrial park to manufacture bearings. According to local media, NSK plans to build three additional plants in Guanajuato in the near future, two in Silao and another one in Leon. Altogether, the five facilities will employ approximately 1,000 workers. (From a Mexico-Now article on March 17, 2018)

Outlook for FY ending March 31, 2019

(in 100 million of JPY)
FY ending Mar. 31, 2019
FY ending Mar. 31, 2018
(Actual result)
Rate of Change
Sales 10,200 10,203 (0.0)
Operating income 980 979 0.1
Profit before Taxes 970 972 (0.3)
Profit attributable to owners of the parent 690 693 (0.5)

>>>Financial Forecast for the Next Fiscal Year (Sales, Operating Income etc.)

Mid-term management plan

-The Company celebrated its 100th year in business on Nov. 8, 2016. The Company established the NSK Vision 2026: Creating New Trends, envisioning its future in 2026, 10 years later.

-The Company set a new corporate slogan for the fifth mid-term management plan, which starts from the fiscal year ending in March 2017 and ends in the fiscal year ending in March 2019. The slogan is: "A New Start for the Next 100 Years". Two major policies are "operational excellence: continuous pursuit of competitive advantages" and "innovations and challenges: creating new value" in facing three issues: sustainable growth, rebuilding profit structure, and initiating spheres for new growth.


Rane NSK Steering Systems Private Limited, a JV between Rane Group and NSK Ltd, Japan received the Award for "Special Contribution in KATA Performance" at VECV Annual Supplier Conference 2017 held in Indore. (From a press release on May 2, 2017)