Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. (Hitachi, Ltd.) Business report FY2008

Business Highlights

Financial overview ( in millions of JPY )
  FY2008 FY2007 Rate of Change (%) Factors
Sales 331,000 - - -

Spin-off of Hitachi, Ltd.
-Sluggish sales in the global car market caused a drastic decrease in demand for automotive systems, and Hitachi Ltd.'s Automotive System Unit suffered a big drop in its sales and profitability. In response to such a severe business environment, Hitachi spun off the business unit that had been handling automotive systems,making it a new consolidated subsidiary on July 1, 2009. The new company will take several measures to improve its business structure. They include speeding up its decision making processes, streamlining production facilities and rationalizing its manpower level, all in order to improve its business efficiency. It will also concentrate its management resources even more on the Company's core business areas such as automotive systems that improve the environment, and systems that provide greater safety.

Supply Agreements
-The Company announced that it has received orders for its new hybrid system including a motor for driving, lithium ion batteries and an inverter from Eaton Corp., a development and manufacturing company of commercial vehicle powertrains in Ohio, USA. Delivery is scheduled to start in 2011 with expected volume of several thousand units per year. Commercial vehicles mounted with this system will be marketed in North America, Europe and Asia. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Oct. 21, 2008)


R&D Activities
-The Company announced that it has established a technology to automatically control acceleration and deceleration of a vehicle with the brake and accelerator according to steering operation of the driver. Based on the numerical data obtained from analysis of experienced drivers' behaviors, the Company has minimized fluctuations in acceleration that can affect driving comfort by operating the brake and accelerator appropriately in accordance with the situation. The Company has verified the effectiveness of the technology by conducting demonstration experiment jointly with Kanagawa Institute of Technology, installing the system on a commercially available vehicle. It aims to establish it as an element technology for vehicle safety control system by use of by-wire and put it into practical use within five years. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Oct. 22, 2008)

-The Company announced that the Company, Hitachi Powdered Metals Co., Ltd. and Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems Co., Ltd. jointly developed a technology to halve the axial length of a motor while improving the efficiency by 5%. This has been achieved by using a pressed powder magnetic core five times stronger than conventional ones. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Nov. 7, 2008)

-The Company announced development of a new technology to raise energy efficiency of a compact motor without rare metals. Use of an amorphous metal, which produces less energy loss, for the motor core, the heart of the motor; a new amorphous metal processing technology and a new magnetic field analysis technology have all contributed to the development. This new technology is aimed to be made available for industrial instruments in three years, followed by automobiles for components which require a compact motor including car air-conditioning systems and water pumps. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Nov. 11, 2008)

-The Company has developed a high-performance compact hydrogen sensor, which is based on the silicon metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (Si-MOSFET) technology. A thin-film lamination structure made of platinum (Pt) and titanium (Ti) is applied to the part (gate) of the hydrogen sensor which is capable of sensing hydrogen having a concentration of 1000 ppm or higher in about 1 second. The semiconductor manufacturing equipment, currently in use, can be utilized for the production of the sensors. The Company is hoping to develop and market updated and more energy-efficient versions of Si-MOSFET type hydrogen sensors which are small enough to be incorporated into the systems of hydrogen cars or other next-generation vehicles. (From a press release on Jun 19, 2008)

-The Company announced development of a new vehicle speed sensor capable of measuring a precise absolute rate by irradiating millimeter waves (several millimeter wavelength radio waves) onto the ground. Microminiaturization has been achieved through combining the transmit-receive function and the antenna for millimeter wave radar into one chip. The cost issue has been solved by using plastic resin for the ultra-small, radio wave converging ball lens and the package itself, the first plastic resin application for the 77 GHz range millimeter wave radar. The Company plans to promote this new sensor to automakers and system suppliers and put it to practical use in as soon as two to three years. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Oct. 9, 2008)