Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. Business Report FY2010

Business Highlights

Business Partnership

-Hitachi, Ltd. announced on October 18 that the company and Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI), a U.S. corporation, have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together in the area of advanced energy storage. The two companies have agreed on their long-term vision and approach to the advanced energy storage technology. They will henceforth study opportunities for collaboration in the fields of advanced energy storage products and systems, including lithium-ion batteries, encompassing a wide range of research and development, purchasing, production, marketing, sales and international standardization. Hitachi intends to expand application of the technology of a lithium-ion battery combined with its power control to such areas as automobiles, railways, construction equipment, industry machinery and power storage devices. Through partnership with JCI, which is a major global supplier of lead-acid automotive batteries as well as a provider of energy management system of buildings, Hitachi aims to expand business opportunities in the energy storage industry. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October. 19, 2010)

-The Company announced on April 20 that the company has formed a partnership with U.S.-based Airbiquity Inc. to provide telematics services for the global electric vehicle market. Through the collaboration with Airbiquity, a leader in designing and managing network connectivity infrastructure, the company aims to absorb new needs of the market by offering a range of connected support services for electric vehicles such as advising drivers on when to recharge the battery, locating nearby charging stations, and using mobile phones to check battery conditions. The two companies will work together to establish a common system infrastructure, which can serve as a central hub in the smart-grid network. Hitachi Automotive will propose their services to automakers by underlining the advantages they can offer in terms of efficiency and cost compared with the case in which car manufacturers operate them on their own. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on April. 21, 2010)


-The Company will deliver its electric brake control systems to Nissan for the "Fuga Hybrid," the company revealed on October 26. An actuator in the electric brake control system adopts a simple technology of applying hydraulic pressure directly to brake master cylinders by using a motor and ball screws, which allows the previous braking system to be replaced with the new braking system. A structure to generate hydraulic pressure by a brake pedal and a motor, combined with a mechanism to adjust a pedaling force variance when braking for energy regeneration, has achieved a natural feeling of brake pedaling. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October. 27, 2010)


Product Developments

Connected Services Platform for EV
-The Company announced on January 6 that in collaboration with a U.S. service provider of automobile communications technology it has developed connected services platform for electric vehicles and begun to offer the new technology to the Nissan Leaf. The solution will constitute a basis for communications functions such as tracking battery charging and use, and making remote controls. The joint development partner is Airbiquity Inc. which is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. The platform is used for Leaf’s global connected solution. Nissan Leaf drivers can get access at all times to data and information, including on the battery condition and location of a charging station, to optimize their electric vehicle experience via cell phones and smartphones. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on January 7, 2011)

Investment Activities

New Company

-The Company announced establishment of its regional headquarters to oversee operations in China. This move is meant to make local management operations more efficient and effective by strengthening local functions in areas such as development, procurement and quality assurance, as the market continues to grow. Hitachi Automotive Systems (China) Ltd. was established on January 11 in Shanghai with a capital of 30 million yuan (approximately 380 million yen), which is shared 90 percent by Hitachi Automotive Systems and 10 percent by Hitachi (China), Hitachi’s wholly owned subsidiary to oversee local operation. The new company is scheduled to go into operation in April hiring about 50 employees. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on January 26, 2011)

-The Company announced on November 18 that it will consolidate three automotive equipment subsidiaries in the U.S. effective January 1, 2011 and form a new company "Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc." The merger is intended to strengthen support to automakers on a global basis. The new company will establish a production operations management division that covers manufacturing, production engineering, quality control and procurement functions so that it can enhance customer support as well as minimize cost through optimization of total operations in investments, production sites and operational processes. Hitachi Automotive Products (USA), one of U.S. subsidiaries of Hitachi engaged in development, manufacture and sales of automotive equipment, will consolidate two subsidiaries; Unisia of Georgia Corporation and Tokico (USA) Inc., changing the name of the consolidated company to Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas, Inc. Hitachi Automotive Products is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi America, Ltd., which oversees Hitachi operations in the U.S. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on November. 19, 2010)