Akebono Brake Industry Co., Ltd. Business Report FY ended Mar. 2019

Financial Overview

(in millions of JPY)
FY ended Mar. 31, 2019 FY ended Mar. 31, 2018 Rate of Change
Sales 243,668 264,921 (8.0) -Sales decreased for the year because of lower income in Japan and North America, despite strong product orders in Europe and Asia.
Operating income 215 8,143 (97.4)
Ordinary income (2,808) 5,796 -
Net income attributable to owners of the parent (18,264) 782 - -Significant reduction in the JPY 15.1 billion fixed-asset loss posted at the four production plants in the USA, the one in Slovakia, and the casting foundry in Thailand. 


-Sales were JPY 77.2 billion, a 5.2% year-over-year (y/y) decrease, because of sluggish exports of vehicles to Europe and North America by some Japanese OEMs, and because the production of some models that the Company was delivering products to ended. 

<North America>
-Sales were JPY 119.6 billion, a 14.5% y/y decrease, because the Company failed to win product orders for redesigned vehicle models that were launched by US OEMs, and the production of some passenger cars ended.

-Sales were JPY 15.8 billion, a 12.5% y/y increase, because of increased deliveries of products for high-performance mass-market vehicles and common-platform vehicles marketed globally.

-Sales were JPY 2.3 billion, a 2.9% y/y decrease, because of lower demand in China during the fourth quarter, despite higher deliveries of products for SUVs and new vehicle models which were launched.

-Profit increased because of rationalization initiatives and lower depreciation costs, even though sales decreased in Thailand, where OEMs ended production of models to which the Company was delivering products.
-Income increased in Indonesia where the Company delivered products to newly launched MPVs, fully redesigned models, newly launched small-sized trucks, and automatic motorcycles; in addition to strong sales of products to Europe for common-platform vehicles marketed globally.

>>>Outlook for next fiscal year’s sales, operating profit margins, etc.

R&D Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)

  FY ended Mar. 31, 2019 FY ended Mar. 31, 2018 FY ended Mar. 31, 2017
Overall 10,270 10,340 10,836

R&D Structure

Name Location Remark
Development division Hanyu, Saitama Pref. -
Ai-Ring (Test Course) Iwaki, Fukushima Pref. -Largest-scale test course in Japan among domestic auto-parts suppliers' facilities
-Test and evaluation center of brakes using the test course
Akebono Research & Development Centre Ltd. Hanyu, Saitama Pref.

-Development of new material

  • Microminiaturized, lightweight brakes
  • Low environmental burden friction materials
  • Alternative to scarce materials

-Expanding into new fields

  • Development of proprietary materials
  • Development of energy-saving technologies
  • New technologies in value-added product manufacturing such as surface finishing technology
Akebono Advanced Engineering Co., Ltd. Hanyu, Saitama Pref. -Development of high performance brake system
North America
Akebono Engineering Center Michigan, USA -
Akebono Europe S.A.S. Gonesse, France -
Akebono Advanced Engineering (UK) Ltd. Wokingham, UK -Development of disc brakes designed for motor sports and for high performance vehicles
Akebono Europe GmbH Germany, Hessen -Development of disc brakes
China Technical Center - -Established in January 2011.
Thailand brake development location - -Established in January 2014.
-Development of brakes for ASEAN market

R&D Activities

-The Company is continuing R&D activities on new friction materials and next-generation brakes used in various transportation vehicles and industrial equipment.

Friction materials
-Developing friction materials that comply with environmental regulations on copper, which were enacted in various US states such as the state of Washington.
-Developing friction materials that maximize the characteristics of brakes, for electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs), and hybrid vehicles (HVs)

Disk brakes/drum brakes
-Achieving commercialization of aluminum-alloy opposed-type brakes for high-performance vehicles.
-Mainly to develop and assemble brakes featuring a newly designed mechanism.

  • Brake caliper with newly designed mechanism

- The Company will build a mass production system for a new brake caliper in August. The new brake caliper features a new mechanism that Akebono Brake has fully redesigned for the first time in about 40 years. The company will initially install one or two new production lines dedicated to the new brake caliper at its subsidiary in Saitama Prefecture and gradually install the same lines at other plants. Akebono Brake will step up efforts to establish a production technology in order to receive orders for the new product early. In addition to the new brake caliper, the company developed an improved version of its traditional brake caliper to which the new technology is partly applied. By promoting the new products, the company hopes to increase its share of the brake caliper market. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on January 16, 2019)

- On June 13, 2018 The Company announced that it has developed a brake caliper with a new mechanism. The pressing mechanism of its floating type disc brake with a single piston was changed to reduce uneven wear on the brake pad to about one fifth of that of the existing brake. The use of aluminum for the caliper body results in weight reduction of up to 30%. This is the first time for the company to develop a disc brake with the new mechanism. Akebono Brake will establish a production system for the new brake caliper in 2019 to meet demand related to better fuel efficiency and electrification of vehicles. The new brake caliper will be applied for a wider variety of brake calipers including electric products and those for commercial vehicles and industrial machinery. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on June 14, 2018)

Electrification technology
-R&D on an electric parking-brake  that features an electrified parking-brake mechanism, and an electric service-brake that features an electrified mechanism.
-The Company is preparing to commercialize and launch production in the electric parking brake business.

  • Electric Parking Brake for medium- and light-duty trucks

- The Company announced that it has developed a new electric parking brake (EPB) with high clamp power for medium- and light-duty trucks. The new EPB is based on a two-piston disc brake, which is a main type for medium- and light-duty trucks, and adopted the company's original structure that transfers motor power to two pistons via two spindle mechanisms. It has motor power more than twice that of competitors' products. Akebono Brake Industry simplified the use of parts required for EPBs like parking cables and levers, and the use of the new EPB will reduce the weight of a vehicle by more than 3 kg. The company will start mass production of the new EPB in 2019. It will expand business centered on the new PEB, and further develop various brake calipers by combining its existing technologies and new technologies that will differentiate its products. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on June 15, 2018)

At AKEBONO Brake Research and Development Center, Ltd. , the Company conducts below works

  1. Developing and optimizing a fiber for use as a friction material binder, which is made from a complex mixture derived from oils of plants with woody characteristics.
  2. Developing an entirely new concept of next-generation brakes that make use of magneto rheological (MR) fluid, which have a very different mechanism from friction brakes
  3. Developing compact and lighter weight products by using new structural designs and adopting low-use materials that reduce environmental impact and offer comfort as a result of introducing automation, eliminating friction dust, and controlling vibration squeak made possible by improving response and control.

<North America>
-Developing friction materials that comply with environmental regulations on copper, which were enacted in various US states such as the state of Washington.
-Collaborating with the Japanese unit on the development and assembly of a brake with a new mechanism.

-The R&D center in France will be in charged of developing products that deliver performance in terms of responding to the special characteristics of brakes when vehicles are running at high speed (braking efficiency, judder) and the characteristics of noise and vibration, developing friction materials that are compliant with the European standards, up to friction materials in vehicles exported from Europe to Japan and the USA and which are compliant in those countries.
-Conducting R&D activities to make the Company more cost competitive by standardizing materials by procuring raw materials locally.

Friction materials
-Developing products making use of the cost-effectiveness and performance characteristics prevailing in newly emerging countries by localizing procurement of parts and materials and applying methods appropriate to protecting the environment.

Disk brakes

-Developing low-priced products that offer needed functions and performance by researching and analyzing local needs and ways of doing things.

Capital Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY ended Mar. 31, 2019 FY ended Mar. 31, 2018 FY ended Mar. 31, 2017
Total 12,621 11,550 18,670

-Capital expenditure breakdown follows:

Japan: JPY 7,256 million
North America: JPY 2,415 million
Europe: JPY 614 million
Indonesia: JPY 1,436 million
China: JPY 676 million
Thailand: JPY 224 million

-Capital expenditures planned for the fiscal year that ends in March 2020 are unknown because the business-redevelopment plan is still being decided while the business-redevelopment ADR filing is still under consideration.