NIHON PLAST CO.,LTD. Business Report FY2010

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2010 FY2009 Rate of
Sales 85,466 70,015 (24.9) - The Company suffered impact of its customers’ production suspension caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake as well as the negative effects of the yen appreciation. Sales and profit, however, were supported by production recovery at its customers in Japan and North America and strong business in China.
Operating income 3,893 1,280 233.3 -
Ordinary income 3,786 1,209 - -
Current net income 2,912 (757) - -

  Sales at the automotive products division totaled 85,407 million yen, which included 14,234 million yen from sales of steering wheels and 36,735 million yen from airbags at the safety components business. It also included 34,438 million yen at the resin product business.

Airbags: The Company won new programs for the Juke in Japan and China. It increased its production volume of curtains for the CR-V in North America.
Resin products: Sales were supported by increases in production volumes of the CR-Z in Japan, as well as the Accord and the Odyssey in North America.
Steering wheels: The Company won a new contract for the Juke in Japan.

Recent developments Outside Japan

-The Company will accelerate in-house manufacturing of its components, switching from procurement from outside suppliers. When production of airbag modules begins at a new plant in Mexico, a blowout opening of the air-conditioner called "outlet" will be changed to an internal production item. Nihon Plast has already switched the sewing process of the airbag to an in-house operation at its plant in Indonesia. The company has an intention of expanding in-house processing of materials of its products, whenever possible. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on December. 1, 2010)

-The Company will step up its initiatives to expand in-house production of components used in its products. By leveraging its facilities outside Japan, the company aims to increase the ratio of parts made at its own plants, which now stands at around 40 percent. The company's recent activities based on the strategy include launching of an airbag sewing business in Indonesia. In North America, on the other hand, the company is working on transferring production from the U.S. to Mexico, which offers improved cost efficiency. Shifting from parts procured from outside suppliers to those made internally is expected to enhance its price competitiveness and raise profitability. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on Jun. 15)

Termination of capital alliance agreement

- anThe Companyd German-based MollerTech International GmbH have agreed on the termination of their capital alliance agreement. MollerTech International has informed the company of its intention to dispose its 9.3% stake in the company. In July 2000, The Company signed a business alliance agreement with MollerGroup GmbH & Co. KG of Germany, a parent company of MollerTech International, in the automotive interior and exterior parts segment. The parties confirmed their commitment to continued collaboration on automotive components activities. (From a press release on May 11, 2010)


R&D Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2010 FY2009 FY2008
Safety components 899 731 867
Resin components 683 603 862
Overall 1,582 1,334 1,729

R&D Structure

- The Company conducts R&D activities mainly at its Research and Development Division, Safety Development Division, Interior and Exterior Development Division, and Production Engineering Division in Japan. In North America they are handled at the Development Center of Neaton Auto Products Mfg.   

R&D Facilities

Technical center Fujinomiya City, Shizuoka Pref.
Technical center 1 Fujinomiya City, Shizuoka Pref.
Technical center 2 Fuji City, Shizuoka Pref.

R&D Activities

Safety Components
<Steering products>
 - The Company is working on developing magnesium cored bar and low specific gravity urethane to reduce vehicle weight, as well as steering wheels with a heater to enhance product performance. It is also developing high quality products such as airbag covers with metallic separate emblem, steering wheels offering a superior sense of feel, and high-grade wood-tone decorative steering wheels.
-The Company is making efforts to reduce environmental impact by developing cleaner inflator gas and reducing the use of organic solvents in urethane, coating materials, and leather in the production process.

<Passenger seat airbag modules>
-In order to create airbag modules without any seams, the Company developed hard-material airbags which eliminated the tearing process that occurs in conventional airbags. In response to the demand for surface embellishments, the Company developed its proprietary NPSS (Nihon Plast Soft Surface) and NPFS (Nihon Plast Foamed Surface) processing methods, which are based on the urethane RIM processing method. It also worked on developing a processing method that makes products feel even softer to the touch; and enhanced its product mix of integrated panels for airbags, for which demand is growing.
-The Company also developed a proprietary design structure for air bags, i.e., that incorporates folds, aiming to reduce the possibility of damage and injury.

<Side impact airbag modules>
-The Company worked on developing curtain airbags which provide long lasting protection based on sealing technology in which pressure during overturns is applied to the sewn part. The Company also developed knee airbags which protect occupants' knees.
-In development activities engaged in manufacturing methods, the Company finished developing a machine that automatically folds curtain bags. It also improved the performance of all its airbags mounted on vehicles, as well as streamlined the manufacturing processes used to make these airbags.

Resin Components
<Exterior resin products>
 -The Company developed fender protectors that are made through super-fine injection molding as a means to further advance developments in injection-molding larger parts. In the area of cover cowl top, the Company developed a lip-integrated structure through simplifying the bonding surface with glass to stabilize product quality. It also achieved commercialization of blow-molded resonators, which contribute to reducing noise.

<Interior resin products>
 -The Company enhanced its product lineup by designing a louver with a mechanism that enables the louver to shut completely.
-The Company responded to the demand for low-cost, high-quality resign panels by developing various decorating technologies. These included an in-mold processing method that can produce upholstered pillars without the need for a bonding process, and a metal decorating method using film evaporation coating technology. It also developed glow boxes, consoles, and other products that incorporate highly functional designs while integrating multiple components.

Licensing of Technology

(As of Mar. 31, 2011)

Name Country Contract Period
Neaton Auto Products Mfg., Inc. U.S.A. Designing, testing, production, and inspection of automotive parts Jan. 2011 - Dec. 2011
Zhongshan Plast Co., Ltd. China Designing, testing, production, and inspection of automotive parts Jan. 2011 - Dec. 2011

Business Alliance

(As of Mar. 31, 2011)

Name Country Contract Period
MollerGroup GmbH & Co.KG Germany Development, design, and production of automotive interior and exterior resin parts Jan. 2011 - Dec. 2011
Calsonic Kansei Japan Development, design, and production of automotive interior and exterior resin parts Sep. 2010 - Sep. 2011

Investment Activities

Investment Expenditure

(in millions of JPY)
  FY2010 FY2009 FY2008
Japan 1,262 - -
North America
864 -
274 -
Others 409 -
Overall 2,811 2,458 6,374

Major investments in FY2010
- The Company invested in new equipment mainly to deal with vehicle model changes.

Investments outside Japan

- The Company announced that it will establish Neaton Auto Mexicana, S.A. de C.V. in November 2010. The new company, which will be based in Queretaro, Mexico, will manufacture automotive airbag modules, starting in May 2012. Neaton Auto Mexicana aims to respond to increasing orders from North American and Mexican customers so as to secure a stable supply for them. The new entity will be capitalized at 8 million US dollars (approximately 650 million Japanese yen), which will be fully funded by Nihon Plast's subsidiaries; it will be invested 62.5 percent by Nihon Plast Mexicana S.A. de C.V. and 37.5 percent by Neaton Auto Products Mfg., Inc. Neaton Auto Mexicana is Nihon Plast's third manufacturing facility in Mexico. Sales at the new company are expected to reach 2.8 million US dollars in 2011 and 8.8 million US dollars in 2012. (From a press release on October 29, 2010)

Major New Facilities

(As of Mar. 31, 2011)

Company Plant Details Planned amount of investment (in millions of JPY) Start End
Fuji Plant Shizuoka,
Facilities for producing
steering wheels and airbags
292 Apr. 2011 Mar. 2012
Isezaki Plant Gunma,
Facilities for producing
airbags and resin components
2,103 Apr. 2011 Mar. 2012
Kyushu Plant Fukuoka,
Facilities for producing
steering wheels, airbags,
and resin components
372 Apr. 2011 Mar. 2012
Technical center Shizuoka,
Facilities for testing and researching steering wheels, airbags, and resin components 160 Apr. 2011 Mar. 2012
Wuhan Plast Auto Parts Co., Ltd. Hubei,
Facilities for producing
steering wheels and airbags
1,340 Jan. 2011 Dec. 2011
Neaton Auto Products Mfg., Inc. Ohio,
Facilities for producing
steering wheels, airbags,
and resin components
1,048 Jan. 2011 Dec. 2011