Content - Autoneum establishes joint venture in Japan

  • October 27, 2017

Autoneum establishes joint venture in Japan

Tokyo (SCCIJ) - The three automotive suppliers Autoneum from Switzerland as well as Nittoku (Nihon Tokushu Toryo) and Toyota Boshoku from Japan have agreed on an expansion of their existing collaboration through joint research and development activities in vehicle acoustics by means of a joint venture. The initial customer Toyota will benefit from this bundling of acoustics expertise in predevelopment studies as well as through innovative components for optimized vehicle acoustics. The collaboration, which is subject to approval by regulatory authorities, is expected to begin in January 2018.

Autoneum lightweight component

Customized acoustics systems

By means of the joint venture, acoustic studies for Toyota Motor Corporation and other automotive related companies will be conducted in Japan under the scientific lead of Autoneum. In future, customers will benefit from the expertise of the Swiss innovation leader and its Japanese partners.  

One area is in the predevelopment of vehicle models with noise and vibration benchmarking, and the other area in the vehicle development with the computer-aided design of customized acoustics systems. In order to guarantee the highest standards, measurement systems and simulation software developed by Autoneum will be deployed at the acoustic center located at Toyota Boshoku in Japan.  

Lightweight components from Switzerland

For more than 50 years, Autoneum and Nittoku have cooperated successfully in the global supply of Japanese original equipment manufacturers with innovative and lightweight components for acoustic and thermal management. For access to Japanese customers, Nittoku is an indispensable door opener for Autoneum.  

The future acoustics development for Toyota together with Toyota Boshoku, a leading producer of interior systems, will serve to further expand the collaboration of the three automobile suppliers in the field of vehicle interior systems that has been in place since 2012.

Acoustic measurements at Autoneum (click to enlarge)

Acoustic measurements at Autoneum (click to enlarge)

Easier access to Japanese customers 

Autoneum, the largest automotive supplier of Switzerland based in Winterthur, had increased the stake in its Japanese partner Nittoku to 13.2 percent by May of this year (SCCIJ reported earlier). Mainly, the two partners provide Japanese car manufacturers globally with innovative lightweight solutions for noise reduction and thermal management.   

For access to Japanese customers, Nittoku is an indispensable door opener for Autoneum. Together, the two companies operate seven joint ventures in North America and Asia. Those ventures contribute significantly to the operating profit of the Swiss automotive supplier.   

Long-term cooperation since 1967 

The cooperation between Nittoku and Rieter from Switzerland, a predecessor of Autoneum, started in 1967 with license agreements. In 1986, a subsidiary of Globe Industries (later acquired by Rieter Automotive Systems) formed a joint venture with Nittoku named UGN. It manufactured automotive soundproof material to Japan-headquartered original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the U.S. and Canada.    

Later, Rieter Automotive Systems and Nittoku expanded their partnership to include joint ventures for purposes of serving Japanese headquartered original equipment manufacturers in all other Asian markets (except Japan).   

Outlook of Autoneum 

In the first half of 2017, Autoneum continued its growth course despite a weak market environment. Net sales in local currencies increased by 4.0 percent in line with guidance. Sales in Swiss francs rose by 2.4 percent to CHF 1,117.9 million (prior-year period: CHF 1,091.3 million).   

Business Groups Europe, Asia and SAMEA recorded organic sales growth that considerably exceeded the market level in the first six months. Year-on-year, the EBIT margin before special effects further improved to 8.3 percent, thus again exceeding the 8 percent mark. Net profit before special effects reached a new high of CHF 61.2 million (prior-year period: CHF 60.6 million).     


Text: SCCIJ with material of Autoneum; Photos: Autoneum

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