Business Report for Fiscal 2017
Fiscal 2017 was a year in which we solidified our management foundations by strengthening the competitiveness of our existing businesses and launched initiatives to drive future growth.
The business environment surrounding the automobile industry in fiscal 2017 was robust worldwide due to an increase in unit sales of new cars in the major markets of North America, Europe and China. Sales volume also exceeded the level of the previous fiscal year in Japan, with solid sales of new cars, particularly compact cars.
In keeping with our aim of being “A vibrant company that possesses true competitiveness and proposes new value,” the AISIN Group took steps to enhance competitiveness, develop innovative technology and bolster manufacturing capabilities.
Review of business results
In fiscal 2017, revenue amounted to a record high ¥3,562.6 billion due primarily to brisk sales worldwide of automatic transmissions and automotive body parts coupled with contribution from the newly consolidated Shiroki Corporation. An historic high was also posted in operating profit with a result of ¥228.6 billion. This was due to sales growth and the effects of activities to strengthen earnings structure, such as cost reductions, as well as a gain on stock swap with Shiroki Corporation, despite unfavorable factors that included restoration costs following the Kumamoto earthquakes and foreign exchange translation losses. Profit before income taxes and profit for the period attributable to owners of the parent were also at all-time highs, amounting to ¥237.3 billion and ¥126.6 billion, respectively.
In fiscal 2018, we are forecasting revenue of ¥3,670 billion and operating profit of ¥230 billion.
Status of damage caused by the Kumamoto earthquakes and recovery efforts
The Kumamoto earthquakes that struck in April 2016 led to significant damage to our Group company Aisin Kyushu Co., Ltd., forcing it to cease production temporarily. We would like to apologize for the concern caused to all shareholders and other parties affected.
Through the cooperation of AISIN Group companies, customers, suppliers and even companies that we do not ordinarily deal with, we relocated equipment and molds, and transferred 345 personnel from Aisin Kyushu to seven locations in Kyushu and seven in Aichi Prefecture. This large-scale initiative sought to enable alternate production so we could resume supply as quickly as possible. During that period, we worked with great urgency to restore operations at Aisin Kyushu and efforts were completed in the second week of August 2016. Following that, we gradually returned production equipment from the alternate sites and announced a resumption of production at Aisin Kyushu on August 22, approximately four months after the earthquakes.
Auto Parts Business
Needs in auto parts are evolving dramatically alongside diversification of lifestyles and values and various technological innovations. As these changes unfold, we have deployed the AISIN Group’s wide-ranging resources to promote the development of new technologies based on our key themes of the environment and enhanced fuel efficiency, security and safety, and comfort and convenience.
This fiscal year the AISIN Group’s products were employed in the LEXUS LC500 and LC500h luxury sports cars launched by Toyota.
The AISIN Group strengthened sales promotion activities for companies outside the Toyota Group by leveraging advantages in our extensive product lineup and high quality. We are expanding dealings with automakers overseas in places like Europe and China every year, and overseas sales have now grown into a pillar of our business accounting for 39.9% of total sales at present. Going forward, we will look to further expand these dealings through the development of attractive products and sales promotion activities.
Life and Energy Related Business
Sales agreement with airweave Inc.
A decision was made to enter into a sales agreement with airweave Inc. for Aisin Seiki’s ASLEEP brand of beds, bedding and furniture. Further, we aim to expand the market for advanced mattresses by helping with sales in-store and joint campaigns in order to increase sales opportunities for ASLEEP beds, and develop new products using the materials of both companies.
Cogeneration system wins Energy Conservation Grand Prize
Our ENE-FARM TYPE S fuel cell cogeneration system for residential use won the Director General Prize of Agency for Natural Resources and Energy at the Fiscal 2017 Energy Conservation Grand Prize run by The Energy Conservation Center, Japan in recognition of having the world’s highest power generation efficiency and smallest size.
Toyota Motor LEXUS LC500 and LC500h
10-Speed FWD Automatic Transmission
The 10-speed gear structure and world’s fastest shift change allow for rhythmic driving while ensuring excellent responsiveness to driver’s acceleration.
RWD Multi Stage Hybrid Transmission
The combination of a Multi Stage Shift Device with a two-motor hybrid transmission has resulted in exceptional acceleration force and low fuel consumption while driving at high speeds.
Chassis & Vehicle Safety System Business
Aluminum fixed type 6-pot caliper
This sophisticated caliper boasting excellent design is perfect for the LEXUS flagship coupe while contributing to more advanced driving performance through improved braking force thanks to a shift to the 6-pot mechanism.
Active rear steering
This system controls the steering angle of a vehicle’s rear wheels to improve stability at high speeds and enable tighter turns at low speeds.
Body Product Business
Active rear wing
The rear wing is stored away when driving at normal speeds to give the driver rearward visibility, and deployed at high speeds to enhance downward force and provide greater operating stability.
Pop-up door handle
This door handle is stored inside the vehicle body when driving but pops up automatically when the door is unlocked so the door can be opened. The vehicle’s flush surface contributes to enhanced dynamic performance and design.
GAC Motor GA8
Strengthened development for the focused development field
Over the years, AISIN Group companies have honed their expertise across a wide range of product lines from powertrains to safety systems and auto body parts. In order to accelerate the development of new technologies that contribute to the automobile society of the future based on these core technologies, we have identified three fields for the Group to focus on, namely “zero emissions,” “automated driving” and “connected cars.” These fields are viewed as key in our mission to develop next-generation technologies, and with this in mind, we have initiated development activities through six working groups.
We will invest development resources held by the Group in a focused manner and look to swiftly develop products that anticipate new lifestyles.
We are innovating electrification technology for our two-motor hybrid transmissions and motorized 4WD units in response to stricter fuel consumption regulations set for 2025. We are also strengthening development of one-motor hybrid transmissions, powertrain units for electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs), as well as the motors and inverters for which they will be core technologies.
The EV Venture Project set up inside the AISIN Group aims to strengthen ties with Toyota Motor Corporation in concert with its effort to build better EVs. We will also offer new services from the perspective of the entire vehicle body, beginning with the powertrain and including auto body parts, chassis and electronics.
Vehicle Dynamics Control
In automated driving and driving support systems, the AISIN Group enables integrated control of individual actuators related to key areas of a vehicle’s behavior, namely driving, turning and stopping, including the powertrain, steering and braking, to realize greater safety, reliability and comfort.
Automated Valet Parking
We have developed a system that frees the driver from the burden of parking. After exiting the car at the entrance to a restaurant or hotel, the car will automatically move to a parking space, then return to the entrance automatically when it’s time to leave. The fully unmanned parking will utilize map information and parking infrastructure information as part of the support system. The system is currently being tested.
We offer services that turn a vehicle from a mere “tool” into a “smart and reliable companion” through the creation of a system to understand the movements and environment of vehicle occupants, and those about to enter the car. This will be achieved through development of a system for automatic operation of power sliding doors and seats.
Location Based Services
We offer a new information system that goes beyond conventional car navigation and the Vehicle Information and Communication System (VICS)*. New services that provide information on traffic conditions prior to leaving home are now available, as is a warning system that can use the camera of the car in front to identify a crash and inform cars that may be out of sight behind.