How do you stop Toyota? With Aisin Seiki brake systems, that's how. Aisin Automotive Parts and Systems offers automotive-related products such as transmissions, brakes, and engine and car navigation systems. Its Life and Energy business offers items for more comfortable living, with products that range from heating and cooling systems to toilets with jet sprays; well-care items include electric wheelchairs and reclining beds. Its New Business segment is focused on innovations such as fiber lasers and advances in biotechnology for the automotive market. The company has around 150 consolidated subsidiaries and companies worldwide. Toyota owns 22% of Aisin Seiki and accounts for about 65% of sales.
Aisin Seiki is looking to diversify its customer mix by expanding production overseas to achieve a 50% ratio by 2015. The company pledged $100 million in late 2010 to retool and expand operations at its North Carolina facility to produce automatic transmissions for front-wheel-drive vehicles. The plant, which currently makes transmission for rear-wheel-drive vehicles, is expected to begin production by late 2011. In an atempt to meet projected demand in Brazil, the company will build a new manufacturing facility in the region and expects to increase its employees in the region by more than 100%. In 2008 the company opened Aisin Thai Automotive Casting in Thailand, established an auto interior parts (auto seat frames and seat covers) manufacturing company in Poland, opened automotive parts production companies in China, started up its second plant in Canada, and launched a facility in the Czech Republic to make aluminum die-cast products. These facilities, along with the rest of the company's manufacturing network, which includes Australia, Belgium, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Taiwan, Turkey, and the UK, give the company a firm global footprint.
The company's businesses have worked autonomously in the past; however, Aisin Seiki's view of the present situation is leading it to combine and link its individual businesses, thus strengthening and maximizing the potential of the products and technologies that are cultivated by each company.
The company will continue making automotive components and systems, but it will focus on increasing sales of main products such as transmissions, car navigation systems, and power sliding doors. For the Life segment, it is looking to increase sales of gas heat pump air conditioners and shower toilets.