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Hitachi’s unused mobility company wants to improve the world

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Hitachi Astemo isn’t looking much to saving the world, but the company formed on January 1 is looking to improve it dramatically.

“Our vision is to make the world a better place,” CEO Bryce Koch said in an email interview.

Hitachi Astemo was formed from the merger of Hitachi Automotive Systems with three previous Honda subsidiaries: Nissin Kogyo, Keihin and Showa. Hitachi Co., Ltd. 66.6% of unused auto supplier with Honda 33.4%.

Koch first announced in October 2019, that the decision to merge the companies made sense because, from a research and development standpoint, they were all pursuing essentially the alike technologies.

“In terms of business, the companies are so complementary that today they have merged to form comprehensive business units in Astimo,” Koch explained. “Nissin, for example, fits very well with the Hitachi brake business of earlier car systems, and Showa shaped our two-wheeled business.

He adds that by growing to a global footprint, the company is now closer to its customers with nearly 140 facilities in 27 countries.

Hitachi Co., Ltd. It owns 66.6% of the shares of Hitachi Astimo while Honda owns 33.4%.

Astemo is an acronym for Advanced Sustainable Mobility Technologies — an apt description of the company’s mission, which creates advanced mobility solutions in its core businesses of powertrains, advanced driver assistance systems and chassis systems for both cars and motorcycles, according to Koch.

How will this aid make the world a better place? It’s all about pursuing what he calls the triple base line, Koch says:

  • Social contribution: Improving safety, comfort and quality of life through advanced autonomous driver assistance systems and an advanced chassis.
  • Environmental Contribution: Contribute to a greener world through efficient electrification technologies and products that improve emissions reduction
  • Economic Contribution: Achieving approximately JPY 2 trillion or about $1.8 billion in sales and about 15% EBITDA by fiscal year 2025.

Additionally, Koch says the company has set three additional goals:

  • Carbon impartial production lines by fiscal year 2030
  • Global leadership in electric motors and transformers with annual production targets of five million units each by fiscal year 2025
  • Generate 60 billion yen in cost synergies by fiscal year 2025 (approximately $550,000,000)

In its short life, Hitachi Astemo has already made distinguished progress. The Chassis division currently accounts for about 41% of global sales while the Powertrain & Safety Systems division contributes 50%, according to Koch.

In terms of products, Koch notes the development of inverters for electric vehicles with lower losses to improve energy savings as well as more compact sizes and higher output for easier installation, “featured by more than twice the output density of other companies.”

In 2019, prior the company previously became official, it launched the world’s first mass-produced lofty-voltage (800-volt), lofty-output inverters for electric vehicles. Utilizing advanced analysis technology, structural design, material development, production technology and motor control technology developed by the company within the Hitachi Group, Koch said its engines have more than 1.2 times the torque per magnet size of its competitors.

Aside from components, Hitachi Astemo’s main focus is developing software for the vehicle’s electronic control units and managing software updates over the air.

“As the scale of software development increases, so does the importance of ensuring the efficiency and quality of software development,” Koch said. “To address this issue, we have developed and used a common software platform for the common parts of each product to improve development efficiency. Moreover, by applying automation technology for development and verification, we can provide lofty-quality software.”

Astemo also applies the advanced technologies it uses to motorbike four-wheeled vehicles. One example Koch points to is the use of all-wheel drive technology in two-wheel drive equipment (the use of xEV engines and the application of AD/ADAS technology for driver assistance control in motorcycles).

One of the components of the electric vehicle that Hitachi Astemo does not touch is the battery. Koch explained that the parent company abandoned its lithium-ion battery business in 2018 in favor of pursuing growth in advanced mobility solutions.

“The battery business is certainly an area for growth, however it requires quite a vast investment and it is also becoming more regulated as the global competition in the automotive lithium-ion battery market intensifies,” Koch explained.

This beforetime in life financial comparisons to Hitachi Astemo are not yet valid, although activities had already begun prior its official formation at the start of the year, Koch was competent to provide a hint about the company’s beforetime performance.

“I am happy to say that we have shown powerful resilience and significant successes as well in such a very short time,” Koch said. “In our fourth quarter results – our first quarter as an integrated company – our operating margin was 8.2% and overall, powerful results drove us into the black of fiscal 2020.”

Looking ahead, Koch says the company will accomplish its financial goals for fiscal year 2025 with approximately 15% EBITDA and approximately 12% return on invested capital by strengthening its product portfolio, increasing market share, focusing on costs and leveraging scope and technologies to accomplish higher share. for motors and transformers by fiscal year 2025.

It’s still too beforetime to say that Hitachi Astemo has actually made the world a better place, but it’s intent.


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