JTEKT to Revamp Product Portfolio amid Industry Transformation
Toyota’s steering systems supplier JTEKT Corporation is preparing to revamp its product portfolio to stay in step with the rapidly changing environment of the automotive industry, including an EV-led future.
"When we look at how the world is changing, we see the growth of electrification, carbon neutrality and [mobility as a service] using commercial vehicles. I see many ways we can make the best use of our products to contribute to such areas," said to Automotive News Takumi Matsumoto, Senior Executive Officer, JTEKT.
Currently, JTEKT is one of the most important global steering system players, alongside Nexteer Automotive, Mando Corporation, ThyssenKrupp Presta AG, Bosch, Showa Corporation, NSK, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Sona Koyo Steering Systems and Hyundai Mobis, according to Allied Market Research.
In an industry progressively dominated by electrification, JTEKT is feeling pressure to radically shift its offer, innovating toward steering systems specially designed for EVs and Steer-by-Wire systems, said Matsumoto. JTEKT must leverage its size, diverse product portfolio and half-billion-dollar R&D treasure chest to thrive in the shifting landscape, added Matsumoto.
The strategy aims to combine JTEKT’s steering and driveline systems business with part of the company’s bearings unit to spur revenue growth, reported Automotive News. In addition, JTEKT moved its global headquarters from Nagoya to the suburb of Kariya in 2020, pointing to be closer to other Toyota Group suppliers, such as giants Denso Corp, Aisin Corp and Toyota Boshoku Corp.
The new products will be tailored to the new age of the automotive industry, said Matsumoto. The list includes Steer-by-Wire systems, low-friction wheel hubs, precision gears for electric motors, lithium-ion capacitors for EVs and corrosion-resistant regulator valves for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Although some of these technologies are still small-scale, they have the potential to explode with the advances in electrification and self-driving cars worldwide.
JTEKT landed in Mexico in 2015 to supply one single product for Toyota. Currently, the company has 12 production lines and manufactures steering systems for five different OEMs in Mexico and the USMCA region.
JTEKT Begins Operations at San Luis Potosi Expanded Plant
JTEKT’s presence in Mexico continues to grow, inaugurating new operations at its San Luis Potosi plant in March 2022. The expansion, announced in 2021, required a US$50 million investment and has already generated 170 new jobs, said Silvestre Mendoza Huerta, Plant Manager, JTEKT México.
“We embarked on the development, construction and commissioning of one of the most technologically advanced systems regarding assisted steering systems. This technology is the same that will be used as the basis for cars with autonomous steering,” he said.