Autoliv, Takata’s main rival, to conquer Japan

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Swedish automotive safety supplier Autoliv can now profit from the not-so-comfortable position Takata is in, by growing in Japan. It is difficult to predict how hard all the recalls Takata is involved in will affect the company financially. What is certain is that its main rivals will definitely take advantage of the Japanese supplier’s predicament. Autoliv, Takata’s main competitor, is the world’s top maker of equipment such as airbags and seat belts, but has always struggled to expand in Japan, and now it is the right moment to act. In the latest weeks, many major Japanese automakers have announced they will break the partnership with Takata and will no longer buy its inflators. Such announcements made by companies like Honda, Toyota or Nissan, could change the balance of suppliers’ market in Japan. Autoliv is already investing around 90 million dollars in increasing its production capacity to replace Takata’s airbags in the recalled cars, the Swedish supplier expecting to replace up to 20 million airbag systems. “Autoliv’s opportunity to take market share has never been as good as it is right now due to what is happening to Takata,” said Handelsbanken Capital Markets analyst Hampus Engellau. Last year, Autoliv’s market share in the passive safety system was 20 percent in Japan, but double in Europe and US. Takata was in second spot last year, followed by German-US firm ZF TRW. “After companies have had such trouble with Takata, they really want things to work this time,” said DNB analyst Christer Magnergard. “In that situation, they are more likely to move to a safer option than an untested player.” Via Automotive News Europe