28 June 2013

Autoliv to invest $50 million in new textile center in China

Stockholm - 28 June 2013 – Autoliv Inc. will invest around $50 million in a new textile center in China, needed to meet the strong demand for airbags in China and other Asian markets. The center will also make Autoliv even more competitive by reducing supplier costs through vertical integration. The textile center will consist of a weaving plant, an airbag cushion plant and a development center for airbag cushions and textiles. 

The weaving plant will focus on manufacturing textiles for airbags using Autoliv's patented “one-piece-woven” (OPW) technology. By using this efficient technology, the airbag cushions can be almost ready-made on the weaving loom. This plant will have a floor space of more than 8,000 square meters (almost 100,000 sq. feet) and have around 150 employees. 

In addition a separate building of similar size will be constructed at the same site for airbag cushion manufacturing. This is a relocation from an existing site in the Shanghai area, allowing the current site to expand its airbag module manufacturing capacity. This airbag cushion operation will have around 1000 employees. 

In line with its strategy of globalizing products and processes Autoliv will, when the project is completed have in house manufacturing of OPW in all of its three regions, (Europe, Americas, Asia), produced according to the same process. The plant will also produce woven fabric for traditional “cut and sewn” cushions. In addition a co-located development center for airbag cushion and textile will be created. It will focus on standardized designs for the Asia region. 

Globally, in 2012, Autoliv produced 70 million airbag cushions in-house and purchased 40 million from external suppliers for its total production of 110 million complete airbags. 

“The textile center is very important to meet the increasing demand for airbags in China and other Asian markets,” said Jan Carlson, President and CEO of Autoliv Inc. “In addition, the textile center will increase our level of in-house component sourcing and enable standardized designs in Asia region and globally, while shortening and streamlining our supply chain,” Jan Carlson added. 

Autoliv Inc., the worldwide leader in automotive safety systems, develops and manufactures automotive safety systems for all major automotive manufacturers in the world. Together with its joint ventures, Autoliv has approximately 80 facilities with more than 50,000 employees in 29 countries. In addition, the Company has ten technical centers in nine countries around the world, with 21 test tracks, more than any other automotive safety supplier. Sales in 2012 amounted to US $8.3 billion. 

Source: Autoliv