Denso wants to vault from the middle of the field into Europe’s top 5 by 2010.
To do so, the Japanese supplier is investing heavily in the region – and losing some money in the process.
Denso posted an operating loss in Europe for the second straight year in its 2004-2005 fiscal year. It blamed the E63 million shortfall on the costs of opening a heating, ventilation and air conditioning plant in the Czech Republic and expanding a Hungarian diesel systems facility.
Overall, Denso reported record global revenues of 2.8 trillion yen (E20.1 billion) during the fiscal year that ended March 31. Denso was profitable in its other regions: Japan, Americas and Asia-Oceana.
Denso’s European deficit in the 12 months ending March 31 was double the previous financial year’s E33 million loss. It reflects heavy investment in technologies and facilities to boost its position in Europe. European net revenue for the year rose to $2.59 billion (currently E2.14 billion) from $2.02 billion.
Denso CEO Koichi Fukaya confirmed his goal to become a top-5 European supplier by 2010 at the 2004 Paris auto show.
That would be a massive jump. Last year Denso ranked No. 20 in Europe, with only a third the revenue of No. 5 Siemens VDO Automotive at $7.77 billion.
“In Europe we still have some catching up to do,” Denso Europe President Michio Fukazaki said.
Denso’s push parallels that of its best customer, Toyota, which wants to build a greater proportion of its European-market cars in Europe (See story, below). Toyota owns 24.6 percent of Denso.