Components and Production Systems

Magneti Marelli (Components)

In 2012, the auto market continued to suffer the effects of the weakening global economy, evident already in the second half of 2011, Magneti Marelliparticularly in Europe, which is a key region for the sector. Performance in other areas was more positive and, overall, revenues were substantially in line with the prior year. Positive performance in Germany (although slowing in the fourth quarter), NAFTA and China largely compensated for difficult trading conditions in other European markets and a mixed performance in Brazil, which was particularly weak in the first half of the year.

During the year, Magneti Marelli concluded several major agreements for development of innovative products in its core segments.

In January, Magneti Marelli and Changchun Fudi Equipment Technology Development Co. Ltd., a Chinese producer of automotive components and systems, signed an agreement for the establishment of a joint venture to produce engine control systems for passenger cars. The joint venture company, Changchun Magneti Marelli Powertrain Components Co. Ltd., was established in May.

In June, Sistemi Sospensioni S.p.A. and Promatcor Inc. signed a joint venture agreement which resulted in the creation of Magneti Marelli Promatcor Sistemi Sospensioni Mexicana S. de R.L. de C.V. The new company will produce suspension systems for the Fiat Professional Ducato assembled in Mexico.

In July, production began at the new Magneti Marelli plant in Changsha (China), which supplies exhaust systems for the Fiat Viaggio produced by the GAC-Fiat JV, as well as the new plant in Kragujevac (Serbia), which supplies exhaust systems for the Fiat 500L.

In September, Magneti Marelli signed a 4-year agreement with Dorna (organizer of the MotoGP™) that will allow all MotoGP™ teams to use electronic control systems produced by Magneti Marelli beginning in 2013. Also in September, Magneti Marelli established Hefei Magneti Marelli Exhaust Systems Co. Ltd. in China with its JV partner JAC (a local parts manufacturer). The company will produce exhaust systems for GAC-Fiat, Daimler and JAC Automobile.

Performance for the principal business lines was as follows:

Lighting 

Revenues totaled €2,038 million in 2012, an increase of approximately 13% over the prior year. The growth was primarily attributable to strong demand from German customers and new technological content for products launched during the second half of 2011, in addition to performance in NAFTA, China and Russia.

Innovation development projects during the year included:

  • LED AFS Module (LFX): a multi-functional modular lighting system that adjusts quantity and intensity to exterior conditions
  • IRED – Radiator: a next generation system using infrared cameras for active night vision
  • E-light 2.0 & 2.1: the second generation of this module provides customers greater freedom in design withelectricity consumption below 20W
  • Matrix Beam S: a system based on a new generation of optic elements using innovative new materials.

Major new orders included headlights for new Audi and Mercedes Benz models and for Fiat/PSA.

Engine Controls

Revenues totaled €918 million for 2012, a decrease of approximately 4% over the prior year. Lower volumes in Europe and Brazil were only partially compensated for by positive performance in the U.S. (Chrysler) and India (Suzuki/Maruti).

Major orders received during the year included: the engine control system and other components for application on the Euro 6 8V FIRE and the 1.6 and 2.0 MultiJet engines for Fiat; the Freechoice AMT system for GM in Asia; the 725 Dual Clutch system for Fiat/Chrysler; and GDI injector pumps for BYD Auto (China).

Suspension Systems

Revenues were €476 million, down 19% over 2011 on the back of contractions in demand in Italy and Poland for all brands of Fiat Group, the business line’s principal customer. In Brazil, performance was substantially in line with the prior year.

Research and innovation activities continued in the areas of high-resistance metal (steel and iron) and alloy solutions (carbon steel) and variable thickness components.

Major new orders included orders from BMW (new Mini and 1 Series) and Opel. Through the JV in India, new orders were received from Tata, Suzuki Maruti and Bajaj.

Shock Absorbers

The business line recorded revenues of €354 million for 2012, a 13% decrease over the previous year (-9% at constant exchange rates). The reduction was primarily attributable to lower business volumes in Brazil and Poland, which were partially offset by a modest pickup in the U.S. associated with new products for Chrysler.

Principal new product developments during 2012 related to the Full Displacement technology currently used on the Fiat Viaggio and several Mitsubishi models, as well as the Power Shock technology (which offers enhanced comfort and stability at an attractive price) that will be used on a new Fiat model in Brazil beginning in 2013. Development also continued on regenerative shock absorbers and weight reduction through the use of alternative materials.

Electronic Systems

Revenues totaled €875 million for the year, an increase of 21% over the prior year driven by significant growth for “telematic and body” products for external customers (principally Ecotax telepass units for Società Autostrade). There was also an increase in business volumes with Chrysler (HFM, Blue&Me 500), PSA (RT6, RT6FF and SMEG A9 radio navigation systems) and Daimler (Car2go for the Smart).

Innovation projects included development of the integrated electronic xenon bulb (Fine X) and a new infotainment system for BMW.

Exhaust Systems

Revenues for 2012 totaled €598 million, down 14% over the prior year. The decrease was attributable to the overall contraction in demand in the business line’s core markets.

On the innovation front, the business line continued its focus on reductions in CO2 emissions (through lighter systems and exhaust heat recovery solutions) and other activities related to future emissions standards, including NOX Storage Catalyst (NSC) and Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology for application on diesel engines and softscanning technology for application on Euro 6 gasoline engines.

After Market

Revenues totaled €340 million for 2012, up 2% over the previous year. Growth in the U.S. and Mercosur was partially offset by decreases in Europe. There were increases for the COFAP line and the Behr Hella thermal line. Volumes for rotary motors, batteries and brakes were down over the prior year, while lighting was substantially flat.

Plastic Components and Modules

Revenues totaled €419 million for 2012, down 20% over the previous year. The decrease was attributable to the overall contraction in demand in the business line’s core markets.

Teksid (Metallurgical Products)

Although the Light Vehicle market registered a 5.7% increase globally in 2012, there was a significant drop in production in markets where TeksidTeksid’s principal customers operate. Western Europe, in particular, was down 8.9% over the prior year with significant contractions in Italy (-16%), France (-14%) and Spain (-18%). Mercosur was slightly up over the prior year (+0.7%).

For the Heavy Vehicle market, globally there was a contraction of 8%. The core markets for Teksid’s customers performed worse than average, declining 10% in Western Europe (Italy -17%, Germany -8%) and 26% in Mercosur (Brazil -29%). By contrast, NAFTA registered a robust increase (+19%) which was insufficient, however, to offset volume decreases for Teksid in other markets.

The Cast Iron business unit recorded a 16% decrease in volumes, attributable primarily to lower demand in the heavy vehicle segment. Revenues were also down 16% for the year (to €680 million in 2012 from €811 million in 2011).

The Aluminum business unit closed the year with volumes down 5% and revenues down 8% (to €104 million in 2012 from €114 million in 2011).

Comau (Production Systems)

During 2012, Comau’s core market posted positive performance, however, results varied by region.Comau

In North America and Asia, demand remained high with minimal impact from the current uncertainty in financial markets.

Growth was particularly robust in the U.S. where the big three domestic automakers – Chrysler, General Motors and Ford – continued upgrade and modernization of their plants and development of new models and engines.

In Asia, activity levels in China and India remained substantially in line with 2011.

In Latin America, new order activity was weak, with a modest slowing during the year.

Activity in Europe was also generally weak, but with conditions varying from market to market. In the UK and Germany, investment levels were up over the prior year.

New contract orders were down 5% for the year to €1,234 million. The decrease was entirely attributable to the year-over-year comparison for Powertrain activities, which achieved very high new order levels in 2011.

Overall, 34% of new orders were generated in Europe and 37% in North America, with the remaining 29% coming from Latin America and Asia. By customer, 27% of orders came from Fiat Group companies and 73% from other manufacturers. At 31 December 2012, the order backlog totaled €876 million, a 5% increase over the previous year.

The Services operation maintained its position in Brazil and Argentina, with activity levels substantially unchanged over 2011.

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