Japanese electronics giant Panasonic Corp. has acquired a 49 percent stake in Spanish automotive components supplier Ficosa International SA.
The investment, completed at the end of June, is part of a broader business alliance and merger of the two organizations first revealed late last year. Cooperation is set to accelerate the development of new products and integrate the firms' know-how in imaging technology and auto mirror technology.
Panasonic and Ficosa were already working together on advanced mirrors, reducing CO2 emissions, electric cars and vehicle communication systems.
The capital and business alliance will lead to “the fusion and further evolution of the ‘comfort' and ‘safety' areas which is indispensable for the next generation cockpit systems, an area that shows great potential for growth,” according to the new partnership.
Their integration will allow the quick launch of an electronic mirror systems business. The firms will expand an existing business alliance in the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) area in the future and connected infotainment systems through the “in-vehicle telematics unit.”
Barcelona-based Ficosa and Panasonic of Osaka, Japan, say they will continue talks about strengthening their capital, business and technology partnership in the future.
Ficosa, already global specialists in interior and side mirror systems, has grown rapidly since 2012 largely through its internationalization strategy designed to serve OEM customers around the world. Ninety per cent of its turnover comes from abroad.
The company recently launched its third production plant in China at the northeastern city of Shenyang and just announced it means to build a 44 million U.S. facility in Cookeville, Tenn. next year.
In 2014, the Spanish company saw its annual sales climb from 935 million euros ($1.01 billion) to 949 million euros ($1.03 billion) and boosted its gross operating profit by 27 percent to 79 million euros ($86 million).