LINAMAR'S GLOBAL FOOTPRINT WILL HAVE a more balanced look in 2020 as the Canadian supplier seeks to become a C$10 billion ($10.2 billion) company.
Now heavily concentrated in North America, Linamar expects Asia and Europe will account for 27% and 25% of its business, respectively, up significantly from the current 3% and 15%.
Accordingly, Asia sales are forecast to skyrocket to C$2.9 billion ($3 billion) from 2010's C$70 million ($71.6 million) and to C$2.7 billion ($2.8 billion) in Europe from last year's C$360 million ($368 million).
CEO Linda Hasenfratz confidently reveals these projections in Ottawa, ON, Canada, at a conference organized by Auto21, a government-sponsored network of Canadian universities and industry stakeholders that facilitates commercialization of automotive research.
Hasenfratz sees opportunity in Asia's skyrocketing vehicle production. Annual output there totals some 36 million units, compared with 2010's tally of 12.1 million in North America, where Linamar's per-vehicle content is valued at $130.
“If we can do that in Asia, we've got a $4 billion business,” she tells Ward's. “The scalability of that is really exciting.”
But North America still figures prominently in Linamar's future. While Hasenfratz expects it will account for 48% of the supplier's business in 2020, down from last year's 82%, she anticipates annual sales will jump to $5.1 billion from $1.8 billion.
And Linamar's march begins now. In the next 24 months, Hasenfratz says the powertrain and driveline supplier will add nearly 111,484 sq.-m (1.2 million sq.-ft.) of manufacturing space in six countries.
Two new plants are destined for China in 2012, while the U.S. and Canada will see construction of one each this year. Additions are planned this year and next for one site in Canada, three in Mexico and two each in Germany and Hungary.
Linamar currently has 23 manufacturing facilities in seven countries.
By 2016, Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen-Porsche are forecast to be Linamar's top customers, with Toyota nosing out GM for No.1. In 2011, VW-Porsche ranks first, according to data presented by Hasenfratz.
Linamar also will acquire increasing amounts of work from Ford and PSA Peugeot-Citroen as they eclipse Hyundai and Honda, respectively, in the supplier's order book.
Power take-off units and rear-drive units, each with fuel-saving drive-connect capability, are among the technologies Linamar is pushing hardest.
Hasenfratz previously shared with Ward's a vision of an industry where suppliers such as Linamar produce finished engines for cost-conscious auto makers. While Hasenfratz stands by her prediction, she says that day still is far in the future, however that picture is getting clearer.
Suppliers will produce engines for “niche applications” of 50,000 units or less, she says. There are no takers yet, “but we will evolve in that direction.”