Takata Corp. is planning to double production of its airbag inflators to 900,000 units monthly by September as it tries to meet the backlog of orders for replacement parts. According to Takata spokesman Jared Levy, the supplier has completed the ramp-up of two new assembly lines at its Monclova site in Mexico that allowed it to hike monthly production of replacement inflators from 300,000 units to 450,000 units.
He remarked that Takata’s plants around the world will produce 900,000 units a month. At a current production rate of 450,000 units a month, Takata would need a few years to fill the order backlog as its customers expanded regional recalls in the United States into a national one. While Takata is having a hard time increasing its production, its rival suppliers are taking the opportunity to fill in the gap.
In fact, Autoliv Inc., the world’s No. 1 airbag producer, confirmed in January that has inked contracts with a number of carmakers to deliver up to 25 million airbag inflators to fix possibly faulty airbags. According to Autoliv, it will produce the airbag inflators this year and in 2015, adding that its holding talks with carmakers to deliver millions more.
In October last year, Reuters reported that Japanese carmaker Honda would source some replacement airbags from Daicel, the world’s No. 4 producer of inflators. TRW Automotive Holdings, the third-largest in the world, has also expressed willingness to build replacements airbags.