Japanese supplier Toyoda Gosei is seeking to take a chunk of the higher demand for airbags, particularly in emerging markets like Southeast Asia, India and China where vehicles offered in these areas now have airbags as standard features. According to Toyoda Gosei President Tadashi Arashima, the higher demand for airbags won’t be affected by the current crisis at Takata Corp.
He told Bloomberg News in an interview that Toyoda Gosei recently invested in India, Indonesia and Mexico related to airbags, adding that airbag market will be bigger. He noted that the company’s current capacity is really tight, which means the supplier may have to boost it in the next few years, most likely in India or other emerging markets.
Arashima said Toyoda Gosei started producing airbag inflators around four years ago as these were relatively expensive components and are less expensive to build in-house. He noted that it was hard to know how to produce airbags without making the inflators. Toyoda Gosei has commenced inflator production in a site in Inazawa city.
The company also has inflator production operations in Missouri. The higher airbag demand is foreseen despite the recall of over 60 million vehicles in the United States in 2014, a large number of them fitted with Takata inflators. The new chief of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration expects a higher figure t this year as the public pays more attention over auto-safety defects.