Hitachi, Ltd., Clarion Co., Ltd. and Xanavi Informatics Corporation have announced the imminent establishment of a joint venture company in the onboard car navigation and information product sector.
The three companies say the aim of the joint venture is to boost product development and production efficiency so as to keep the competitive power of their products at the top in both domestic and international markets. The new company, HCX Corporation, will be incorporated on December 21 and start operations in January 2001. It will initially concentrate on car navigation systems.
In Japan, particularly, recent advances in ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) have spurred the development and proliferation of high-end navigation systems equipped with sophisticated communication and other features that provide access to a variety of information services. In the U.S. and Europe, too, onboard car information services and equipment including telematics services are expected to expand at an accelerating pace. Globally, the outlook is for phenomenal growth, according to most analysts.
Against this backdrop, any company hoping to survive in ever more intensely competitive world markets will need the ability to apply advanced electronics and communications technologies to the design of products that are not only highly sophisticated but also safe to use while driving and capable of standing up to harsh heat, noise and vibration conditions.
Feeling the need to move quickly to stay at the forefront of international markets in competitive strength, Hitachi, Clarion and Xanavi decided to refocus their resources in this field through a jointly owned company dedicated to the development and, eventually, production of competitive car communications products.
HCX's first job will be to integrate the complementary strengths of the three parent companies for the development of next-generation car information system products to be marketed by Clarion and Xanavi. Hitachi will contribute microchip, laser disk, and cutting-edge mobile communications equipment technologies, along with a broad range of engine and other vehicle control systems. Clarion will provide expertise in car audio equipment installation, product planning and mass production, and Xanavi is to inject its extensive lineup of car navigation system technologies backed up with product planning capabilities.
Researchers from both Clarion and Xanavi are to be assigned to HCX in a move aimed at eliminating duplicated effort in next-generation product R&D, shorten product development time and lower development costs. This, plus an infusion of advanced microchip technology and active R&D support from Hitachi, will ensure world-class competitiveness for Clarion and Xanavi products, according to the three companies. With an eye to enhancing production efficiency, Hitachi, Clarion and Xanavi are also considering eventually extending HCX operations into the manufacture of products that would be supplied to Clarion and Xanavi.
Hitachi intends to use the new company as a platform for providing synergies with the rest of the company's ITS business ranging from infrastructures to information services and also for reinforcing the company's position in the automotive sector by developing total vehicle control systems that integrate engine, power train and brake control technologies with diagnostic and onboard information capabilities. Clarion and Xanavi plan to exploit Hitachi's advances in R&D and production to build competitive power and strengthen their position in global markets.
About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a global electronics company, with fiscal 1999 (ended March 31, 2000) consolidated sales of 8,001 billion yen ($75.5 billion*). The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including computers, semiconductors, consumer products and power and industrial equipment. For more information on Hitachi, Ltd., visit http://global.hitachi.com.
*At an exchange rate of 106 yen to the dollar.
About Clarion Co., Ltd.
Clarion Co., Ltd., headquartered in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan, is involved in the field of in-car communication and sound systems and equipment, with fiscal 1999 (ended March 31, 2000) consolidated sales of 191.8 billion yen ($1.8 billion).
The company manufactures and markets a wide range of products, including car radios and car stereo systems, car CDs and car MDs, car navigation systems, AutoPCs, and SS wireless communication systems.
About Xanavi Informatics Corporation
Xanavi Informatics Corporation, headquartered in Zama, Kanagawa, Japan, is one of the leaders pursuing advanced technologies in the field of car information and communication systems and equipment, with fiscal 1999 (ended March 31, 2000) sales of 21.8 billion yen ($206 million*).
The company manufactures and markets a wide range of car navigation and in-vehicle information and communication systems and equipment. For more information on Xanavi Informatics Corporation, visit http://www.xanavi.co.jp.