Takeover of airbag manufacturer increases Autoliv's vertical integration

November 16, 2011 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
To increase its competiveness, automotive safety system provider Autoliv Inc. has acquired the airbag cushion cut&sewn assets and intellectual property from supplier Milliken.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Autoliv is acquiring the machinery and equipment, essentially laser cutters and sewing machines, and intellectual property to increase Autoliv's capability and flexibility to produce cut&sewn airbag cushions. These assets produce around 7 million airbag cushions annually and account for approximately 7% of the global textile cushion demand for Autoliv airbag systems.

“This is another step to take further control of our important core competencies” stated Steve Fredin, President of Autoliv Americas. “This, along with other initiatives in South America to increase vertical integration capacity for inflators and steering wheel armatures, will help to maintain our competitiveness in the market place” added Fredin.

In the Americas, the company expects cut&sewn airbag cushion volumes to increase by more than 8 million units or 30% over the next three years. The transaction will not affect Autoliv’s net sales, since Autoliv has been the exclusive buyer of these cushions from Milliken, but will provide other advantages. Terms and conditions were not disclosed for this transaction that closed on November 14, 2011.