Leoni: Mechatronic components for automotive

The development of the Wiring Systems Division (WSD) towards becoming a provider of systems to the automotive industry has thereby taken another significant step forward. The potential for Leoni in manufacturing components sourced elsewhere itself in the future and thereby to enhance its value creation currently stands at up to EUR 200 million per year.

In its new Components business unit within the WSD organisation, Leoni produces above all electromechanical and mechatronic components for cars and commercial vehicles, which make a key contribution to vehicle safety. The components developed, produced and marketed in house include high-voltage fuse protection as well as fuse and relay boxes, which above all ensure the vehicle’s basic electrical functions. The extended product range also includes plastic components such as cable conduits and equipment boxes.

Although Leoni already sold such components for many years together with its own cable harnesses and wiring systems, frequently also developing them itself, they were externally produced up to now - something on which WSD spent 20 to 30 percent of its total annual purchasing volume. Leoni now partially brings these outsourced services in house, thereby increasing its own value creation.

“This new business unit will generate an eight-digit figure for the first time in 2010 and will be able to double this in each of the next two to three years,” said Uwe H. Lamann, Member of Leoni AG’s Management Board with responsibility for the Wiring Systems Division, regarding the objectives.

The first customers for these new products include GM, BMW, Mercedes and DAF. The new Opel Astra, for example, has a central safety component as well as two fuse and relay boxes that protect the wiring system, likewise made by Leoni, against short circuits and over-current.

Leoni makes these components in a state-of-the-art production area that was set up for an eight-digit amount at its existing plant in Arad, Romania. It has three production lines, parts of which are fully automated. The Components business unit meanwhile employs more than 90 people.