FRANKFURT (Bloomberg) – Johnson Controls Inc. is looking to buy more companies that specialize in components used in premium-seat making, said the head of development for the U.S.-based part supplier's seat business.
JCI is interested in manufacturers of seat motors and specialty mechanics, Detlef Juerss said in an interview.
Purchases to add those skills will strengthen the company's supply chain and generate business for premium vehicles from automakers such as Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz and BMW AG, he said.
“There is still the one or the other gap that we want to look at,” Juerss said on Wednesday. “It has nothing to do with doubling revenue. It really is about closing the portfolio.”
JCI, which Juerss said earned about 80 percent of its $16.6 billion in auto-interiors revenue from seats in the year ended Sept. 30, agreed last week to acquire C Rob Hammerstein Group, which makes seat parts for Mercedes' top-end S-class sedan.
Other acquisitions this year include car-interior fabric and leather maker Michel Thierry SA and Benoac Fertigteile GmbH. CEO Bruce McDonald said in an interview in October that acquisitions would focus on the automotive division in the short term.
“Over a five-year period, we'd like M&A to be 80 percent toward building efficiency, but right now we're seeing more opportunities in the automotive space,” he said.
The supplier's biggest growth market in the coming years will be China, where JCI aims to participate in the growth of companies including FAW Group Corp. and Chery Automobile Co., Juerss said.
Europe's new-car market will rebound next year to about 15.5 million units, he added.
JCI ranks No. 8 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $12.8 billion in 2009. Europe accounted for 52 percent of that total.