International Automotive Components Group ranks 53rd on the Automotive News Europe list of top 100 global suppliers, with revenue of $4.4 billion in 2017. But falling numbers in IAC's U.S. heartland have boosted the prominence of the European division, led by Jonas Nilsson since the end of 2016. This year, Nilsson says, the success of IAC's strategy of targeting premium customers will help Europe become IAC's biggest division globally. Nilsson spoke with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Nick Gibbs about how he plans to further grow IAC's European business.
How big is the European division within IAC?
It used to be 40 percent to 42 percent historically, and we are now just under 50 percent with revenue at $2 billion in 2017. We are growing, so during 2018, Europe will become the biggest regional division.
What is helping you grow?
We are resetting our strategy to be the premium supplier of choice, so that is where we are growing. Already, 80 percent of our business is with premium automakers. We are a bit underweight with German premium automakers, so that is where we will be focusing.
What is your market share in Europe?
Looking at parts produced, our share is about 10 percent to 15 percent. But if you look at sales, we are about 20 percent to 25 percent. We definitely need to grow that -- 40 percent is where we need to be.
Who are your big competitors?
Yanfeng is a big one after the merger with Johnson Controls on the interiors side. Faurecia is still there. Grupo Antolin is primarily in headliners, but they are also diversifying. M&A [mergers and acquisitions] could also play a role because local players account for almost 30 percent of the market in Europe, which is not the case in North America anymore -- they have all been acquired. There is still some room for consolidation in Europe.
Are you growing with the premium brands or taking business from some of your competitors?
It's a mix. We are also getting airlift business where an automaker asks us to take over from a troubled supplier in production or development. Three premium German automakers have asked us to do that.