alv-10k_20181231.htm

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE

SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018

 

Commission file number: 001-12933

AUTOLIV, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Delaware

51-0378542

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification  No.)

 

Klarabergsviadukten 70, Section B7, SE-111 64

Box 70381, SE-107 24

Stockholm, Sweden

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

+46 8 587 20 600

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

 

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class:

 

Name of each exchange on which registered:

Common Stock, par value $1.00 per share

 

New York Stock Exchange

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.   Yes     No  

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes     No  

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports); and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes:     No:   

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes:      No:   

 

Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.   

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

Large accelerated filer

 

  

Accelerated filer

 

Non-accelerated filer

 

  

Smaller reporting company

 

Emerging growth company

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes:     No:  

 

The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity of Autoliv, Inc. held by non-affiliates as of the last business day of the second fiscal quarter of 2018 amounted to $8,989 million.

 

Number of shares of Common Stock outstanding as of February 13, 2019: 87,149,242.

 

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

 

Portions of the registrant’s definitive Proxy Statement for the annual stockholders’ meeting to be held on May 7, 2019, to be dated on or around March 27, 2019 (the “2019 Proxy Statement”), are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10- K. The 2019 Proxy Statement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days after December 31, 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

AUTOLIV, INC.

Index

 

PART I

 

 

 

 

Item 1.

 

Business

3

Item 1A.

 

Risk Factors

9

Item 1B.

 

Unresolved Staff Comments

22

Item 2.

 

Properties

22

Item 3.

 

Legal Proceedings

25

Item 4.

 

Mine Safety Disclosures

25

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

 

 

 

Item 5.

 

Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

26

Item 6.

 

Selected Financial Data

28

Item 7.

 

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

29

Item 7A.

 

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

50

Item 8.

 

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

52

Item 9.

 

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

96

Item 9A.

 

Controls and Procedures

96

Item 9B.

 

Other Information

96

 

 

 

 

PART III

 

 

 

 

Item 10.

 

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

97

Item 11.

 

Executive Compensation

97

Item 12.

 

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

97

Item 13.

 

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

97

Item 14.

 

Principal Accounting Fees and Services

97

 

 

 

 

PART IV

 

 

 

 

Item 15.

 

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

98

 

1

 

 

 


 

 

 

NOTE ABOUT FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains statements that are not historical facts but rather forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include those that address activities, events or developments that Autoliv, Inc. (“Autoliv,” the “Company” or “we”) or its management believes or anticipates may occur in the future. All forward-looking statements are based upon our current expectations, various assumptions and/or data available from third parties. Our expectations and assumptions are expressed in good faith and we believe there is a reasonable basis for them. However, there can be no assurance that such forward-looking statements will materialize or prove to be correct as forward-looking statements are inherently subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual future results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the future results, performance or achievements expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements.

 

In some cases, you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as “estimates,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “plans,” “intends,” “believes,” “may,” “likely,” “might,” “would,” “should,” “could,” or the negative of these terms and other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain such words.

 

Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, the outcome could differ materially from those set out in the forward-looking statements for a variety of reasons, including without limitation: changes in light vehicle production; fluctuation in vehicle production schedules for which the Company is a supplier; changes in general industry and market conditions or regional growth or decline; changes in and the successful execution of our capacity alignment: restructuring and cost reduction initiatives and the market reaction thereto; loss of business from increased competition; higher raw material, fuel and energy costs; changes in consumer and customer preferences for end products; customer losses; changes in regulatory conditions; customer bankruptcies; consolidations or restructuring; or divestiture of customer brands; unfavorable fluctuations in currencies or interest rates among the various jurisdictions in which we operate; component shortages; market acceptance of our new products; costs or difficulties related to the integration of any new or acquired businesses and technologies; continued uncertainty in pricing negotiations with customers; successful integration of acquisitions and operations of joint ventures; successful implementation of strategic partnerships and collaborations; our ability to be awarded new business; product liability, warranty and recall claims and investigations and other litigation and customer reactions thereto (including the resolution of the Toyota Recall); higher expenses for our pension and other postretirement benefits, including higher funding needs for our pension plans; work stoppages or other labor issues; possible adverse results of pending or future litigation or infringement claims; our ability to protect our intellectual property rights; negative impacts of antitrust investigations or other governmental investigations and associated litigation relating to the conduct of our business; tax assessments by governmental authorities and changes in our effective tax rate; dependence on key personnel; legislative or regulatory changes impacting or limiting our business; political conditions; dependence on and relationships with customers and suppliers; and other risks and uncertainties identified in Item 1A -“Risk Factors” and Item 7 - “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this Form 10-K.

 

For any forward-looking statements contained in this or any other document, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward- looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and we assume no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements in light of new information or future events, except as required by law.

2

 

 

 


 

 

 

PART I

 

Item 1. Business

 

General

Autoliv, Inc. (“Autoliv”, the “Company” or “we”) is a Delaware corporation with its principal executive offices in Stockholm, Sweden. Autoliv was created in 1997 from the merger of Autoliv AB and the automotive safety products business of Morton International, Inc. The Company functions as a holding corporation and owns two principal subsidiaries, Autoliv AB and Autoliv ASP, Inc. Our fiscal year ends on December 31.

On June 29, 2018, Autoliv completed the spin-off of its former Electronics segment (the “spin-off”) through the distribution of all of the issued and outstanding stock of Veoneer, Inc. The spin-off is described in more detail in Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report.

 

Business

Autoliv is a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of automotive safety systems to the automotive industry with a broad range of product offerings, primarily passive safety systems.

 

Passive safety systems are primarily meant to improve vehicle safety. Passive safety systems include modules and components for frontal-impact airbag protection systems, side-impact airbag protection systems, seatbelts, steering wheels, inflator technologies, battery cable cutters, pedestrian protection systems and child seats.

 

Including joint venture operations, Autoliv has approximately 64 production facilities in 25 countries and its customers include the world’s largest car manufacturers. Autoliv’s sales in 2018 were 8.7 billion, approximately 66% of which consisted of airbag and steering wheel products and approximately 34% of which consisted of seatbelt products. Our business is conducted in the following geographical regions, Europe, the Americas, China, Japan and the Rest of Asia (ROA).

 

Autoliv’s head office is located in Stockholm, Sweden, where we currently employ approximately 70 people. At December 31, 2018, Autoliv had approximately 58,000 employees worldwide, and a total headcount, including 9,000 temporary personnel, of approximately 67,000.

 

Additional information required by this Item 1 regarding developments in the Company’s business during 2018 is contained under Item 7 in this Annual Report.

 

Financial Information on Segments

Upon completion of the spin-off, Autoliv concluded at June 30, 2018 that it has one reportable segment based on the way the Company evaluates its financial performance and manages its operations. Prior to the completion of the Spin-off, the Company had two reportable segments, Electronics and Passive Safety. The Company’s single operating segment includes the Company’s airbag (including steering wheels), seatbelt products and components. For financial reporting purposes, the single operating segment is also the Company’s single reportable segment in accordance with Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 280 Segment Reporting. The financial data relating to Autoliv’s businesses in this segment over the last three fiscal years is contained in the Consolidated Financial Statements of this Annual Report. A statement of net sales by product group and region for the last three years is contained in Note 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements of this Annual Report.

 

Products, Market and Competition

Products

Saving more lives on the road is a key health priority as our world grows and develops. However, population expansion in growth markets and the rise of megacities creates new complexities. To meet this challenge, we develop automotive safety solutions that work in real life situations.

Our safety systems such as seatbelts and airbags substantially mitigate human consequences of traffic accidents.

The airbag module is designed to inflate extremely rapidly then quickly deflate during a collision or impact. It consists of the container, airbag cushion and an inflator. The purpose of the airbag is to provide the occupants a cushioning and restraint during a crash event to prevent any impact or impact-caused injuries between the occupant and the interior of the vehicle.

Seatbelts can reduce the overall risk of serious injuries in frontal crashes by as much as 60% thanks to advanced seatbelt technologies such as pretensioners and load limiters.

Autoliv also manufactures steering wheels which are crafted to ensure they meet safety requirements and are functional as well as stylish.

3

 

 

 


 

 

 

Market and Competition

Consumer research clearly shows that people want safe cars, and several significant trends are likely to have a positive influence on overall safety content per vehicle. These include:

1) Society becoming increasingly focused on Vision Zero, which includes a goal of reducing traffic fatalities and their associated costs,

2) Demographic trends of increased urbanization, aging driver populations and increased safety focus in the Growth Markets, and

3) Evolving government regulations and test rating systems to improve the safety of vehicles in various markets, such as the updated Euro NCAP, China NCAP and USNCAP.

The automotive safety market is driven by two primary factors: light vehicle production (LVP) and content per vehicle (CPV).

The first growth driver, LVP, has increased at an average annual growth rate of around 2.6% since the incorporation of Autoliv Inc. in 1997 despite the cyclical nature of the automotive industry. LVP is expected to grow to close to 97 million in 2021 from approximately 91 million in 2018, according to IHS. Almost all of this expansion will be in the Growth Markets, predominantly in China, India, Southeast Asia and South America.

Unlike LVP, where Autoliv can only aim to be on the best-selling platforms, Autoliv can influence CPV more directly by continuously developing and introducing new technologies with higher value-added features. Over the long term, this increases average safety CPV and has caused our markets to grow faster than the LVP.

 

Since the start of Autoliv, Inc. in 1997, the Company’s sales compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for passive safety has been 5.6% compared to the market rate of around 3% which includes an LVP growth of around 2.6%. Our outperformance is a result of a steady flow of new passive safety technologies, strong focus on quality and a superior global footprint both in products and engineering. This has enabled Autoliv to increase its market share from 27% in 1997 to around 40% in 2018.

In the Developed Markets (Western Europe, North America, Japan and South Korea) the CPV is around $280. CPV growth in these regions will mainly come from new safety systems such as active seatbelts, knee airbags, front-center airbags along with improved protection for pedestrians and rear-seat occupants like bag-in-belt.

In our Growth Markets, we see great opportunities for CPV growth from more airbags and advanced seatbelt products. Average CPV in our Growth Markets is around $170, approximately $110 less than in the Developed Markets.

Despite a negative LVP mix effect from higher growth in low CPV markets, the passive safety market (seatbelts and airbags, including steering wheels), is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4% until 2021 to about $23 billion, based on the current macro-economic outlook and our internal market intelligence and estimates. The highest growth rate is expected in steering wheels, where Autoliv has a global market share of more than 30%, generated by the trend toward higher-value steering wheels with leather and additional features.

The Growth Markets are expected to outgrow the Developed Markets substantially for the period between 2018 and 2021, as the Growth Markets are supported by a higher LVP and increasing CPV resulting from higher penetration of airbags and more advanced seatbelt products.

In seatbelts, Autoliv has reached a global market share of around 40%, primarily due to being the technology leader with several important innovations such as pretensioners and active seatbelts. Our strong market position is also a reflection of our superior global footprint. Seatbelts are the primary life-saving safety product and are also an important requirement in low-end vehicles for the Growth Markets. This provides us with an excellent opportunity to benefit from the expected growth in this segment of the market.

The market for airbags, where Autoliv has a market share of around 40%, is expected to grow slightly slower than the total passive safety market. This is related to the dilutive effect from new low-end vehicles in the Growth Markets, with relatively low installation rates for airbags.

 

Our competitors

Autoliv is the clear market leader with an estimated global market share of around 40%. Our major competitors have traditionally been Takata and ZF.

During 2017, Takata, a family-controlled Japanese company whose shares were listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. and Japan. The bankruptcy came after an accumulation of recall costs and liabilities related to malfunctioning airbag inflators. U.S.-based Key Safety Systems (KSS), owned by Chinese company Joyson, subsequently acquired Takata’s assets in April 2018 for approximately $1.6 billion. The new company is named Joyson Safety Systems (JSS). JSS is estimated to hold a global market share of 24%, including Joyson’s Chinese subsidiary YFK.

ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology, as well as in passive safety technologies, and is one of the largest global automotive suppliers and has an estimated global market share of 17%.

4

 

 

 


 

 

 

In Japan, Brazil, South Korea and China there are a number of local suppliers that have close ties with the domestic vehicle manufacturers. For example, Toyota uses “keiretsu” (in-house) suppliers Tokai Rika for seatbelts and Toyoda Gosei for airbags and steering wheels. These suppliers generally receive most of the Toyota business in Japan, in the same way, Mobis, a major supplier to Hyundai/Kia in South Korea, generally receives a significant part of their business.

Other competitors include Nihon Plast and Ashimori of Japan, Jinheng of China, Samsong in South Korea and Chris in South America. Collectively, these competitors account for the majority of the remaining 19% global market share in passive safety.

Additional information concerning our products, markets and competition is included in the “Risks and Risk Management” section under Item 7 of this Annual Report.

 

Manufacturing and Production

Including joint venture operations, Autoliv has 64 production facilities located in 25 countries, consisting of both component factories and assembly factories. See “Item 2. Properties” for a description of Autoliv’s principal properties. The component factories manufacture inflators, propellant, initiators, textile cushions, webbing, pressed steel parts, springs and overmoulded steel parts used in seatbelt and airbag assembly and steering wheels. The assembly factories source components from a number of parties, including Autoliv’s own component factories, and assemble complete restraint systems for “just-in-time” delivery to customers. The products manufactured by Autoliv’s consolidated subsidiaries in 2018 consisted of approximately 151 million complete seatbelt systems (of which approximately 79 million were fitted with pretensioners), approximately 99 million side airbags (including curtain airbags), approximately 56 million frontal airbag and approximately 20 million steering wheels.

 

Autoliv’s “just-in-time” delivery systems have been designed to accommodate the specific requirements of each customer for low levels of inventory and rapid stock delivery service. “Just-in-time” deliveries require final assembly or, at least, distribution centers in geographic areas close to customers to facilitate rapid delivery. The fact that the major automobile manufacturers are continually expanding their production activities into more countries and require the same or similar safety systems as those produced in Europe, Japan or the U.S. increases the importance for suppliers to have assembly capacity in several countries. Consolidation among our customers also supports this trend.

 

Autoliv’s assembly operations generally are not constrained by capacity considerations unless there is a disruption in the supply of raw materials and components. When dramatic shifts in LVP occur, Autoliv can generally adjust capacity in response to any changes in demand within a few days by adding or removing work shifts and within a few months by adding or removing standardized production and assembly lines. Most of Autoliv’s assembly factories can make sufficient space available to accommodate additional production lines to satisfy foreseeable increases in capacity. As a result, Autoliv can usually adjust its manufacturing capacity faster than its customers can adjust their capacity as a result of fluctuations in the general demand for vehicles or in the demand for a specific vehicle model, provided that customers promptly notify Autoliv when they become aware of such changes in demand.

 

When dramatic shifts in LVP occur or when there is a shift in regional LVP, the capacity adjustments can take more time and be more costly. Additionally, when there is a significant demand for a given product due to a major recall of a competitor’s product, like certain of our customers have experienced, capacity adjustments may take time.

 

We could experience disruption in our supply or delivery chain, which could cause one or more of our customers to halt or delay production. For more information, see Item 1A – “Risk Factors” in this Annual Report.

 

Quality Management

Autoliv believes that superior quality is a prerequisite to being considered a leading global supplier of automotive safety systems and is key to our financial performance, because quality excellence is critical for winning new orders, preventing recalls and maintaining low scrap rates. Autoliv has for many years emphasized a “zero-defect” proactive quality policy and continues to strive to improve its working methods. This means both that Autoliv’s products are expected to always meet performance expectations, and that Autoliv’s products are expected to be delivered to its customers at the right times and in the right amounts. Furthermore, we believe our continued quality improvements further enhance our reputation among our customers, employees and governmental authorities.

 

Although quality has always been paramount in the automotive industry, especially for safety products, automobile manufacturers have become increasingly focused on quality with even less tolerance for any deviations. This intensified focus on quality is partially due to an increase in the number of vehicle recalls for a variety of reasons (not just safety), including a few high-profile vehicle recalls. This trend is likely to continue as automobile manufacturers introduce even stricter quality requirements and regulating agencies and other authorities increase the level of scrutiny given to vehicle safety issues. We have not been immune to the recalls that have been impacting the automotive industry.

 

5

 

 

 


 

 

 

We continue to drive our quality initiative called “Q5” which was initiated in the summer of 2010. It is an integral part of our strategy of shaping a proactive quality culture of zero defects. It is called “Q5” because it addresses quality in five dimensions: products, customers, growth, behavior and suppliers. The goal of Q5 is to firmly tie together quality with value within all of our processes and for all of our employees, thereby leading to the best value for our customers. Since 2010, we have continually expanded this quality initiative to provide additional skills training to more employees and suppliers. These activities have made a significant contribution to the reduction in occurrences of non-conforming events.

 

In our pursuit of excellence in quality, we have developed a chain of four “defense lines” against potential quality issues. These defense lines consist of: 1) robust product designs, 2) flawless components from suppliers and our own in-house component companies, 3) manufacturing flawless products with a system for verifying that our products conform with specifications and 4) an advanced traceability system in the event of a recall.

 

Our pursuit of excellence extends from the earliest phases of product development to the proper disposal of a product following many years of use in a vehicle. Autoliv’s comprehensive Autoliv Product Development System includes several key check points during the process of developing new products that are designed to ensure that such products are well-built and have no hidden defects. Through this process, we work closely with our suppliers and customers to set clear standards that help to ensure robust component design and lowest cost for function in order to proactively prevent problems and ensure we deliver only the best designs to the market.

 

The Autoliv Production System (“APS”), based on the goals of improving quality and efficiency, is at the core of Autoliv’s manufacturing philosophy. APS integrates essential quality elements, such as mistake proofing, statistical process control and operator involvement, into the manufacturing processes so all Autoliv associates are aware of and understand the critical connection between themselves and our lifesaving products. This “zero-defect” principle extends beyond Autoliv to the entire supplier base. All of our suppliers must accept the strict quality standards in the global Autoliv Supplier Manual, which defines our quality requirements and focuses on preventing bad parts from being produced by our suppliers and helps eliminate defective intermediate products in our assembly lines as early as possible. In addition, Autoliv’s One Product One Process (“1P1P”) initiative is our strategy for developing and managing standardization of both core products and customer-specific features, leading not only to improved quality, but also greater cost efficiency and more efficient supply chain management.

 

IATF 16949:2016 is the most rigorous global automotive quality requirements and all our facilities shipping to OEMs are regularly certified according to IAFT standards.

 

Environmental and Safety Regulations

For information on how environmental and safety regulations impact our business, see “Risk Factors – ‘Our business may be adversely affected by laws or regulations, including environmental, occupational health and safety or other governmental regulations’ and ‘Our business may be adversely affected by changes in automotive safety regulations or concerns that drive further regulation of the automobile safety market’” in Item 1A and “Risks and Risk Management” in Item 7 of this Annual Report.

 

Raw Materials

Approximately 50% of our revenues are spent on material purchased directly from external suppliers. Autoliv mainly purchases manufactured components and raw materials for the operations. We take several actions to mitigate higher raw material prices, such as competitive sourcing and looking for alternative materials.

For information on the sources and availability of raw materials, see “Risk Factors – Changes in the source., cost, availability of and regulations pertaining to raw materials and components may adversely affect our profit margins” in Item 1A of this Annual Report.

 

Intellectual Property

We have developed a considerable amount of proprietary technology related to automotive safety systems and rely on many patents to protect such technology. Our intellectual property plays an important role in maintaining our competitive position in a number of the markets we serve. For information on our use of intellectual property and its importance to us, see “Risk Factors – If our patents are declared invalid or our technology infringes on the proprietary rights of others, our ability to compete may be impaired” in Item 1A of this Annual Report.

 

Seasonality and Backlog

Autoliv’s business is not subject to significant seasonal fluctuations. Autoliv has frame contracts with automobile manufacturers and such contracts are typically entered into up to three years before the start of production of the relevant car model or platform and provide for a term covering the life of such car model or platform including service parts after a vehicle model is no longer produced. However, typically these contracts do not provide minimum quantities, firm prices or exclusivity but instead permit the automobile manufacturer to resource the relevant products at given intervals (or at any time) from other suppliers.

 

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Dependence on Customers

In 2018 our top five customers represented around 50% of sales and the ten largest customers represented around 79%. This reflects the concentration of manufacturers in the automotive industry. The five largest OEMs in 2018 accounted for 49% of global LVP and the ten largest OEMs for 74%. A delivery contract is typically for the lifetime of a vehicle model, which is normally between 4 and 6 years depending on customer platform sourcing preferences and strategies.

 

Customer

 

% of Autoliv

Sales

 

 

% of Global

LVP1)

 

Renault/Nissan/Mitsubishi

 

 

15

%

 

 

11

%

VW

 

 

10

%

 

 

12

%

Hyundai/Kia

 

 

8

%

 

 

8

%

Ford

 

 

8

%

 

 

6

%

Honda

 

 

8

%

 

 

6

%

FCA

 

 

8

%

 

 

5

%

Toyota

 

 

7

%

 

 

11

%

Daimler

 

 

6

%

 

 

3

%

General Motors

 

 

4

%

 

 

7

%

BMW

 

 

4

%

 

 

3

%

 

1)

Source: IHS

CUSTOMER SALES TRENDS

Asian vehicle producers have steadily become increasingly more important to Autoliv, and now represent around 45% of global sales compared to 35% five years ago. Of the Asian OEMs, the Japanese OEMs represent 32% of our sales compared to 24% in 2013. This reflects their increasing share of the global LVP and our stronger market position based on our local presence in Japan. European OEMs accounted for 33% of sales in 2018, virtually unchanged since 2013. The Detroit-3 now account for 19% of our global sales, down from 30% in 2013 this is in part due to GM’s divestiture of Opel and the lingering effects of new business hold back in 2011 and 2012.

For information on our dependence on customers, see “Risk Factors – Our business could be materially and adversely affected if we lost any of our largest customers or if they were unable to pay their invoices” in Item 1A of this Annual Report and Dependence on Customers under the section Risks and Risk Management in Item 7 of this Annual Report and Note 22 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.

 

Research, Development and Engineering

No single customer project accounts for more than 2% of Autoliv’s total R,D&E spending during 2018. To fuel Autoliv’s product portfolio, additional expertise is brought in-house via technology partnerships and licensing agreements.

Information on research, development and engineering is included under section “Risks and Risk Management” in Item 7 of this Annual Report.

 

Regulatory Costs

The fitting of seatbelts in most types of motor vehicles is mandatory in almost all countries and many countries have strict laws regarding the use of seatbelts while in vehicles. In addition, most developed countries require that seats in intercity buses and commercial vehicles be fitted with seatbelts. In the U.S., federal legislation requires frontal airbags on the driver-side and the passenger-side of all new passenger cars and in all new light vehicles, which are defined as vehicles with an unloaded vehicle weight of approximately 7,700 pounds or less.

 

For information concerning the material effects on our business relating to our compliance with government safety regulations, see “Risk Factors – ‘Our business may be adversely affected by laws or regulations, including environmental, occupational health and safety or other governmental regulations’ and ‘Our business may be adversely affected by changes in automotive safety regulations or concerns that drive further regulation of the automobile safety market’” in Item 1A of this Annual Report and in Item 7 under the section “Risks and Risk Management” of this Annual Report.

 

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Autoliv Personnel

As of December 31, 2018, Autoliv and its subsidiaries had approximately 58,000 employees and approximately 9,000 temporary personnel. Autoliv considers its relationship with its personnel to be good. While there have been a small number of minor labor disputes during the year, such disputes have not had a significant or lasting impact on our relationship with our employees, customer perception of our employee practices or our business results.

Major unions to which some of Autoliv’s employees belong in Europe include: IG Metall in Germany; Unite the union in the United Kingdom; Confédération Générale des Travailleurs (CGT), Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail (CFDT), Confédération Française de l’Encadrement Confédération Générale des cadres, Force Ouvrière (CFE-CGC) and Confédération Française des Travailleurs Chrétiens (CFTC) and Solidaires, Unitaires, Démocratiques (SUD) in France; Union General de Trabajadores (UGT), Union Sindical Obrera (USO), Comisiones Obereras (CCOO) and Confederacion General de Trabajadores (CGT) in Spain; If Metall, Unionen, Sveriges Ingenjörer and Ledarna in Sweden; Industriaal- ja Metallitöötajate Ametiühingute Liit (IMTAL) in Estonia; Vasas Szakszervezeti Szövetség (Hungarian Metallworkers‘ Federation) in Hungary, Samorządny NiezaleĪny Związek Zawodowy Pracowników and Zakáadowa Organizacja Związkowa NSZZ SolidarnoĞü in Poland, Union Générale des Travailleurs Tunisiens (UGTT) and Union des travailleurs Tunisiens (UTT) in Tunisia; and Türk Metal Sendikasi in Turkey.

In addition, Autoliv’s employees in other regions are represented by the following unions: Unifor and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) in Canada; Sindicato de Jornaleros y Obreros Industriales y de la Industria Maquiladora; Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Industria Metalúrgica y Similares (CTM); Sindicato Industrial de Trabajadores de la Pequeña y Mediana Industria, Talleres, Maquiladoras, Negociaciones Mercantiles y Comercios, Similares, Anexos y Conexos del Estado de Querétaro (CTM); “Nueva Cultura Laboral” “de trabajadores de la fabricación, manufactura, ensamble de partes y componentes de la industria Automotriz de la Republica Mexicana” in Mexico; Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos de Taubaté e Região in Brazil; Autoliv India Employees Association, Bangalore in India; the Korean Metal Workers Union (FKTU) in Korea; Autoliv Japan Roudou Kumiai in Japan and Federasi Perjuangan Buruh Indonesia (FPBI) in Indonesia.

In many European countries, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Korea, wages, salaries and general working conditions are negotiated with local unions and/or are subject to centrally negotiated collective bargaining agreements. The terms of our various agreements with unions typically range between 1-3 years. Some of our subsidiaries in Europe, Canada, Brazil and Korea must negotiate with the applicable local unions with respect to important changes in operations, working and employment conditions. Twice a year, members of the Company’s management conduct a meeting with the European Works Council (EWC) to provide employee representatives with important information about the Company and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions.

 

In many Asia Pacific countries, the central or regional governments provide guidance each year for salary adjustments or statutory minimum wage for workers.

 

Autoliv’s employees may join associations in accordance with local legislation and rules, although the level of unionization varies significantly throughout our operations.

 

For more information concerning Autoliv’s personnel, see Item 7 of this Annual Report.

 

Joint Ventures

Historically, Autoliv established joint ventures to promote its geographical expansion and technology development and to gain assistance in marketing its full product line to automobile manufacturers. While joint ventures are of less importance to our overall business today than in the past, joint ventures remain a potential business model in our strategy.

 

For information on how the joint ventures are accounted for, including Autoliv’s percentage of ownership, see Note 9 to the Consolidated Financial Statements of this Annual Report.

 

Available information

We file or furnish with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) periodic reports and amendments thereto, which include annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements and other information. Such reports, amendments, proxy statements and other information are made available free of charge on our corporate website at www.autoliv.com and are available as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with the SEC. Our Corporate Governance Guidelines, committee charters, code of conduct and other documents governing the Company are also available on our corporate website at www.autoliv.com. The SEC maintains an internet site that contains reports, proxy statements and other information at www.sec.gov. Hard copies of the above-mentioned documents can be obtained free of charge from the Company by contacting us at: Autoliv, Inc., P.O. Box 70381, SE-107 24, Stockholm, Sweden or Autoliv, Inc., c/o Autoliv Electronics America, 26545 American Drive, Southfield, MI 48034.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors

Our business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows may be impacted by a number of factors. A discussion of the risks associated with these factors is included below.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR INDUSTRY

The cyclical nature of automotive sales and production can adversely affect our business. Our business is directly related to light vehicle production (“LVP”) in the global market and by our customers, and automotive sales and LVP are the most important drivers for our sales

Automotive sales and production are highly cyclical and can be affected by general or regional economic or industry conditions, the level of consumer demand, recalls and other safety issues, labor relations issues, technological changes, fuel prices and availability, vehicle safety regulations and other regulatory requirements, governmental initiatives, trade agreements, political volatility, especially in energy producing countries and growth markets, changes in interest rate levels and credit availability and other factors. Some regions around the world may at various times be more particularly impacted by these factors than other regions. Economic declines that result in a significant reduction in automotive sales and production by our customers have in the past had, and may in the future have, a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our sales are also affected by inventory levels of our customers. We cannot predict when our customers will decide to either increase or reduce inventory levels or whether new inventory levels will approximate historical inventory levels. This may exacerbate variability in our sales and financial condition. Uncertainty regarding inventory levels may be exacerbated by consumer financing programs initiated or terminated by our customers or governments as such changes may affect the timing of their sales.

Changes in automotive sales and LVP and/or customers’ inventory levels will have an impact on our earnings guidance and estimates and any significant reduction in automotive sales and/or LVP by our customers, whether due to general economic conditions or any other factors relevant to sales or LVP, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Growth rates in safety content per vehicle, which can be impacted by changes in consumer trends and political decisions, could affect our results in the future

The average global content of passive safety systems per light vehicle grew slightly   during the period 2016-2018 to around $225. Vehicles produced in different markets may have various passive safety content values. For example, in developed markets such as Western Europe and North America, the premium segment have passive safety content values of more than $300 per vehicle, whereas in growth markets such as China and India the average passive safety content per vehicle is approximately $180 and $80, respectively. Due to the majority of the growth in global LVP being concentrated in growth markets the operating results may be impacted if the passive safety content per vehicle remains low and if the penetration of more advanced automotive safety systems does not increase in these regions. As passive safety content per vehicle is also an indicator of our sales development, should these trends continue, the average value of passive safety systems per vehicle could decline.

We operate in a highly competitive market

The market for occupant restraint systems is highly competitive and continues to consolidate. We compete with a number of other companies that produce and sell similar products. Among other factors, our products compete on the basis of price, quality, manufacturing and distribution capability, design and performance, technological innovation, delivery and service. Some of our competitors are subsidiaries (or divisions, units or similar) of companies that are larger and have greater financial and other resources than us. Some of our competitors may also have a “preferred status” as a result of special relationships or ownership interests with certain customers. Our ability to compete successfully depends, in large part, on our success in continuing to innovate and manufacture products that have commercial success with consumers, differentiating our products from those of our competitors, continuing to deliver quality products in the time frames required by our customers, and maintaining best-cost production.

We continue to invest in technology and innovation which we believe will be critical to our long-term growth. Our ability to maintain and improve existing products, while successfully developing and introducing distinctive new and enhanced products that anticipate changing customer and consumer preferences and capitalize upon emerging technologies will be a significant factor in our ability to remain competitive. If we are unsuccessful or are less successful than our competitors in predicting the course of market development, developing innovative products, processes, and/or use of materials or adapting to new technologies or evolving regulatory, industry or customer requirements, we may be placed at a competitive disadvantage. For example, the focus of the automotive industry on the development of advanced driver assistance technologies, with the goal of developing and introducing autonomous vehicles, and increase in consumer preferences for mobility on demand services may create demand for new and innovative products in response to OEM and consumer preferences and our success in providing such products will be critical for our long-term growth. Similarly, the demand for our products historically has tracked LVP and a future evolution of the automotive industry to autonomous vehicles and mobility on demand services may lead to a future reduction in annual global LVP. Our competitive environment continues to change, including because of recent acquisitions and divestitures by our existing competitors (including Delphi and Takata) within recent years as well as increased competition from entrants outside the traditional automotive industry, creating uncertainty about the future competitive landscape. The inability to compete successfully could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

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The discontinuation, lack of commercial success, or loss of business with respect to a particular vehicle model for which we are a significant supplier could reduce our sales and harm our business

A number of our customer contracts generally require us to supply a customer’s annual requirements for a particular vehicle model and assembly facilities, rather than for manufacturing a specific quantity of products. Such contracts range from one year to the life of the model, which is generally four to seven years. These contracts are often subject to renegotiation, sometimes as frequent as on an annual basis, which may affect product pricing, and generally may be terminated by our customers at any time. Therefore, the discontinuation of, the loss of business with respect to, or a lack of commercial success of a particular vehicle model or brand for which we are a significant supplier could reduce our sales and harm our business prospects, operating results, cash flows, or financial condition.

RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS

We may incur material losses and costs as a result of product liability, warranty and recall claims that may be brought against us or our customers

We face risks related to product liability claims, warranty claims and recalls in the event that any of our products actually or allegedly are defective, fail to perform as expected or the use of our products results, or is alleged to result, in bodily injury and/or property damage. For example, we are cooperating with Toyota Motor Corp. with respect to its voluntary safety recall of approximately 1.4 million vehicles that are equipped with a certain model of our side curtain airbags (the “Toyota Recall”). We may not be able to anticipate all of the possible performance or reliability problems that could arise with our products after they are released to the market. Additionally, increasing regulation and reporting requirements regarding potentially defective products, particularly in the U.S., may increase the possibility that we become involved in additional product liability or recall investigations or claims. See – “Our business may be adversely affected by changes in automotive safety regulations or concerns that drive further regulation of the automobile safety market”. Although we currently carry product liability and product recall insurance, no assurance can be made that such insurance will provide adequate coverage against potential claims, such insurance is available or will continue to be available in the appropriate markets or that we will be able to obtain such insurance on acceptable terms in the future. Although we have invested and will continue to invest in our engineering, design, and quality infrastructure, we cannot give any assurance that our products will not suffer from defects or other deficiencies or that we will not experience material warranty claims or additional product recalls. In the future, we could experience additional material warranty or product liability losses and incur significant costs to process and defend these claims.

The Toyota Recall and any additional future recalls from this customer or other customers could result in costs not covered by insurance, further government inquiries, litigation and reputational harm and could divert management’s attention away from other matters. The main variables affecting the costs of a recall are the number of vehicles ultimately determined to be affected by the issue, the cost per vehicle associated with a recall, the determination of proportionate responsibility among the customer, the Company, and any relevant sub-suppliers, and actual insurance recoveries. Every vehicle manufacturer has its own practices regarding product recalls and other product liability actions relating to its suppliers, and the performance and remedial requirements vary between jurisdictions. Due to recent recall activity in the automotive industry, some vehicle manufactures have become even more sensitive to product recall risks. As suppliers become more integrally involved in the vehicle design process and assume more of the vehicle assembly functions, vehicle manufacturers are increasingly looking to their suppliers for contribution when faced with recalls and product liability claims. Product recalls in our industry, even when they do not involve our products, can harm the reputations of our customers, competitors, and us, particularly if those recalls cause consumers to question the safety or reliability of products similar to those we produce.

In addition, with global platforms and procedures, vehicle manufacturers are increasingly evaluating our quality performance on a global basis; any one or more quality, warranty or other recall issue(s) (including issues affecting few units and/or having a small financial impact) may cause a vehicle manufacturer to implement measures which may have a severe impact on our operations, such as a global, temporary or prolonged suspension of new orders. In addition, as our products more frequently use global designs and are based on or utilize the same or similar parts, components or solutions, there is a risk that the number of vehicles affected globally by a failure or defect will increase significantly with a corresponding increase in our costs. A warranty, recall or product liability claim brought against us in excess of our available insurance may have a material adverse effect on our business. Vehicle manufacturers are also increasingly requiring their outside suppliers to guarantee or warrant their products and bear the costs of repair and replacement of such products under new vehicle warranties. A vehicle manufacturer may attempt to hold us responsible for some or the entire repair or replacement costs of defective products under new vehicle warranties, when the product supplied did not perform as represented. Accordingly, the future costs of warranty claims by our customers may be material. However, the final amounts determined to be due related to these matters could differ materially from our recorded warranty estimates and our business prospects, operating results, cash flows or financial condition may be materially impacted as a result.

In addition, as we adopt new technology, we face an inherent risk of exposure to the claims of others that we have allegedly violated their intellectual property rights. We cannot assure that we will not experience any material warranty, product liability or intellectual property claim losses in the future or that we will not incur significant costs to defend such claims. See “If our patents are declared invalid or our technology infringes on the proprietary rights of others, our ability to compete may be impaired”.

Escalating pricing pressures from our customers may adversely affect our business

The automotive industry continues to experience aggressive pricing pressure from customers. This trend is partly attributable to the major automobile manufacturers’ strong purchasing power. As with other automotive component manufacturers, we are often expected to quote fixed prices or are forced to accept prices with annual price reduction commitments for long-term sales arrangements or discounted reimbursements for engineering work. Price reductions have impacted our sales and profit margins and are expected to continue to do so in the future. Our future profitability will depend upon, among other things, our ability to continuously reduce our cost per unit and maintain our cost structure, enabling us to remain cost-competitive.

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Our profitability is also influenced by our success in designing and marketing technological improvements in automotive safety systems, which helps us offset price reductions by our customers. If we are unable to offset continued price reductions through improved operating efficiencies and reduced expenditures, these price reductions may have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, operating results, cash flows or financial condition.

We could experience disruption in our supply or delivery chain, which could cause one or more of our customers to halt or delay production

We, as with other component manufactures in the automotive industry, ship our products to customer vehicle assembly facilities throughout the world on a “just-in-time” basis in order for our customers to maintain low inventory levels. Our suppliers (external suppliers as well as our own production sites) use a similar method in providing raw materials to us. However, this “just-in-time” method makes the logistics supply chain in our industry very complex and vulnerable to disruption.

Disruptions in  our supply chain may result for many reasons, including closures of one of our own or one of our suppliers’ facilities or critical manufacturing lines due to strikes or other labor disputes, mechanical failures, electrical outages, fires, explosions, critical pollution levels, critical health and safety and other working conditions issues, natural disasters political upheaval, as well as logistical complications due to labor disruptions, weather or natural disasters, acts of terrorism, mechanical failures and legislation or regulation regarding the transport of hazardous goods. Additionally, we may experience disruptions if there are delays in customs processing, including if we are unable to obtain government authorization to export or import certain materials, including materials that may be viewed as dangerous such as the propellant used for our inflators. As we continue to expand in growth markets, the risk of such disruptions is heightened. The unavailability of even a single small subcomponent necessary to manufacture one of our products, for whatever reason, could force us to cease production of that product, possibly for a prolonged period. Similarly, a potential quality issue could force us to halt deliveries while we validate the products. Even where products are ready to be shipped, or have been shipped, delays may arise before they reach our customer. Also, similar difficulties for other suppliers may force our customers to halt production, which may in turn impact our sales shipments to such customers.

When we fail to timely deliver, we may have to absorb our own costs for identifying and resolving the ultimate problem as well as expeditiously producing and shipping replacement components or products. Generally, we must also carry the costs associated with “catching up,” such as overtime and premium freight.

If we are the cause of a customer being forced to halt production, the customer may seek to recoup all of its losses and expenses from us. These losses and expenses could be very significant and may include consequential losses such as lost profits. Where a customer halts production because of another supplier failing to deliver on time, we may not be fully compensated, if at all.

Thus, any such supply chain disruptions could severely impact our operations and/or those of our customers and force us to halt production for prolonged periods of time which could expose us to material claims for compensation and have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, operating results, or financial condition.

Adverse developments affecting one or more of our major suppliers could harm our profitability

Any significant disruption in our supplier relationships, particularly relationships with single-source suppliers, could harm our profitability. Furthermore, some of our suppliers may not be able to sufficiently manage the currency commodity cost volatility and/or sharply changing volumes while still performing as we expect. For example, recalls or field actions from our customers can stress the capacity of our supply chain and may inhibit our ability to timely deliver order volumes. Over time, more of our suppliers are located in growth markets. As such, there is an increased risk for delivery delays, production delays, production issues or delivery of non-conforming products by our suppliers. Even where these risks do not materialize, we may incur costs as we try to make contingency plans for such risks.

Changes in the source, cost, availability of and regulations pertaining to raw materials and components may adversely affect our profit margins

Our business uses a broad range of raw materials and components in the manufacture of our products, nearly all of which are generally available from a number of qualified suppliers. Our industry may be affected from time to time by limited supplies or price fluctuations of certain key components and materials. Strong worldwide demand for certain raw materials has had a significant impact on prices and short-term availability in recent years. Such price increases could materially increase our operating costs and materially and adversely affect our profit margin, as direct material costs amounted to approximately 50% of our net sales in 2018, of which approximately half is the raw material cost portion.

Commercial negotiations with our customers and suppliers may not always offset all of the adverse impact of higher raw material, energy and commodity costs. Even where we are able to pass price increases along to our customer, there may be a lapse of time before we are able to do so such that we must absorb the cost increase. In addition, no assurances can be given that the magnitude and duration of such cost increases or any future cost increases could not have a larger adverse impact on our profitability and consolidated financial position than currently anticipated.

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The SEC requires companies that manufacture products containing certain minerals and their derivatives that are known as “conflict minerals”, originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo or adjoining countries to diligence and report the source of such materials. There are significant resources associated with complying with these requirements, including diligence efforts to determine the sources of conflict minerals used in our products and potential changes to our processes or supplies as a consequence of such diligence efforts. As there may be only a limited number of suppliers able to offer certified “conflict free” conflict minerals, there can be no assurance that we will be able to obtain necessary conflict free minerals from such suppliers in sufficient quantities or at competitive prices. We may face reputational challenges if we determine that certain of our products contain minerals not determined to be conflict free or if we are unable to sufficiently verify the origins for all conflict minerals used in our products through the procedures we may implement. Accordingly, these rules may adversely affect our business prospects, operating results, cash flows or financial condition.

Our business could be materially and adversely affected if we lost any of our largest customers or if they were unable to pay their invoices

We are dependent on a few large customers with strong purchasing power. This is the result of customer consolidation during the last few decades. In 2018, our top five customers represented 50% of our consolidated sales. Our largest contract accounted for around 2% of our total fiscal 2018 sales and expires in 2025. Although business with any given customer is typically split into several contracts (either on the basis of one contract per vehicle model or on a broader platform basis), the loss of business from any of our major customers (whether by lower overall demand for vehicles, cancellation of existing contracts or the failure to award us new business) could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Similarly, further consolidation of our customers in the future could make us more reliant upon a smaller group of customers for a significant portion of our consolidated sales and negatively impact our bargaining power when contracting with such customers.

Customers may put us on a “new business hold,” which would limit our ability to quote or be awarded all or part of their future vehicle contracts if quality or other issues arise in the vehicles for which we were a supplier. Such new business holds range in length and scope and are generally accompanied by a certain set of remedial conditions that must be met before we are eligible to bid for new business. Meeting any such conditions within the prescribed timeframe may require additional Company resources. A failure to satisfy any such conditions may have a materially adverse impact on our financial results in the long term.

There is a risk that one or more of our major customers may be unable to pay our invoices as they become due or that a customer will simply refuse to make such payments given its financial difficulties. If a major customer would enter into bankruptcy proceedings or similar proceedings whereby contractual commitments are subject to stay of execution and the possibility of legal or other modification, or if a major customer otherwise successfully procures protection against us legally enforcing its obligations, it is likely, absent special relief such as having a “preferred status”, that we will be forced to record a substantial loss.

Additional information concerning our major customers is included in Note 22 of the Consolidated Financial Statements.

Our inability to effectively manage the timing, quality and costs of new program launches could adversely affect our financial performance

To compete effectively in the automotive supply industry, we must be able to launch new products to meet our customers’ timing, performance and quality standards. At times, we face an uneven number of launches, and some launches for various reasons, may have shortened launch lead times. We cannot provide assurance that we will be able to install and certify the equipment needed to produce products for new programs in time for the start of production, or that the transitioning of our manufacturing facilities and resources to full production for such new programs will not impact production rates or other operational efficiency measures at our facilities. In addition, we cannot provide assurance that our customers will execute on schedule the launch of their new product programs, for which we might supply products. Additionally, as a Tier 1 supplier, we must effectively coordinate the activities of numerous suppliers in order to launch programs successfully. Given the complexity of new program launches, especially involving new and innovative technologies, we may experience difficulties managing product quality, timeliness and associated costs. In addition, new program launches require a significant ramp up of costs; however, the sales related to these new programs generally are dependent upon the timing and success of the introduction of new vehicles by the Company’s customers. Our inability to effectively manage the timing, quality and costs of these new program launches could adversely affect our business prospects, operating results, cash flows or financial condition.

Changes in our product mix may impact our financial performance

We sell products that have varying profit margins. Our financial performance can be impacted depending on the mix of products we sell during a given period. Our earnings guidance and estimates assume a certain geographic sales mix as well as a product sales mix. If actual results vary significantly from this projected geographic and product mix of sales, our operating results and financial condition could be negatively impacted.

We are involved from time to time in legal proceedings and our business may suffer as a result of adverse outcomes of current or future legal proceedings

We are, from time to time, involved in litigation, regulatory proceedings and commercial or contractual disputes that may be significant. These matters may include, without limitation, disputes with our suppliers and customers, intellectual property claims, shareholder litigation, government investigations, class action lawsuits, personal injury claims, environmental issues, antitrust, customs and VAT disputes and employment and tax issues. In such matters, government agencies or private parties may seek to recover from us very large, indeterminate amounts in penalties or monetary damages (including, in some cases, treble or punitive damages) or seek to limit our operations in some

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way. The possibility exists that claims may be asserted against us and their magnitude may remain unknown for long periods of time. These types of lawsuits could require significant management time and attention and a substantial legal liability or adverse regulatory outcome and the substantial expenses to defend the litigation or regulatory proceedings may have a material adverse effect on our customer relationships, business prospects, reputation, operating results, cash flows and financial condition. No assurances can be given that such proceedings and claims will not have a material adverse impact on our profitability and consolidated financial position or that our established reserves or our available insurance will mitigate such impact.

See Note 18 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report.

We are currently undergoing an antitrust investigation by the European Commission and have accrued an amount regarding this investigation that may not fully reflect the ultimate cost to resolve the EC’s investigation

The European Commission (“EC”) is engaged in a long-running investigation into possible anti-competitive behavior among certain suppliers to the automotive vehicle industry, including Autoliv. From June 7 to June 9, 2011, representatives of the EC visited two facilities of Autoliv BV & Co KG, a Company subsidiary in Germany, to gather information for such inquiry. Autoliv has been cooperating with the EC investigation. The EC previously concluded a discrete portion of its investigation in November 2017 and imposed a fine on the Company. In December 2018, we accrued $210 million based on our belief that the EC will seek to impose a fine in connection with the remaining portion of the EC’s investigation. The EC investigation requires significant management time and attention and could, in addition to an unfavorable outcome, result in significant expenses. Unfavorable outcomes from the EC investigation could have a material adverse impact on our customer relationships, business prospects, reputation, operating condition, cash flows or financial results, and our insurance may not mitigate such impact.

We may be subject to civil antitrust litigation civil antitrust litigation that could negatively impact our business

The Company may be subject to civil antitrust lawsuits in the future in countries that permit such civil claims, including lawsuits or other actions by our customers. Specifically, the outcome of the EC investigation could also result in subsequent civil disputes with non-governmental third parties and civil or stockholder litigation stemming from the same facts and circumstances underlying the EC investigation.  These types of lawsuits require significant management time and attention and could result in significant expenses as well as unfavorable outcomes that could have a material adverse impact on our customer relationships, business prospects, reputation, operating results, cash flows or financial condition, and our insurance may not mitigate such impact.

We are, and have been, subject to investigations by other competition authorities and may be subject to investigations by additional competition authorities that could negatively impact our business

Competition authorities in Brazil, Canada, South Africa and South Korea have previously initiated investigations of certain suppliers to the automotive vehicle industry, including Autoliv. Competition authorities in additional countries may initiate similar investigations. These types of investigations require significant management time and attention. These investigations could also result in significant expenses as well as unfavorable outcomes that could have a material adverse impact on our customer relationships, business prospects, reputation, operating results, cash flows or financial condition, and our available insurance may not mitigate such impact.

We may have exposure to greater than anticipated tax liabilities

The determination of our worldwide provision for income taxes and other tax liabilities requires estimation and significant judgment, and there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Like many other multinational corporations, we are subject to tax in multiple U.S. and foreign tax jurisdictions. Our determination of our tax liability is always subject to audit and review by applicable domestic and foreign tax authorities, and we are currently undergoing a number of investigations, audits and reviews by taxing authorities throughout the world. Any adverse outcome of any such audit or review could have a negative effect on our business and the ultimate tax outcome may differ from the amounts recorded in our financial statements and may materially affect our financial results in the period or periods for which such determination is made. While we have established reserves based on assumptions and estimates that we believe are reasonable to cover such eventualities, these reserves may prove to be insufficient. In addition, our future income taxes could be adversely affected by earnings being lower than anticipated (or by the incurrence of losses) in jurisdictions that have lower statutory tax rates and higher than anticipated in jurisdictions that have higher statutory tax rates, by changes in the valuation of our deferred tax assets and liabilities, or changes in tax laws, regulations, or accounting principles, as well as certain discrete items.

Work stoppages or other labor issues at our customers’ facilities or at our facilities could adversely affect our operations

Because the automotive industry relies heavily on “just-in-time” delivery of components during the assembly and manufacture of vehicles, a work stoppage at one or more of the Company’s facilities could have material adverse effects on our business. Similarly, if any of our customers were to experience a work stoppage, that customer may halt or limit the purchase of our products. Similarly, a work stoppage at another supplier could interrupt production at one of our customers’ facilities which would have the same effect. While labor contract negotiations at our facilities historically have rarely resulted in work stoppages, no assurances can be given that we will be able to negotiate acceptable contracts with these unions or that our failure to do so will not result in work stoppages. A work stoppage at one or more of our facilities or our customers’ facilities could cause us to shut down production facilities supplying these products, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

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Our ability to operate our company effectively could be impaired if we fail to attract and retain executive officers and other key personnel

Our ability to operate our business and implement our strategies effectively depends, in part, on the efforts of our executive officers and other key employees. In addition, our future success will depend on, among other factors, our ability to attract and retain other qualified personnel, particularly engineers and other employees with software and technical expertise. The loss of the services of any of our executive officers or other key employees or the failure to attract or retain other qualified personnel could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Restructuring initiatives and capacity alignments are complex and difficult and at any time additional restructuring steps may be necessary, possibly on short notice and at significant cost

Our restructuring initiatives and capacity alignments include efforts to adjust our manufacturing capacity and cost structure to meet current and projected operational and market requirements, including plant closures, transfer of sourcing to best cost countries, consolidation of our supplier base and standardization of products, to reduce our overhead costs and consolidate our operational centers. The successful implementation of our restructuring activities and capacity alignments will involve sourcing, logistics, technology and employment arrangements. Because these restructuring initiatives and capacity alignments can be complex, there may be difficulties or delays in the implementation of any such initiatives and capacity alignments or they may not be immediately effective, resulting in an adverse material impact on our performance. In addition, there is a risk that inflation, high-turnover rates and increased competition may reduce the efficiencies now available in best-cost countries to levels that no longer allow for cost-beneficial restructuring opportunities. Therefore, there can be no assurances that any future restructurings or capacity alignments will be completed as planned or achieve the desired results.

A prolonged recession and/or a downturn in our industry could result in us having insufficient funds to continue our operations and external financing may not be available to us or available only on materially different terms than what has historically been available

Our ability to generate cash from our operations is highly dependent on automotive sales and LVP, the global economy and the economies of our important markets. If LVP were to remain on low levels for an extended period of time, we would experience a significantly negative cash flow. Similarly, if cash losses for customer defaults rise sharply, we would experience a negative cash flow. Such negative cash flow could result in our having insufficient funds to continue our operations unless we can procure external financing, which may not be possible.

Our current credit rating could be lowered as a result of us experiencing significant negative cash flows, increasing our indebtedness and leverage, or a dire financial outlook, which may affect our ability to procure financing. We may also for the same, or other reasons, find it difficult to secure new long-term credit facilities, at reasonable terms, when our principal credit facility expires in 2022. Further, even our existing unutilized credit facilities may not be available to us as agreed, or only at additional cost, if participating banks are unable to raise the necessary funds, where, for instance, financial markets are not functioning as expected or one or more banks in our principal credit facility syndicate were to default. If external financing is unavailable to us when necessary, we may have insufficient funds to continue our operations.

Information concerning our credit facilities and other financings are included in Item 7 in this Annual Report in the section headed “Treasury Activities” and in Note 14 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report.

Our indebtedness may harm our financial condition and results of operations

As of December 31, 2018, we have outstanding debt of $2.2 billion. We may incur additional debt for a variety of reasons. Although our significant credit facilities and debt agreements do not have any financial covenants, our level of indebtedness will have several important effects on our future operations, including, without limitation:

 

a portion of our cash flows from operations will be dedicated to the payment of any interest or could be used for amortization required with respect to outstanding indebtedness;

 

increases in our outstanding indebtedness and leverage will increase our vulnerability to adverse changes in general economic and industry conditions, as well as to competitive pressure;

 

depending on the levels of our outstanding debt, our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, acquisitions, capital expenditures, general corporate and other purposes may be limited; and

 

potential future tightening of the availability of capital both from financial institutions and the debt markets may have an adverse effect on our ability to access additional capital.

Governmental restrictions may impact our business adversely

Some of our customers are (or may be) owned by a governmental entity, receive various forms of governmental aid or support or are subject to governmental influence in other forms, which may impact us as a supplier to these customers. As a result, they may be required to partner with local entities or procure components from local suppliers to achieve a specific local content or be subject to other restrictions regarding localized content or ownership. The nature and form of any such restrictions or protections, whatever their basis, is very difficult to predict as is their potential impact. However, they are likely to be based on political rather than economical or operational considerations and may materially impact our business.

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Impairment charges relating to our assets, goodwill and other intangible assets could adversely affect the Company’s financial performance

We periodically review the carrying value of our assets, goodwill and other intangible assets for impairment indicators. If one or more of our customers’ facilities cease production or decrease their production volumes, the assets we carry related to our facilities serving such customers may decrease in value because we may no longer be able to utilize or realize them as intended. Where such decreases are significant, such impairments may have a materially adverse impact on our financial results. We monitor the various factors that impact the valuation of our goodwill and other intangible assets, including expected future cash flow levels, global economic conditions, market price for our stock, and trends with our customers. Impairment of goodwill and other identifiable intangible assets may result from, among other things, deterioration in our performance and especially the cash flow performance of these goodwill assets, adverse market conditions and adverse changes in applicable laws or regulations. If there are changes in these circumstances or the other variables associated with the estimates, judgments and assumptions relating to the valuation of goodwill, when assessing the valuation of our goodwill items, we may determine that it is appropriate to write down a portion of our goodwill or intangible assets and record related non-cash impairment charges. In the event that we determine that we are required to write-down a portion of our goodwill items and other intangible assets and thereby record related non-cash impairment charges, our financial condition and operating results would be adversely affected.

For additional information, see Part II, Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Significant Accounting Policies and Critical Accounting Estimates – Goodwill and Intangibles”.

 

We face risks related to our defined benefit pension plans and employee benefit plans, including the need for additional funding as well as higher costs and liabilities

Our defined benefit pension plans or employee benefit plans may require additional funding or give rise to higher related costs and liabilities which, in some circumstances, could reach material amounts and negatively affect our operating results. We are required to make certain year-end assumptions regarding our pension plans. Our pension obligations are dependent on several factors, including factors outside our control such as changes in interest rates, the market performance of the diversified investments underlying the pension plans, actuarial data and adjustments and an increase in the minimum funding requirements or other regulatory changes governing the plans. Adverse equity market conditions and volatility in the credit market may have an unfavorable impact on the value of our pension assets and our future estimated pension liabilities. Internal factors such as an adjustment to the level of benefits provided under the plans may also lead to an increase in our pension liability. If these or other internal and external risks were to occur, alone or in combination, our required contributions to the plans and the costs and net liabilities associated with the plans could increase substantially and have a material effect on our business.

Information concerning our benefit plans is included in Note 20 of the Consolidated Financial Statements.

You should not anticipate or expect the payment of cash dividends on our common stock

Our dividend policy is subject to the discretion of our Board of Directors and depends upon a number of factors, including our earnings, financial condition, cash and capital needs, indebtedness and leverage, and general economic or business conditions. Although we currently use dividends as a way to return value to our stockholders, in the past our Board of Directors suspended our quarterly dividend after determining that a suspension was necessary in light of the decline in global LVP, the uncertainty surrounding the recession at that time and the inherent risk of customer defaults. While we have since resumed the payment of dividends on our common stock, in the future, there can be no assurance that the Board of Directors will continue to declare dividends.

Cybersecurity incidents could disrupt business operations, result in the loss of critical and confidential information, and adversely impact our reputation and operating results

We rely extensively on information technology (“IT”) networks and systems, our global data centers and services provided over the internet to process, transmit and store electronic information, and to manage or support a variety of business processes or activities across our facilities worldwide. The secure operation of our IT networks and systems and the proper processing and maintenance of this information are critical to our business operations. We have been, and likely will continue to be, subject to cyber-attacks. To date we have seen no material impact on our business from these attacks or events. Although we seek to deploy comprehensive security measures to prevent, detect, address and mitigate these threats, there has been an increased level of activity, and an associated level of sophistication, in cyber-attacks against large multinational companies. The ever-evolving threats mean we and our third-party service providers and vendors must continually evaluate and adapt our respective systems and processes and overall security environment, as well as those of any companies we acquire. There is no guarantee that these measures will be adequate to safeguard against all data security breaches, system compromises or misuses of data.

Our security measures may be breached due to human error, system malfunctions or attacks from uncoordinated individuals or sophisticated and targeted measures known as advanced persistent threats, directed at the Company, its products, its customers and/or its third-party service providers.

Disruptions and attacks on our IT systems or the systems of third parties storing our data could result in the misappropriation, loss, destruction or corruption of our critical data and confidential or proprietary information, personal information of our employees, the leakage of our or our customers’ confidential information, improper use of our systems and networks, production downtimes and both internal and external supply shortages, which could have an adverse effect on our results of operations. The potential consequences of a material cybersecurity incident include reputational damage, litigation with third parties, diminution in the value of our investment in research, development and engineering, diversion of the attention of management away from the operation of our business and increased cybersecurity protection and remediation costs, which in turn could adversely affect our competitiveness and results of operations. To the extent that any disruption or security breach results in a misappropriation, loss, destruction or corruption of our customer’s information, it

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could affect our relationships with our customers, create significant expense for us to investigate and remediate damage, lead to claims against the Company and ultimately harm our business. In addition, we may be required to incur significant costs to protect against damage caused by these disruptions or security breaches in the future. In addition, as the regulatory environment related to information security, data collection and use, and privacy becomes increasingly rigorous, with new and constantly changing requirements applicable to our business, compliance with those requirements could result in additional costs.  Any future significant compromise or breach of our data security, whether external or internal, or misuse of customer, associate, supplier or Company data, could result in significant costs, lost sales, fines, lawsuits, and damage to our reputation.

Third parties that maintain certain of our confidential and proprietary information could experience a cybersecurity incident

We rely on third parties to provide or maintain some of our IT systems, data centers and related services and do not exercise direct control over these systems. Despite the implementation of security measures at third party locations, these IT systems, data centers and cloud services are also vulnerable to security breaches or other disruptions. Additionally, we and certain of our third-party vendors, collect and store personal information in connection with human resources operations and other aspects of our business. While we obtain assurances that any third parties we provide data to will protect this information and, where we believe appropriate, monitor the protections employed by these third parties, there is a risk the confidentiality of data held by us or by third parties may be compromised and expose us to liability for such breach.

Global climate change could negatively affect our business

More regional and/or national requirements to reduce or mitigate the effects of greenhouse gas emissions may adversely impact our business. Today there is a lack of consistent climate legislation which results in economic and regulatory uncertainty. Any future regulations aimed at mitigating climate change may negatively impact the demand for certain of our customer’s products which could in turn impact demand for our products and impact our results of operations. The manifestations of climate change, such as extreme weather conditions or more frequent extreme weather events could disrupt our operations, damage our facilities, disrupt our supply chain or make it harder or more difficult to obtain raw materials necessary for the manufacturing of our products.

RISKS RELATED TO INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS

Our business is exposed to risks inherent in international operations

We currently conduct operations in various countries and jurisdictions, including locating certain of our manufacturing and distribution facilities internationally, which subjects us to the legal, political, regulatory and social requirements and economic conditions in these jurisdictions. Some of these countries are considered growth markets. International sales and operations, especially in growth markets, subject us to certain risks inherent in doing business abroad, including:

 

exposure to local economic conditions;

 

unexpected changes in laws, regulations, trade, or monetary or fiscal policy, including interest rates, foreign currency exchange rates, and changes in the rate of inflation in the countries in which we do business;

 

foreign tax consequences;

 

inability to collect, or delays in collecting, value-added taxes and/or other receivables associated with remittances and other payments by subsidiaries;

 

exposure to local political turmoil and challenging labor conditions;

 

expropriation and nationalization;

 

enforcing legal agreements or collecting receivables through foreign legal systems;

 

wage inflation in growth markets;

 

currency controls, including lack of liquidity in foreign currency due to governmental restrictions, trade protection policies and currency controls, which may create difficulty in repatriating profits or making other remittances;

 

compliance with the requirements of an increasing body of applicable anti-bribery laws;

 

reduced intellectual property protection in various markets;

 

investment restrictions or requirements; and

 

the imposition of product tariffs and the burden of complying with a wide variety of international and U.S. export laws.

The Company is subject to taxation in the U.S. and numerous foreign jurisdictions. The 2017 United States Tax Cut and Jobs Act (“Tax Act”) significantly changed the taxation of U.S. based multinational corporations. The U.S. Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"), and state tax authorities have issued or will be issuing applicable guidance on how the provisions of the Tax Act will be applied or otherwise administered, and additional accounting guidance or interpretations may be issued in the future that are different from our current interpretation. The legislation could be subject to potential amendments and technical corrections, any of which could materially lessen or increase certain adverse impacts of the legislation. As regulations and guidance evolve with respect to the Tax Act, and as we gather information and perform more analysis, our results may differ from previous estimates and may materially affect our financial position

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Additionally, changes in tax laws or policies by foreign jurisdictions could result in a higher effective tax rate on our worldwide earnings and such change could have a material adverse effect on our business prospects, cash flows, operating results and financial condition.

Our international operations also depend upon favorable trade relations between the U.S. and those foreign countries in which our customers and suppliers have operations. The current U.S. presidential administration has created uncertainty about the future relationship between the U.S. and certain of its trading partners, including with respect to the trade policies and agreements, treaties, government regulations and tariffs that could apply to trade between the U.S. and other nations. These developments may have a material adverse effect on global economic conditions and the stability of global financial markets, and may significantly reduce global trade and, in particular, trade between these nations and the U.S. It could also impact importing certain foreign produced vehicles into the U.S. Similarly, the political situations in certain countries, specifically Brazil, China, France, Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, make it difficult to predict the near-term stability of trade costs with these nations. Changes in national policy or continued uncertainty could depress economic activity and restrict our access to suppliers or customers and have a material adverse effect on our cash flows, operating results and financial condition.

Increasing our manufacturing footprint in the growth markets and our business relationships with automotive manufacturers in these markets are particularly important elements of our strategy. As a result, our exposure to the risks described above may be greater in the future, and our exposure to risks associated with developing countries, such as the risk of political upheaval and reliability of local infrastructure, may increase.

The exit of the United Kingdom from membership in the European Union may adversely affect our business and profitability

The expected exit of the United Kingdom (“U.K”) from the European Union (“EU”) (“Brexit”) could adversely affect European and worldwide economic and market conditions and contribute to instability in global financial and foreign exchange markets, including increased volatility in interest rates and foreign exchange rates. Uncertainty over the terms of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, which is scheduled to occur on March 29, 2019, could cause political and economic uncertainty in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. Until agreements related to Brexit are in place, it is difficult to predict the impact Brexit will have on international trade, and whether we need to renegotiate any of our contractual arrangements to accommodate a new trade regime. If the U.K. leaves the EU without an agreement in place, there could be an adverse impact and volatility in foreign exchange markets and labor and trade practices and policy. We conduct business in the United Kingdom and several EU nations and the taxation policies of the U.K. and the EU nations may change as a result of Brexit, which could adversely impact our tax positions. We may be required to comply with regulatory requirements in the United Kingdom that are in addition to, or inconsistent with, the regulatory requirements of the EU.

Although we are monitoring the ongoing potential impacts of Brexit and seek to minimize its impact on our business, the effects of Brexit could adversely affect our business prospects, operating results, cash flows and financial condition.

Significant changes in the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”) could adversely affect our financial performance

In October 2018, the U.S., Mexico and Canada agreed to a trade deal that would replace NAFTA, subject to legal review and ratification by each country. The new deal, known as The United States Mexico Canada Agreement (“USMCA”), includes changes to the automotive rules of origin that dictate what percentage of an automobile must be built from parts that originated from countries in the NAFTA region. The new rules would require that at least 75% of parts be made in North America and require that 40-45% of an automobile must be made by workers earning at least $16 an hour. Reflective of the automotive industry, our vehicle parts manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Mexico and Canada are highly dependent on duty-free trade within the NAFTA region. If the USMCA is not ratified and, as a consequence, the U.S. withdraws from NAFTA, such withdrawal could have a materially adverse impact on our financial performance. The imposition of customs duties on imports into the U.S., Mexico, or Canada could negatively impact our financial performance.

Our foreign operations may subject us to risks relating to laws governing international relations

Due to our global operations, we are subject to many laws governing international relations (including, but not limited to, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and other anti-bribery regulations in foreign jurisdictions where we do business), which prohibit improper payments to government officials and restrict where and how we can do business, what information or products we can supply to certain countries and what information we can provide to authorities in governmental authorities. We also export components and products that are subject to certain trade-related U.S. laws, including the U.S. Export Administration Act and various economic sanctions programs administered by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Although we have procedures and policies in place that should mitigate the risk of violating these laws, there is no guarantee that they will be sufficiently effective. If and when we acquire new businesses, we may not be able to ensure that the pre-existing controls and procedures meant to prevent violations of these laws were effective, and violations may occur if we are unable to timely implement corrective and effective controls and procedures when integrating newly acquired businesses. Any allegations of noncompliance with these laws could harm our reputation, divert management attention and result in significant expenses, and could therefore materially harm our business prospects, operating results and financial condition.

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Our business in China is subject to aggressive competition and is sensitive to economic and market conditions

We operate in the highly competitive automotive supply market in China and face competition from both international and smaller domestic manufacturers. Due to the significance of our China market for our profit and growth, we are exposed to risks in China. We anticipate that additional competitors, both international and domestic, may seek to enter the Chinese market resulting in increased competition. Increased competition may result in price reductions, reduced margins and our inability to gain or hold market share. There have been periods of increased market volatility and moderation in the levels of economic growth in China, which resulted in periods of lower automotive production growth rates in China than those previously experienced. Our business in China is sensitive to economic and market conditions that drive automotive sales volumes in China and may be impacted if there are reductions in vehicle demand in China. If we are unable to maintain our position in the Chinese market, the pace of growth slows, or vehicle sales in China decrease, our business prospects, operating results and financial condition could be materially adversely affected.

Global integration may result in additional risks

Because of our efforts to manage costs by integrating our operations globally, we face the additional risk that, should any of the other risks discussed herein materialize, the negative effects could be more pronounced. For example, while supply delays of a component have typically only affected a few customer vehicle models, such a delay could now affect several vehicle models of several customers in several geographic areas. Similarly, any recall or warranty issue we face due to a product defect or failure is now more likely to involve a larger number of units in several geographic areas.

Exchange rate risks

As a result of our global presence, a significant portion of our revenues and expenses are denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. We are therefore subject to foreign currency risks and foreign exchange exposure. Such risks and exposures include:

 

transaction exposure, which arises because the cost of a product originates in one currency and the product is sold in another currency;

 

revaluation effects, which arise from valuation of assets denominated in other currencies than the reporting currency of each unit;

 

translation exposure in the income statement, which arises when the income statements of non-U.S. subsidiaries are translated into U.S. dollars;

 

translation exposure in the balance sheet, which arises when the balance sheets of non-U.S. subsidiaries are translated into U.S. dollars; and

 

changes in the reported U.S. dollar amounts of cash flows.

We cannot predict exchange rate volatility or the extent of its impact on our future financial results. We typically denominate foreign transactions in foreign currencies to achieve a natural hedge. However, a natural hedge cannot be achieved for all our currency flows; therefore, a net transaction exposure remains within the group. The net exposure can be significant and creates a transaction exposure risk for the Company. The Company does not hedge translation exposure. However, we do engage in foreign exchange rate hedging from time to time related to foreign currency transactions.

RISKS RELATED TO ACQUISITIONS

We face risks in connection with acquisitions and joint ventures

Our growth has been enhanced through strategic opportunities, including acquisitions of businesses, products and technologies, and joint development agreements that we believe will complement our business. We regularly evaluate acquisition opportunities, frequently engage in acquisition discussions, conduct due diligence activities in connection with possible acquisitions, and, where appropriate, engage in acquisition negotiations. We may not be able to successfully identify suitable acquisition and joint venture candidates or complete transactions on acceptable terms, integrate acquired operations into our existing operations or expand into new markets. Our failure to identify suitable strategic opportunities may restrict our ability to grow our business.

These strategic opportunities also involve numerous additional risks to us and our investors, including:

 

risks related to retaining acquired management and employees;

 

difficulties in integrating acquired technologies, products, operations, services and personnel with our existing businesses;

 

diversion of our management’s attention from other business concerns;

 

assumption of contingent liabilities;

 

adverse financial impacts from the amortization of expenses related to intangible assets;

 

adverse financial impacts from potential impairment of goodwill;

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incurrence of indebtedness; and

 

potential adverse financial impacts.

In the future, we may pursue acquisitions of businesses or products that are complementary to our business but for which we have historically had little or no direct experience. These transactions can involve significant challenges and risks as well as significant time and resources that may divert management’s attention from other business activities. If we fail to adequately manage these risks, the acquisitions may not result in revenue growth, operational synergies or service or technology enhancements, which could adversely affect our financial condition.

RISKS RELATED TO INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

If our patents are declared invalid or our technology infringes on the proprietary rights of others, our ability to compete may be impaired

We have developed a considerable amount of proprietary technology related to automotive safety systems and rely on a number of patents to protect such technology. Our intellectual property plays an important role in maintaining our competitive position in a number of the markets we serve. At present, we hold approximately 6,050 patents covering a large number of innovations and product ideas, mainly in the fields of seatbelt and airbag technologies. In addition to our in-house research and development efforts, we seek to acquire rights to new intellectual property through corporate acquisitions, asset acquisitions, licensing and joint venture arrangements. Our patents and licenses expire on various dates during the period from 2019 to 2038. We do not expect the expiration of any single patent or license to have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

Developments or assertions by or against us relating to intellectual property rights could negatively impact our business. We primarily protect our innovations with patents and vigorously protect and defend our patents, trademarks and know-how against infringement and unauthorized use. If we are not able to protect our intellectual property and our proprietary rights and technology, we could lose those rights and incur substantial costs policing and defending those rights. We also generate license revenue from these patents, which we may lose if we do not adequately protect our intellectual property and proprietary rights. Our means of protecting our intellectual property, proprietary rights and technology may not be adequate, and our competitors may independently develop technologies that are similar or superior to our proprietary technologies, duplicate our technologies, or design around the patents we own or license. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect our proprietary rights to as great an extent as the laws of the U.S.

We may not be able to protect our proprietary technology and intellectual property rights, which could result in the loss of our rights or increased costs.

Although we believe that our products and technology do not infringe the proprietary rights of others, third parties may assert infringement claims against us in the future. Additionally, we license from third parties proprietary technology covered by patents, and we cannot be certain that any such patents will not be challenged, invalidated or circumvented. Such licenses may also be non-exclusive, meaning our competition may also be able to access such technology. Further, we expect to continue to expand our products and services and expand into new businesses, including through acquisitions, joint ventures and joint development agreements, which could increase our exposure to patent and other intellectual property claims from competitors and other parties. If claims alleging patent, copyright or trademark infringement are brought against us and are successfully prosecuted against us, they could result in substantial costs. If a successful claim is made against us and we fail to develop non-infringing technology, our business, operating results and financial condition could be materially adversely affected. In addition, certain of our products utilize components that are developed by third parties and licensed to us. If claims alleging patent, copyright or trademark infringement are brought against such licensors and successfully prosecuted, they could result in substantial costs, and we may not be able to replace the functions provided by these licensors. Alternate sources for the technology currently licensed to us may not be available in a timely manner, may not provide the same functions as currently provided or may be more expensive than products currently used.

We may develop proprietary information through our in-house research and development efforts, consulting arrangements or research collaborations with other entities or organizations. We may seek to protect this proprietary information by entering into confidentiality agreements or consulting, services or employment agreements that contain non-disclosure and non-use provisions with our employees, consultants, scientific advisors and other third parties. However, we may fail to enter into the necessary agreements, and even if entered into, these agreements may be breached or may otherwise fail to prevent disclosure, third-party infringement or misappropriation of our proprietary information.

We may not be able to respond quickly enough to changes in technology and technological risks and to develop our intellectual property into commercially viable products

Changes in legislative, regulatory or industry requirements or in competitive technologies may render certain of our products obsolete or less attractive to our customers. We currently license certain proprietary technology to third parties and, if such technology becomes obsolete or less attractive, those licensees could terminate our license agreements, which could adversely affect our results of operations. Our ability to anticipate changes in technology and regulatory standards and to successfully develop and introduce new and enhanced products on a timely basis will be a significant factor in our ability to remain competitive. We cannot provide assurance that we will be able to achieve the technological advances that may be necessary for us to remain competitive or that certain of our products will not become obsolete. We are also subject to the risks generally associated with new product introductions and applications, including lack of market acceptance, delays in product development and failure of products to operate properly. As part of our business strategy, we may from time to time seek to acquire businesses or assets that provide us with additional intellectual property. We may experience problems integrating acquired technologies into our existing technologies and products, and such acquired intellectual property may be subject to known or contingent liabilities such as infringement claims.

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Some of our products and technologies may use “open source” software, which may restrict how we use or distribute our products or require that we release the source code of certain products subject to those licenses

Some of our products and technologies may incorporate software licensed under so-called “open source” licenses. In addition to risks related to license requirements, usage of open source software can lead to greater risks than use of third-party commercial software, as open source licensors generally do not provide warranties or controls on origin of the software. Additionally, open source licenses typically require that source code subject to the license be made available to the public and that any modifications or derivative works to open source software continue to be licensed under open source licenses. These open source licenses typically mandate that proprietary software, when combined in specific ways with open source software, become subject to the open source license. If we combine our proprietary software in such ways with open source software, we could be required to release the source code of our proprietary software. We take steps to ensure that our proprietary software is not combined with, and does not incorporate, open source software in ways that would require our proprietary software to be subject to an open source license. However, few courts have interpreted open source licenses, and the manner in which these licenses may be interpreted and enforced is therefore subject to some uncertainty.

RISKS RELATED TO GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS AND TAXES

Our business may be adversely affected by laws or regulations, including environmental, occupational health and safety or other governmental regulations

We are subject to various federal, state, local and foreign laws and regulations, including those related to the requirements of environmental, occupational health and safety, financial and other matters. We cannot predict the substance or impact of pending or future legislation or regulations, or the application thereof. The introduction of new laws or regulations or changes in existing laws or regulations, or the interpretations thereof, could increase the costs of doing business for us or our customers or suppliers or restrict our actions and adversely affect our business prospects, operating results, cash flows or financial condition. Our operations are subject to environmental and safety laws and regulations governing, among other things, emissions to air, discharges to waters and the generation, handling, storage, transportation, treatment and disposal of waste and other materials. The operation of automotive parts manufacturing facilities entails risks in these areas, and we cannot assure that we will not incur material costs or liabilities as a result. Additionally, environmental laws, regulations, and permits and the enforcement thereof change frequently and have tended to become increasingly stringent over time, which may necessitate substantial capital expenditures or operating costs or may require changes of production processes. Although we have no known pending material environmental issues, there is no assurance that we will not be adversely impacted by any environmental costs, liabilities or claims in the future either under present laws and regulations or those that may be adopted or imposed in the future. Our costs, liabilities, and obligations relating to environmental matters may have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows, or financial condition.

Our facilities in the U.S. are subject to regulation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”), which regulates the protection of the health and safety of workers. In addition, the OSHA hazard communication standard requires that we maintain information about hazardous materials used or produced in our operations and that we provide this information to employees, state and local governmental authorities and local residents. We are also subject to occupational safety regulations in other countries. Our failure to comply with government occupational safety regulations, including OSHA requirements, or general industry standards relating to employee health and safety, keep adequate records or monitor occupational exposure to regulated substances could expose us to liability, enforcement, and fines and penalties, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows, or financial condition.

Although we employ safety procedures in the design and operation of our facilities, there is a risk that an accident or injury to one of our employees could occur in one of our facilities. Any accident or injury to our employees could result in litigation, manufacturing delays and harm to our reputation, which could negatively affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

Our business may be adversely affected by changes in automotive safety regulations or concerns that drive further regulation of the automobile safety market

Government vehicle safety regulations are a key driver in our business. Historically, these regulations have imposed ever more stringent safety regulations for vehicles. Safety regulations have a positive impact on driver awareness and acceptance of automotive safety products and technology. These more stringent safety regulations often require vehicles to have more safety content per vehicle and more advanced safety products, which has thus been a driver of growth in our business.

However, these regulations are subject to change based on a number of factors that are not within our control, including new scientific or medical data, adverse publicity regarding the industry recalls and safety risks of airbags or seatbelts (for instance, to children and small adults), domestic and foreign political developments or considerations, and litigation relating to our products and our competitors’ products. Changes in government regulations in response to these and other considerations could have a severe impact on our business. Although we believe that over time safety will continue to be a regulatory priority, if government priorities shift and we are unable to adapt to changing regulations, our business may suffer material adverse effects.

The regulatory obligation of complying with safety regulations could increase as federal and local regulators impose more stringent compliance and reporting requirements in response to product recalls and safety issues in our industry. We are subject to existing stringent requirements under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (the “Vehicle Safety Act”), including a duty to report, subject to strict timing requirements, safety defects with our products. The Vehicle Safety Act imposes potentially significant civil penalties for violations including the failure to comply with such reporting actions. We are also subject to the existing U.S. Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation (TREAD) Act, which requires equipment manufacturers, such as Autoliv, to comply with “Early Warning” requirements by reporting certain information to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) such as: information related to defects or reports of injury related to our products. TREAD imposes criminal liability for violating such requirements if a defect subsequently causes death or bodily injury. In addition, the Vehicle Safety Act authorizes NHTSA to require a manufacturer to recall and repair vehicles that contain safety defects or fail to comply with U.S. federal motor vehicle safety standards. Sales into foreign countries may be subject to similar regulations.

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Due to the recent record recall of airbag inflators of one of our competitors, additional legislation has been proposed in the U.S. Congress regarding the reporting requirements for product recalls. NHTSA has also become more active in requesting information from suppliers and vehicle manufactures regarding potential product defects. For example, in connection with the Toyota Recall, we, in connection with Toyota, have informed NHTSA of the reported incidents and Toyota has discussed with NHTSA what action it will take to address the issue.

Negative or unexpected tax developments could adversely affect our effective tax rate, operating results and financial condition

Our annual tax rate is based on our income and the tax laws in the jurisdictions in which we operate. Because of our global operations we face uncertainties and judgments in the application of complex tax regulations in a multitude of jurisdictions. Significant judgment is required in determining our effective tax rate and in evaluating our tax positions. Although we believe that our tax estimates are reasonable, the final determination of our tax liability may be different from what is reflected in our historical income tax provisions and accruals.

We are regularly examined by tax authorities around the world and we are currently under examination in a number of jurisdictions, which are inherently uncertain. Although we periodically assess the likelihood of adverse outcomes, negative or unexpected results from one or more of such reviews and audits, including any related interest or penalties by governmental authorities, could increase our effective tax rate and adversely impact our operating results, cash flows, or financial condition.

The effective tax rates used for interim reporting are based on our projected full-year geographic earnings mix and consideration of our cash repatriation plans. Changes in currency exchange rates, earnings mix by taxing jurisdiction or in cash repatriation plans could impact our reported effective tax rates, or cause fluctuations in the tax rate from quarter to quarter. Any anti-trust judgements or settlements may not be tax deductible, which could have a material negative impact to our annual tax rate. A number of other factors may also increase our effective tax rate, which could have an adverse impact on our profitability and operating results. Due to our numerous foreign operations, our tax rate may be impacted by our global mix of earnings if our pre-tax income is lower than anticipated in countries with lower statutory tax rates and/or is higher than anticipated in countries with higher statutory tax rates. Based on U.S. regulatory rules, we do not record current or deferred tax liabilities on permanent investments in our foreign subsidiaries and our foreign earnings that are indefinitely reinvested. However, if our non-U.S. subsidiaries were to distribute cash to our U.S. parent or make a cash outlay, such transactions may result in an increase to our effective tax rate. However, based on the Tax Act, a substantial liability for U.S. federal income taxes with respect to our non-U.S. earnings has been recorded. See Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report.

Changes in, or changes in the application of, U.S. or foreign tax laws, regulations or accounting principles with respect to matters such as tax rates, transfer pricing, dividends and restrictions on certain forms of tax relief or limitations on favorable tax treatment could affect the carrying value of our deferred tax assets and/or our effective tax rate.

We may not be able to fully realize our deferred tax assets

We currently carry deferred tax assets, net of valuation allowances, resulting from deductible temporary differences and tax loss carry-forwards, both of which will reduce taxable income in the future. However, deferred tax assets may only be realized against taxable income. The amount of our deferred tax assets could be reduced, from time to time, due to adverse changes in our operations or in estimates of future taxable income from operations during the carry-forward period as a result of a deterioration in market conditions or other circumstances. Any such reduction would adversely affect our income in the period of the adjustment. Additional information on our deferred tax assets is included in Note 6 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report.

 

RISKS RELATED TO THE SEPARATION OF VEONEER

We may not achieve some or all of the expected benefits of the separation

Although we believe that the separation of Veoneer has provided financial, operational, managerial and other benefits to us and our stockholders, it may not provide results on the scope or scale we anticipated, or such benefits may be delayed or not occur at all. Following the completion of the spin-off, Autoliv is a smaller, less diversified company with a narrower business focus and may be more vulnerable to changing market conditions, which could materially adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

We could incur significant liability if the separation is determined to be a taxable transaction

We have received an opinion of outside counsel to the effect that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the separation should qualify, for both Autoliv and its stockholders, as a reorganization within the meaning of Sections 368(a)(1)(D) and 355 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The opinion is based on and relies on, among other things, certain facts and assumptions, as well as certain representations, statements and undertakings of Autoliv and Veoneer, including those relating to the past and future conduct of Autoliv and Veoneer. If any of these facts, assumptions, representations, statements or undertakings is, or becomes, inaccurate or incomplete, reliance on the opinion may be affected. An opinion of outside counsel represents their legal judgment but is not binding on the IRS or any court. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not challenge the conclusions reflected in the opinion or that a court would not sustain such a challenge.

21

 

 

 


 

 

 

Potential indemnification obligations to Veoneer or a refusal of Veoneer to indemnify us pursuant to the agreements executed in connection with the internal reorganization and spin-off could materially adversely affect us

The transaction agreements we entered into with Veoneer in connection with the internal reorganization and the spin-off provide for cross-indemnities that require Autoliv and Veoneer to bear financial responsibility for each company’s business prior to the internal reorganization or spin-off, as applicable, and to indemnify the other party in connection with a breach of such party of the transaction agreements; provided, however, certain warranty, recall and product liabilities for electronics products manufactured prior to the completion of the internal reorganization have been retained by us and we will indemnify Veoneer for any losses associated with such warranty, recall or product liabilities pursuant to the distribution agreement entered into as part of the spin-off. Any indemnities that we are required to provide to Veoneer may be significant and could negatively affect our business. In addition, there can be no assurance that the indemnities from Veoneer will be sufficient to protect us against the full amount of any potential liabilities. Even if we do succeed in recovering from Veoneer any amounts for which we are held liable, we may be temporarily required to bear these losses ourselves. In addition, each of these risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

Not applicable.

Item 2. Properties

Autoliv’s principal executive offices are located at Klarabergsviadukten 70, Section B7, SE-111 64, Stockholm, Sweden. Autoliv’s various businesses operate in a number of production facilities and offices. Autoliv believes that its properties are adequately maintained and suitable for their intended use and that the Company’s production facilities have adequate capacity for the Company’s current and foreseeable needs. All of Autoliv’s production facilities and offices are owned or leased by operating (either subsidiary or joint venture) companies.

22

 

 

 


 

 

 

AUTOLIV MANUFACTURING FACILITIES

 

Country/ Company

 

Location of Facility

 

 

Items Produced at Facility

 

Owned/ Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brazil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv do Brasil Ltda.

 

Taubaté

 

 

Seatbelts, airbags, steering wheels and seatbelt webbing

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Canada, Inc.

 

Tilbury

 

 

Airbag cushions

 

Owned

VOA Canada, Inc.

 

Collingwood

 

 

Seatbelt webbing

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

China

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv (Baoding) Vehicle Safety Systems Co., Ltd

 

Baoding

 

 

Airbags

 

Leased

Autoliv (Changchun) Vehicle Safety Systems Co., Ltd.

 

Changchun

 

 

Airbags and seatbelts

 

Owned

Autoliv (China) Steering Wheel Co., Ltd.

 

Fengxian/Shanghai

 

 

Steering wheels

 

Owned

Autoliv (Guangzhou) Vehicle Safety Systems Co., Ltd.

 

Guangzhou

 

 

Airbags and seatbelts

 

Owned

Autoliv (Nanjing) Vehicle Safety Systems Co., Ltd.

 

Nanjing

 

 

Seatbelts

 

Owned

Autoliv Shenda (Nanjing) Automotive Components Co., Ltd.

 

Nanjing

 

 

Seatbelt webbing

 

Owned

Autoliv (Shanghai) Vehicle Safety Systems Co., Ltd.

 

Shanghai

 

 

Airbags

 

Owned

Autoliv Shenda (Tai Cang) Automotive Safety Systems Co., Ltd.

 

Shanghai

 

 

Seatbelt webbing

 

Owned

Autoliv (Jiangsu) Automotive Safety Components Co., Ltd.

 

Jintan

 

 

Propellant, Airbag initiators and Airbag inflators

 

Owned

Autoliv (China) Automotive Safety Systems Co., Ltd.

 

Nantong

 

 

Airbag cushions

 

Owned

Mei-An Autoliv Co., Ltd.

 

Taipei

 

 

Seatbelts and airbags

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Estonia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS Norma

 

Tallinn

 

 

Seatbelts and belt components

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv France SNC

 

Gournay-en-Bray

 

 

Seatbelts and airbags

 

Owned

Autoliv Isodelta SAS

 

Chiré-en-Montreuil

 

 

Steering wheels and covers

 

Owned

Livbag SAS

 

Pont-de-Buis

 

 

Airbag inflators

 

Owned

N.C.S. Pyrotechnie et Technologies SAS

 

Survilliers

 

 

Airbag initiators and seatbelt micro gas generators

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv B.V. & Co. KG

 

Dachau

Elmshorn

 

 

Airbags

Seatbelts

 

Leased

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hungary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Kft.

 

Sopronkövesd

 

 

Seatbelts

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv India Private Ltd.

 

Bangalore

 

 

Seatbelts, airbags and steering wheels

 

Leased

 

 

Mysore

 

 

Seatbelt webbing

 

Owned

 

 

Delhi

 

 

Seatbelts, airbags and steering wheels

 

Leased

 

 

Chennai

 

 

Airbags, Seatbelts

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indonesia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.T. Autoliv Indonesia

 

Jakarta

 

 

Seatbelts and steering wheels

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Japan Ltd.

 

Atsugi

 

 

Steering wheels

 

Owned

 

 

Hiroshima

Taketoyo

Tsukuba

 

 

Airbags and steering wheels

Airbag inflators

Airbags and seatbelts

 

Owned

Owned

Owned

Malaysia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv-Hirotako Sdn Bhd

 

Kuala Lumpur

 

 

Seatbelts, airbags and steering wheels

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23

 

 

 


 

 

 

Country/ Company

 

Location of Facility

 

 

Items Produced at Facility

 

Owned/ Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Mexico East S.A. de C.V.

 

Matamoros

 

 

Steering wheels

 

Owned

Autoliv Mexico S.A. de C.V.

 

Lerma

 

 

Seatbelts

 

Owned

Autoliv Safety Technology de

Mexico S.A. de C.V.

 

Tijuana

 

 

Seatbelts

 

Leased

Autoliv Steering Wheels Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V.

 

Querétaro

Querétaro

 

 

Airbag cushions

Airbags

 

Leased

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Philippines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Cebu Safety Manufacturing, Inc.

 

Cebu

 

 

Steering wheels

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Poland Sp. zo.o.

 

Olawa

 

 

Airbag cushions

 

Owned

 

 

Jelcz-Laskowice

 

 

Airbags and seatbelts

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Romania S.R.L.

 

Brasov

 

 

 

Lugoj

 

 

Seatbelts, seatbelt webbing, airbags, airbag inflators, springs for retractors and seatbelt components

 

Airbag cushions

 

Owned

 

 

 

Owned

 

 

Resita

 

 

Airbag cushions

 

Leased

 

 

Sfantu Georghe

 

 

Steering wheels

 

Owned

 

 

Onesti

 

 

Steering wheels

 

Leased

Russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OOO Autoliv

 

Togliatti

 

 

Airbags, seatbelts and steering wheels

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd.

 

Krügersdorp

 

 

Seatbelts and airbags

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Korea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Corporation

 

Hwasung

Wonju

 

 

Airbags

Seatbelts

 

Owned

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv BKI S.A.U.

 

Valencia

 

 

Airbags

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Sverige AB

 

Vårgårda

 

 

Airbag inflators

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thailand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Thailand Ltd.

 

Chonburi

Chonburi

 

 

Seatbelts

Airbags, airbag cushions, steering wheels

 

Owned

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tunisia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SWT1 SARL

 

ASW3 SARL

 

El Fahs

 

Nadhour

 

 

Leather wrapping of steering wheels

 

PU Molding andLeather wrapping of steering wheels

 

Owned & Leased Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Cankor Otomotiv Emniyet Sistemleri Sanayi Ve Ticaret A.S.

 

Gebze-Kocaeli

 

 

Airbags and seatbelts

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Teknoloji Urunleri Sanayi ve Ticaret Ltd. Sti.

 

Gebze-Kocaeli

 

 

Steering wheels

 

Leased

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Metal Pres Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.

 

Gebze-Kocaeli

 

 

Seatbelt components

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

United Kingdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airbags International Ltd

 

Congleton

 

 

Airbag cushions

 

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv ASP, Inc.

 

Brigham City

Ogden

Ogden

Promontory

Tremonton

 

 

Airbag inflators

Airbags

Airbags and service parts

Propellant

Airbag initiators and seatbelt micro gas generators

 

Owned

Owned

Leased

Owned

Owned

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24

 

 

 


 

 

 

TECHNICAL CENTERS AND CRASH TEST TRACKS

 

Country / Company

 

Location

 

 

Product(s) Supported

 

 

 

 

 

 

China

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv (Shanghai) Vehicle Safety System Technical Center Co., Ltd.

 

Shanghai

 

 

Airbags and seatbelts customer applications and platform development with full-scale test laboratory

France

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv France SNC

 

Gournay-en-Bray

 

 

Airbags and seatbelts customer applications and platform development with full-scale test laboratory

Livbag SAS

 

Pont-de-Buis

 

 

Inflator and pyrotechnic development

 

 

 

 

 

 

Germany

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv B.V. & Co. KG

 

Dachau

 

 

Customer applications and platform development, airbags with full-scale test laboratory

 

 

Elmshorn

 

 

Seatbelts with full-scale test laboratory

 

 

 

 

 

 

India

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv India Private Ltd.

 

Bangalore

 

 

Airbags and seatbelts with sled testing

 

Japan

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Japan Ltd.

 

Tsukuba

 

 

Airbags and seatbelts customer applications and platform development with sled test laboratory

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poland

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Poland Sp.z.o.o.

 

Olawa

 

 

Airbags applications and platform development

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romania

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Romania S.R.L.

 

Brasov

 

 

Seatbelts with sled test laboratory

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Korea

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Corporation

 

Seoul

 

 

Airbags and seatbelts customer applications and platform development with sled test laboratory

Sweden

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv Development AB

 

Vårgårda

 

 

Research center

Autoliv Sverige AB

 

Vårgårda

 

 

Airbags customer applications and platform development with full-scale test laboratory

USA

 

 

 

 

 

Autoliv ASP Inc.

 

Auburn Hills

 

 

Airbags, steering wheels, and seatbelts customer applications and platform development with full-scale test laboratory

 

 

Ogden

 

 

Airbags, inflators and pyrotechnics customer applications and platform development

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings

In the ordinary course of our business, we are subject to legal proceedings brought by or against us and our subsidiaries.

See Note 18 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report for a summary of certain ongoing legal proceedings. Such information is incorporated into this Part I, Item 3 – “Legal Proceedings” by reference.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

Not applicable.

 

 

25

 

 

 


 

 

 

PART II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Shareholder Information

 

The primary exchange market for Autoliv’s securities is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) where Autoliv’s common stock trades under the symbol “ALV”. Autoliv’s Swedish Depositary Receipts (SDRs) are traded on NASDAQ Stockholm’s list for large market cap companies under the symbol “ALIV SDB”. Options in SDRs trade on Nasdaq Stockholm under the name “Autoliv SDB”.  Options in Autoliv shares are traded on NASDAQ OMX PHLX and on NYSE Amex Options under the symbol “ALV”.

 

Share price performance*

 

 

 

 

* For all periods before the distribution date of Veoneer on June 29, 2018, the Autoliv share prices are adjusted by a factor of 72.04%.

 

 

26

 

 

 


 

 

 

Number of shares

 

During 2018, the number of shares outstanding increased by 0.1 million to 87.1 million (excluding dilution and treasury shares). The weighted average number of shares outstanding for the full year 2018, assuming dilution, was reduced to 87.3 from 87.7 million in 2017.

Stock options (if exercised) and granted Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) could increase the number of shares outstanding by 0.4 million shares in total. Combined, this would add 0.5% to the Autoliv shares outstanding. On December 31, 2018, 3.0 million shares were available for repurchase under the current Board authorization from 2014. On December 31, 2018, the Company had 15.7 million treasury shares.

 

Number of shareholders

 

Autoliv estimates that there were approximately 70,000 beneficial Autoliv owners as of December 31, 2018. Close to 21% of Autoliv’s securities were held by U.S.-based shareholders and around 60% by Sweden-based shareholders. Most of the remaining Autoliv securities were held in the U.K., other Nordic countries, Central Europe, Japan and Canada.

 

Dividends

 

If declared by the Board of Directors, quarterly dividends are usually paid on the first Thursday in the last month of each quarter. Declared dividends are announced in press releases and published on Autoliv’s corporate website. Autoliv has a history of paying quarterly cash dividends and intends to pay similar dividends in the future but may not because of certain factors as set forth in Risk Factors – “You should not anticipate or expect the payment of cash dividends on our common stock” in Item 1A of this Annual Report.

 

See Autoliv’s corporate website for additional details regarding historical dividends.

 

Stock incentive plan

Autoliv employees participate in the Autoliv, Inc. 1997 Stock Incentive Plan (the “Stock Incentive Plan”) and receive Autoliv stock-based awards from time to time. In connection with the spin-off, each outstanding Autoliv stock-based award as of June 29, 2018 was converted to stock awards that have underlying shares of both Autoliv and Veoneer common shares (see Note 17 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report). Additional information regarding the securities authorized for issuance under the Stock Incentive Plan is included in Item 12 of this Annual Report.

Autoliv has adopted a Stock Ownership Policy for Executives requiring the Company’s CEO to accumulate and hold the number of Autoliv shares having a value of twice his annual base salary. For other executives, the minimum requirement is, over time, a holding equal to each executive’s annual base salary.

 

 

Stock repurchase program

Autoliv initiated its repurchase program in 2000 with 10 million shares and has subsequently increased the total authorization four times between 2000 and 2014 to 47.5 million shares.

Such purchases may be made from time to time on the open market or otherwise at the discretion of management. There is no expiration date for the share repurchase authorization to provide management flexibility in the Company’s repurchases.

In total, Autoliv repurchased 44.5 million shares between May 2000 and December 31, 2017 for cash of $2,498 million, including commissions. No repurchases were made during 2018. Autoliv has made no share repurchases since June 30, 2017. The maximum number of shares that may yet be purchased under the stock repurchase program amounted to 2,986,288 shares at December 31, 2018.

Of the total number of repurchased shares, 23.6 million shares were utilized for the equity units offering during 2009-2012. In addition, approximately 5.3 million shares have been utilized by the Stock Incentive Plan. At December 31, 2018, 15.7 million of the repurchased shares remain in treasury stock.

27

 

 

 


 

 

 

Item 6. Selected Financial Data

Selected financial data for the last five fiscal years ended December 31 for the Continuing Operations, unless noted, is summarized in the table below.

 

(DOLLARS IN MILLIONS, EXCEPT PER SHARE DATA)

 

2018

 

 

2017

 

 

2016

 

 

2015

 

 

20141)

 

 

Sales and Income

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net sales

 

$

8,678

 

 

$

8,137

 

 

$

7,922

 

 

$

7,636

 

 

$

9,240

 

 

Operating income4)

 

 

686

 

 

 

860

 

 

 

831

 

 

 

708

 

 

 

723

 

 

Income before income taxes4)

 

 

612

 

 

 

792

 

 

 

784

 

 

 

655

 

 

 

667

 

 

Net income attributable to controlling interest4)

 

 

376

 

 

 

586

 

 

 

558

 

 

 

443

 

 

 

468

 

 

Financial Position

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current assets excluding cash

 

 

2,670

 

 

 

2,598

 

 

 

2,269

 

 

 

2,259

 

 

 

2,607

 

 

Property, plant and equipment, net

 

 

1,690

 

 

 

1,609

 

 

 

1,329

 

 

 

1,265

 

 

 

1,390

 

 

Intangible assets (primarily goodwill)

 

 

1,423

 

 

 

1,440

 

 

 

1,430

 

 

 

1,445

 

 

 

1,661

 

 

Non-interest bearing liabilities

 

 

2,595

 

 

 

2,418

 

 

 

2,154

 

 

 

2,049

 

 

 

2,400

 

 

Capital employed5)

 

 

3,516

 

 

 

4,538

 

 

 

4,225

 

 

 

3,670

 

 

 

3,504

 

 

Net debt6, 8)

 

 

1,619

 

 

 

368

 

 

 

299

 

 

 

202

 

 

 

62

 

 

Total equity5)

 

 

1,897

 

 

 

4,169

 

 

 

3,926

 

 

 

3,468

 

 

 

3,442

 

 

Total assets

 

 

6,722

 

 

 

6,947

 

 

 

6,565

 

 

 

6,518

 

 

 

7,443

 

 

Long-term debt6)

 

 

1,609

 

 

 

1,311

 

 

 

1,313

 

 

 

1,499

 

 

 

1,521

 

 

Share data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Earnings per share (US$) – basic4)

 

 

4.32

 

 

 

6.70

 

 

 

6.33

 

 

 

5.03

 

 

 

5.08

 

 

Earnings per share (US$) – assuming dilution4)

 

 

4.31

 

 

 

6.68

 

 

 

6.32

 

 

 

5.02

 

 

 

5.06

 

 

Total parent shareholders’ equity per share (US$)5)

 

 

21.63

 

 

 

46.38

 

 

 

41.69

 

 

 

39.22

 

 

 

38.64

 

 

Cash dividends paid per share (US$)

 

 

2.46

 

 

 

2.38

 

 

 

2.30

 

 

 

2.22

 

 

 

2.12

 

 

Cash dividends declared per share (US$)

 

 

2.48

 

 

 

2.40

 

 

 

2.32

 

 

 

2.24

 

 

 

2.14

 

 

Share repurchases

 

 

 

 

 

157

 

 

 

 

 

 

104

 

 

 

616

 

 

Number of shares outstanding (million)2)

 

 

87.1

 

 

 

87.0

 

 

 

88.2

 

 

 

88.1

 

 

 

88.7

 

 

Ratios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gross margin (%)

 

 

19.7

 

 

 

20.6

 

 

 

20.6

 

 

 

20.5

 

 

 

19.5

 

 

Operating margin (%)4)

 

 

7.9

 

 

 

10.6

 

 

 

10.5

 

 

 

9.3

 

 

 

7.8

 

 

Pretax margin (%)4)

 

 

7.1

 

 

 

9.7

 

 

 

9.9

 

 

 

8.6

 

 

 

7.2

 

 

Return on capital employed (%)7)

 

 

17

 

 

n/a

 

 

n/a

 

 

n/a

 

 

 

21

 

 

Return on total equity (%)4, 7)

 

 

13

 

 

n/a

 

 

n/a

 

 

n/a

 

 

 

12

 

 

Total equity ratio (%)5)

 

 

28

 

 

 

49

 

 

 

48

 

 

 

46

 

 

 

46

 

 

Net debt to capitalization (%)5, 6)

 

 

46

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

2

 

 

Days receivables outstanding

 

 

71

 

 

 

76

 

 

 

70

 

 

 

71

 

 

 

71

 

 

Days inventory outstanding

 

 

35

 

 

 

35

 

 

 

32

 

 

 

31

 

 

 

32

 

 

Other data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airbag sales3)

 

 

5,699

 

 

 

5,342

 

 

 

5,256

 

 

 

5,036

 

 

 

5,019

 

 

Seatbelt sales

 

 

2,980

 

 

 

2,794

 

 

 

2,665

 

 

 

2,599

 

 

 

2,800

 

 

Capital expenditures, net

 

 

486

 

 

 

464

 

 

 

398

 

 

 

397

 

 

 

453

 

 

Net cash provided by operating activities1)

 

 

591

 

 

 

936

 

 

 

868

 

 

 

751

 

 

 

713

 

 

Net cash used in investing activities1)

 

 

(628

)

 

 

(697

)

 

 

(726

)

 

 

(591

)

 

 

(453

)

 

Net cash (used in) provided by financing activities1)

 

 

(245

)

 

 

(566

)

 

 

(200

)

 

 

(319

)

 

 

226

 

 

Number of employees, December 31

 

 

57,700

 

 

 

56,700

 

 

 

55,800

 

 

 

51,300

 

 

 

50,800

 

 

 

1)

Including Discontinued Operations. This period has not been restated to reflect just continuing operations because it was not practicable to do so.

2)

At year end, excluding dilution and net of treasury shares.

3)

Including steering wheels, inflators and initiators.

4)

Including antitrust provision expense of $210 million.

5)

Impacted by the distribution of Veoneer on June 29, 2018 of approximately $2 billion recorded as a reduction of equity.

6)

The increase in debt is primarily driven by our capitalization of Veoneer of approximately $1 billion prior to the distribution to the shareholders.

7)

The Company has decided not to recalculate prior periods since the distribution of Veoneer had a significant impact on total equity and capital employed making the comparison less meaningful.

8)

See section Non-U.S. GAAP Performance Measures in item 7.

 

28

 

 

 


 

 

 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

Important Trends

The discussions and analysis in this section is focused on our continuing operations. For more information on our discontinued operations, see Note 3 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report.

Autoliv, Inc. (the “Company”) provides automotive safety systems to the automotive industry with a broad range of product offerings, primarily passive safety systems. In the three-year period ended December 31, 2018, a number of factors have influenced the Company’s results of operations. The most notable factors have been:

 

Growth in light vehicle production and safety content per vehicle

 

Continued strong order intake

 

Operational initiatives

 

Continued focus on operational excellence and quality

 

Changes in competitive environment

 

 

20181)

 

 

20171)

 

 

 

20161)

 

YEARS ENDED DEC. 31 (DOLLARS IN MILLIONS, EXCEPT EPS)

Reported

 

 

change

 

 

Reported

 

 

change

 

 

 

Reported

 

 

change

 

Global light vehicle production (in thousands)

 

91,344

 

 

 

(1

)

%

 

92,128

 

 

 

2

 

%

 

 

90,056

 

 

5

%

Consolidated net sales

$

8,678

 

 

 

7

 

%

$

8,137

 

 

 

3

 

%

 

$

7,922

 

 

4

%

Operating income3)

 

686

 

 

 

(20

)

%

 

860

 

 

 

3

 

%

 

 

831

 

 

17

%

Operating margin, %3)

 

7.9

 

 

 

(2.7

)

pp

 

10.6

 

 

 

0.1

 

pp

 

 

10.5

 

 

1.2

pp

Net income attributable to controlling interest from Continuing

   Operations3)

 

376

 

 

 

(36

)

%

 

586

 

 

 

5

 

%

 

 

558

 

 

26

%

Earnings per share Continuing Operations2, 3)

 

4.31

 

 

 

(35

)

%

 

6.68

 

 

 

6

 

%

 

 

6.32

 

 

26

%

Net cash provided by operating activities4)

 

591

 

 

 

(37

)