Maxell Pitches New Products for Automotive Market

Maxell, Ltd. showcased its latest lineup of products for the automotive market at Auto Expo 2023 – Components held from January 12 to 15 in New Delhi, India. Accordingly, this is the second consecutive year the company took part in the event, having participated in 2020.

In a recent interview with AEI, Osamu Sekoguchi, Senior Manager, Sales Planning & Management Dept., Marketing & Sales Div., described the company’s efforts in the deployment of overseas business and initiatives for the Indian automotive market. 

Photo 1: (from left) Seiji Kawano, Senior Manager, Sales Dept. #1, Marketing & Sales Div.; Osamu Sekoguchi, Senior Manager, Sales Planning & Management Dept., Marketing & Sales Div.; and Yoshihiro Tamura, Manager, Sales Planning Sec., Sales Planning & Management Dept., Marketing & Sales Div.

AEI: How do you position your company’s overseas business and what are business philosophies for the future?

Sekoguchi: We plan to expand our overseas business drastically in the future. To that end, we have been propelling personnel shift and other steps.

Our company sets forth mobility, IoT/5G, and healthcare as priority fields to expand our company’s businesses in the medium term.  We have also been working to expand overseas business by setting priority fields for respective areas. 

For markets in the Americas, we set CR coin-type lithium batteries for continuous glucose monitoring meters, SR silver oxide batteries, and CR cylindrical-type lithium batteries for water and electric power meters as priority products. 

Photo 2: Maxell showcased its latest lineup of products for the automotive market at Auto Expo 2023 in India.

Conventionally, SR silver oxide batteries have been used mainly in watches. However, recently, they have also come to be used in continuous glucose monitoring meters. In the European market, we put strength into the CLB coin-type lithium-ion rechargeable batteries for hearing aids. Meanwhile, in the Asian market, we focus on tapes for semiconductor processes and EF2 electro fine forming technology, which supports improved precision of electronic components and higher density mounting. 

AEI: What responses did you receive from Auto Expo 2023—Components in India?

Sekoguchi: Auto Expo is an exhibition of automotive components held biennially. I heard that this year’s event ended a great success as a whole. We took part in the event as one of 10 companies featured in the Japan Pavilion. 

Photo 3: CR heat-resistant coin-type lithium batteries

Particularly, our booth promoted heat-resistant coin-type lithium batteries used for tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) sensors, butyl tapes for fixing door mirrors, and coin-type lithium batteries. We also introduced examples of adoption in TPMS sensors. 

AEI: What are priority products for the Indian automotive market going forward? 

Sekoguchi: We place weight on heat-resistant coin-type lithium batteries for TPMS sensors.  Our company has a proven track record in sales of batteries for TPMS sensors in the global market, presumably, securing about 70 percent share worldwide. 

Many countries, including the United States, China, Korea, and countries in Europe, mandate the installation of TPMS sensor in automobiles. India is one of few countries where laws are yet to mandate the installation of TPMS sensors. Nonetheless, we expect the country’s law will mandate the installation going forward. Hence, we are focusing attention on TPMS sensors. 

In India, many local TPMS manufacturers are operating in addition to U.S. and European TPMS module manufacturers. We will approach those companies as well. 

Meanwhile, the market penetration rate of passenger cars in India is still less than 10 percent, and we expect there will be high growth in the future. Moreover, the Indian government sets a goal of raising the ratio of electric vehicles (EVs) to 30 percent by 2030. Therefore, we can expect high growth of EVs. 

Our company’s heat-resistant coin-type lithium batteries feature excellent heat resistant to 125°C. In addition, it is also possible to use in low temperature environment, until about -40℃ as well.  They also provide excellent robustness.

AEI: How about other priority products?

Sekoguchi: We also put strength into sales expansion of various adhesive tapes, including butyl tapes for fixing door mirrors.  We are promoting these tapes touting strengths such as abundant thickness variations and excellent workability. 

Photo 4: Double-sided butyl tapes

Meanwhile, coin-type lithium batteries are becoming mainstream in smart keys of automobiles. 

In terms of the deployment in the Indian market, we position the automotive market as the highest priority market for the time being. In addition, we will also watch the trend of the market as the semiconductor back-end process field will also likely expand in the future. 

AEI: Can you discuss the company’s sales system in Asia?

Sekoguchi: In Asia, we have headquarters in Hong Kong, and sales companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen in China as well as in Taiwan and Singapore. Furthermore, we also maintain liaison offices in Thailand, Vietnam, and India.