Airbags to be major contributor for Hirotako

AUTO parts company Hirotako Holdings Bhd (HHB) expects airbags to be one of its main areas of growth in the future, says executive director Leow Sun Hock.  

“Proton (Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Bhd) produces 240,000 cars a year, while and Perodua (Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd), 125,000 cars a year. But, only 5% have are fitted with airbags. We see that airbags have tremendous sales potential here,” he said after the company EGM in Shah Alam yesterday. 

HHB, through subsidiary Autoliv Hirotako Safety, manufactures automotive seat belts (under the brand name Tako), damping sheets, and airbags. These products are supplied to Proton, Perodua and other local vehicle assemblers. 

Leow said national carmakers Proton and Perodua took up 65% of the company's output. The price for of an airbag is between RM1,500 and RM2,000. each. 

He said the company would promote sale of airbags more aggressively to car manufacturers as well as to the Malaysian Road Safety Council. 

“It's important for a car to have airbags,” he said, adding that the Malaysian Road Safety Council has a documentary on road safety where people could understand the importance of safety with airbags. 

Going forward, Leow said Hirotako had estimated that sales from airbags would contribute about 10% of the company's revenue for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2002. 

He said seat belts would contribute about 70% of the company's overall sales and the balance would come from other types of automotive parts as well as electrical products. 

Hirotako registered a higher turnover of RM106.3mil in the financial year ended Dec 31, 2001, an increase of 21% over the RM88.2mil in 2000. – Bernama  

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