Mobiletron eyes fast revenue growth on electric buses

By Kwan Shin-han  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 12

Mobiletron Electronics Co (車王電子), which manufactures battery management systems for vehicles, is aiming for double-digit growth in revenue this year as electric buses gain popularity, chairman Kim Tsai (蔡裕慶) said yesterday at a meeting in Taipei organized by Taiwan Stock Exchange Corp.

Seventy percent of the company’s revenue comes from automotive electronics, Tsai said.

With Washington imposing an additional 25 percent tariff on Chinese products, Mobiletron has decided to move production of high-end products back to Taiwan, Tsai said.

The company is to invest NT$2.5 billion (US$81 million) to build factories in Taichung next quarter, with construction expected to be completed in the third quarter of next year and production of electric buses to start the following quarter, Tsai said.

Mass production of low-floor electric buses and their energy and battery storage systems are to commence in 2021, he added.

Mobiletron last year launched a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) and aims to ship more than 1 million units this year, the company said.

The company acquired RAC Electric Vehicles Inc (華德動能) for NT$650 million in 2016, which helped it resolve a bottleneck in designing battery storage systems for electric buses, Tsai said.

The company is targeting a government plan to introduce 1,800 electric buses in the coming four years, or a total of 10,000 over the next 10 years, it said.

Mobiletron expects to sell 50 to 100 electric buses this year, Tsai said, adding that RAC could break even if it could sell 100 such buses per year.

North America remained the company’s biggest market last year, contributing NT$1.41 billion, or 48.69 percent, of its total revenue, up from 41.98 percent in 2017.

Asia accounted for NT$634.66 million, or 21.98 percent, down from 26.7 percent in 2017, while Europe accounted for NT$537.31 million, or 18.61 percent, declining from 22.9 percent a year earlier.

Taiwan contributed NT$254.13 million, or 8.8 percent, jumping from 4.93 percent the previous year.

Mobiletron reported revenue of NT$656.36 million in the first quarter, down 7.96 percent from NT$713.12 million a year earlier.

Company spokesperson Tsai Shu-chen (蔡淑貞) attributed the decline to the frontloading effect, adding that inventory adjustments would persist.

Last year, the company sold 12 electric buses to Shin-Shin Bus Co (欣欣客運).

The company has also set up energy storage containers, which can recharge buses, at Shin-Shin’s Taipei base in Muzha District (木柵).

The company is participating in the auto components exhibition at Nangang Exhibition Center that opens today, exhibiting its TPMS and battery management system.