TI Automotive

TI Automotive drives the market

TI Automotive Ltd is the world’s leading supplier of fluid storage, transfer and delivery systems for brake, fuel and air conditioning applications in the automotive industry.

The UK-based company is the only global supplier of fully integrated fuel storage and delivery systems for cars and trucks.

Following the merger of TI Group plc, formerly Tube Investments Ltd, with Smiths Industries in 2000, TI Group Automotive Systems became a division within Smiths Group plc. In 2001, the automotive division de-merged from Smiths Group and TI Automotive Ltd was created, leading to global success as an automotive component supplier. Current ownership of the company is held by former parent organisation Smiths Group (19.99 per cent), TI Automotive shareholders (55.01 per cent) and its management (25 per cent).

The company employs 20,000 people worldwide in its 130 facilities that operate in 28 countries across six continents. The regional headquarters are in Warren, Michigan, USA and in Oxford, England. In the current worldwide automobile industry, approximately half of the 57 million cars built every year rely on TI Automotive brake fuel and power-train technology, contributing to the company’s annual sales of £1.5 billion (around $2.3 billion). Over half of TI Automotive’s business is attributable to the North American region and around 40 per cent to Europe with the remainder credited to Asia Pacific and Latin America.

TI Automotive is the number one supplier in its industry in Europe due to its strong workforce, innovative products and successful expansion. The company has a supplier partnership with every major Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in the world and its products and technology are present on over 80 of the top 100 vehicle platforms. It maintains these relationships by constantly adapting and updating its products as the automotive industry’s boundaries expand across the globe. The long list of TI Automotive’s global customers includes well-known brands such as GM, DC, Nissan, Toyota, Rolls-Royce, BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Ford and Daewoo.

The company is divided into three major divisions called the Fuel Systems group (fuel tanks, fuel tank fill pipes, and fuel delivery systems), which has approximately 35 per cent of company sales, the Fluid Carrying Systems group (HVAC, brake and fuel lines) that has 50 per cent, and the Industrial Group, which is comprised of Vari-Form, Walbro Engine Management and Bundy Refrigeration, and contributes the remaining 15 per cent. This division was sold in early 2007.

TI Automotive’s sites satisfy stringent customer and regulatory requirements and are certified to a variety of international quality system standards including ISO 9000, VDA 6.1, EAQF, QS 9000, and the latest TS16949 accreditation. In order to minimise its own impact on the environment, TI Automotive is seeking ISO 14001 certification on a global basis which stipulates criteria to ensure that an effective environmental management system is in place at each facility. The company currently commissions third party audits annually, enabling it to assess its achievements and review targets.

TI Automotive conducts reliable, comprehensive testing on all its products and its primary facilities are located in Auburn Hills and Caro, Michigan, USA and Rastatt in Germany, with additional satellite engineering labs in Telford, UK; Connecticut, USA; Chalons-en-Champage, France; Fuldabruck, Germany; Busalla, Italy; and Cacapava, Brazil. All products and systems are tested in state-of-the-art facilities and the company has the latest technology in evaporative emissions tests, from fuel line to complete fuel system and vehicle testing. Many of the labs have recently been granted ISO 17025 accreditation, demonstrating that its tests are credible and repeatable with equipment traceable to National Standards, and are all conducted by thoroughly qualified personnel. The in-house testing capabilities are unsurpassed in the industry, setting it apart from its competitors and making the company the first choice for customers in manufacturing industries.

Manufacturing efficiency is also a key concern for the company, and is achieved using a number of tools and improvement techniques. For example, the business utilises Six Sigma, which strives for near perfection as it eliminates defects from every process ranging from manufacturing to service, and Kanban, a system that reduces the amount of work-in-progress and finished goods stock by restricting the supply of materials and components until they are needed.

Most facilities have received numerous awards in quality and customer service, including the Quest for Excellence award from the readers of Automotive Industries magazine, Nissan’s Quality Master Award for supplier excellence, General Motor’s Service Parts Operation (SPO) recognition for outstanding performance, the Toyota Value Improvement Award and the Daimler Chrysler corporation commodity award. The company strives to build on this success and maintain its position as a globally preferred supplier through a dynamic environment of continuous improvement and a constant focus on complete customer satisfaction.

TI Automotive
Products: Fluid storage and transfer systems
Sites: US, Mexico, Italy, China, Thailand and Japan.
Employees: 20,000 (300 in UK)