The Aisin group has announced that it expects its global consolidated sales for the 2005 fiscal year to increase by 12% compared to a year ago.

Sales are expected to reach US$18.9bn thanks in part to a 33% increase in North American sales to $3.3bn.

Key to this growth is the company's increase in business from General Motors, consisting of transmissions for the Pontiac Solstice, Pontiac Torrent, and Chevy Equinox, as well as an increase in sunroof systems for the automaker's large SUV platform including the Chevy Suburban and Tahoe, the GMC Yukon, and the Hummer H3.

Steady increases in business with other manufacturers, as well as Toyota - Aisin's largest customer - also represented a significant portion of the company's growth, specifically in components for the 2007 Toyota Camry.

To keep pace with this growth, the Aisin Group has constructed or expanded about 20 facilities in the last two years. Globally, Aisin Seiki has established a significant presence in China, opening nine new manufacturing facilities, as well as a facility in Taiwan, Turkey and the Czech Republic.

On the technology front, Aisin AW announced the launch of the world's first hybrid transmission for rear wheel drive passenger cars at the SAE World Congress.

In addition, Aisin also introduced its new Driver Monitor System which, through face recognition technology, detects the correct and incorrect position of the driver's face within a vehicle; new compact six speed front wheel drive manual transmission; new electric active stabiliser actuator and a new electric oil pump and water pump for hybrid applications.