Autoliv Inc. has agreed to buy the German seat belt company Protektor, which specialises in seat belts for niche markets, such as seat belts for buses, heavy trucks, forklifts, agricultural vehicles and other special-purpose vehicles. Autoliv is the world’s largest supplier of seat belts for the original equipment market for passenger cars and other light vehicles and Protektor sells in 20 countries with exports accounting for 35% of the company’s €10 million in turnover.

“Protektor is a perfect bolt-on acquisition,” said Autoliv president and CEO Lars Westerberg. “Its products are identical to ours, because it produces seat belts under an Autoliv licence but focuses on other customers, which will give us additional sales. It is working with low volumes of tailor-made belts for specialised customers, while Autoliv is servicing the global mass market. Because our businesses are so different, we will keep Protektor as a separate unit and maintain its brand name. In addition, we will merge our spare parts and niche market businesses into Protektor, thereby doubling the unit’s sales and creating synergies.”

Protektor has more than 100 employees and facilities at Lubeck in northern Germany. The company was founded in 1983 by its current owner, Norbert Tandetzke.