NTN Toyo Bearing Company
The following year, the company’s name was changed from Toyo Bearing Manufacturing to NTN Toyo Bearing Company. Like other Japanese bearing manufacturers, NTN became so successful that it created angst among their overseas competitors, especially those in the United Kingdom. England in fact, urged Japanese companies to restrict exports from 1972-1974. Other countries in Europe, however, were quite adamant about procuring such superior quality bearings, and continued to do so. For this reason, the company’s growth was uninterrupted during the mid-1970s. In fact, from 1973–1975, NTN Manufacturing Canada, NTN de Mexico and NTN Suramericana were opened, in addition to another factory in Elgin, Illinois.
In 1977 however, NTN Toyo posted a loss of 1 billion JPY due to the increasing value of the Japanese Yen making exports more expensive. Because most of their bearings were still made inside the borders of Japan, the prices of the bearings were still subject to changes in international exchange rates. Additionally, many Japanese bearing manufacturers were penalized by the European Economic Community for predatory pricing. As a result, in 1978, for the first time in over a decade, NTN Toyo withheld dividend payments.
The value of the yen soon decreased however, and the company’s exports returned to normal. Strong customer demand also resulting from the weakening yen resulted in increased sales. By 1979, all overseas NTN Toyo manufacturing facilities were once again operating at or above full production capacity.
After NTN Toyo recovered from its downturn, the company looked to expand its constant-velocity joint business in the United States. By expanding on all of their product lines in this part of the world, NTN Toyo was able to reduce the number of goods exported from Japan. In 1982, the company built an addition onto its Okayama plant for the purpose of building automotive joints. In addition, a joint venture with Hyundai Motors had this business partner manufacturing joints via a license from NTN Toyo. The following year, NTN Toyo also licensed Lepco Company and Taiway to produce additional constant-velocity joints.