Despite this, sales between the two years was almost unchanged at EUR 2.3 bn in 2019.
Earnings in North America collapsed dramatically in 2019. The year before, Autoneum had made a small loss of EUR 8m, in 2019 this loss rose to EUR 135m. In total EUR 62m of the loss is due to non-recurring impairment costs. The company's sales grew by 8.7% in the region to EUR 1bn in 2019.
Autoneum said that it had looked hard at the North America business and has replaced its original turn-around programme with a 'a dedicated and far more comprehensive programme for the North American sites.' This will attack costs and try to solve commercial problems, said the company.
In Europe EBIT shrank from EUR 82m in 2018 to EUR 51m in 2019. While this was happening, sales fell by EUR 84m to EUR 900m in 2019.
Asian sales grew by 6% in the year to EUR 276m, an 8.7% increase. But EBIT in the division fell by EUR 7m from EUR 19m in 2018 to EUR 12m in 2019.
Asian sales grew as European and Asian car makers' new, high-volume production programmes helped sales. But, because the growth in car ownership in China was slower than expected and so the company took a non-recurring impairment charge of EUR 6m on these assets.
South America, Middle East and Africa was home to a 13.5% sales increase between 2018 and 2019. Sales rose from EUR 111m in 2018 to EUR 126m in 2019. EBIT was unchanged year to year at EUR 11m.
This business group benefited from increased production in Turkey, South Africa and Brazil as well as weaker currencies.