Niterra’s activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) are managed by Niterra EMEA, its regional headquarters (RHQ) located in Ratingen, Germany. The company first began European operations in the UK in 1975 and in Germany in 1979. NGK SPARK PLUG EUROPE GmbH was created in 1989 and since 2017, the company holds responsibility for the entire EMEA region, which comprises more than 90 languages and three continents. The RHQ plays an important role within Niterra worldwide, with its EMEA sales alone accounting for 23% of the company’s global turnover (as of 03/2023). This strong performance is achieved by around 800 employees (as of 03/2023) across six regional companies, and a production plant in South Africa and a Technical Centre in Ratingen.
The company’s Automotive Components research and development work is undertaken at five major Technical Centres around the world, located in Nagoya, Japan; Ansan-si, Korea; Wixom, USA; São Paulo, Brazil and Ratingen, Germany. As well as innovating and testing new prototype products, the centres develop technologies to combat global challenges such as exhaust emissions. They also provide invaluable technical support to the world’s automotive manufacturers.
Founded in 1991 with an initial investment of around 10 million euros, it covers an area of 2,200 m2 and comprises three high-tech engine testing stands and two chassis dynos. It also includes a climate chamber, with integrated wind speed fan for temperatures from -30°C up to 30°C and allows for complete exhaust gas analysis. It is thus the perfect environment to perform the widest range of test cycles and simulations, including durability tests. Recently, the dynamometer was upgraded and is now capable of simulating downhill as well as road loads.
Niterra’s 2030 Long-Term Management Plan ‘NITTOKU BX’ – which sets the milestones for the next ten years – is an extension of today’s business plan. It aims to pave the way for the transformation of its business portfolio, the development of innovative solutions and new businesses.
The Niterra vision for 2040, named ‘Beyond ceramics, eXceeding imagination’ (BX), gives the company the direction it needs to reinvent itself and to drastically change beyond the current way. Its ‘Change with Will!’ guiding principle includes the promotion of cultural reform and diversity within the company. Employees are being empowered to think outside of the box and take risks, and a greater emphasis is being placed on increasing the number of women and foreign nationals in leading positions. ‘Change with Will!’ plays an influential role in Niterra’s 2030 Long-Term Management Plan, particularly due to its strong commitment (‘Will’) to fast-tracking ‘Change’ within the company, in order to achieve its coexistence with society and people.
Considering the sustainable business objectives and the long term shift away from ICE, the name ‘NGK SPARK PLUG’ no longer accurately described the company’s future direction. Therefore, a new name has been chosen. Niterra is a coined word combining the Latin words ‘niteo’/‘shine’ and ‘terra/earth’. It expresses the company’s desire to not only contribute to a sustainable society, but also one that makes the earth shine. The well-known brands NGK Ignition Parts and NTK Vehicle Electronics will continue to be used for Niterra’s respective businesses.
The majority of our business activities involve automotive components in the areas of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and IAM (Independent Aftermarket). The two brands NGK & NTK offer a combined portfolio of nine, continually updated product lines, covering more than 60,000 applications. Every range delivers extremely high vehicle coverage. Customer service, product availability and fast distribution are top priorities. But our excellence goes one step further. Niterra provides a wide range of added value - as clever packaging, cataloguing or tailored technical trainings.
In 2020, the company introduced an ‘open innovation’ concept called Venture Labs. These are hubs for collaborative, creative technical thinking. They also provide an inspirational showcase for some of the company’s latest innovations. Situated in Tokyo, Japan; Silicon Valley near San Jose in the US and Berlin, Germany, the three Venture Labs embody the progressive approach to business development. They focus on three main areas where the company’s future business activities will be centred upon: Smart Health, Smart Mobility and Utility.
"The Niterra Group from now on aims to “change drastically beyond the current way.” In today’s rapidly changing environment, while commonly sharing the Nittoku Way sense of value, every Niterra employee will strive to solve social challenges with the action guideline 'Change with Will!' in mind and with noble intention."
"By using the combined strength of both brands, we not only supply a broad range of products to our customers; we also provide strong values and bring unparalleled insight and knowledge into the industry."