JOHNSON Electric, the world's second largest micro-motor manufacturer, is expected to benefit from the continued opening of the Japanese motor industry. The company won its first order from one of Japan's top three car makers this year in a small but significant breakthrough. Japan's motor firms are increasingly using foreign suppliers to keep costs down, so Johnson expects to increase sales dramatically over the next three years. Its main rival is Mabuchi Motor Co, the world's largest micro-motor producer. Although both firms make the same product, their markets differ. More than half of Mabuchi's market is audio and toys, while Johnson works with cars and home appliances. Johnson's prices, quality and service are also highly competitive. The company is more customer-oriented than Mabuchi, working closely with clients on products for their individual needs. About 27 per cent of Johnson's sales in the last financial year were to the car industry. It therefore stands to benefit from the global economic recovery, strongly increasing its sales in the US and Britain as their car markets take off again. High interest rates are expected to put the brakes on US car sales in 1995, but this should be balanced by the expected boom in the German market. Johnson's sales in the home appliances sector grew 14 per cent last year, in keeping with the generally strong growth in sales of consumer durables despite the economic downturn in the US and Europe. In the second quarter of this year, the US's seasonally adjusted production volume of consumer durables grew 6.2 per cent over the same period last year. Johnson's power tools division should also grow healthily. In 1993/94, it was the strongest growth area, rising 16 per cent. While the company is working on smaller, more efficient motors, the industrial market is opening up. Strong growth is expected to continue, and power-tool sales are expected to rise 21 per cent in 1995 and 17.7 per cent in 1996. Brokerage Mees Pierson Securities expects net profits to grow 17.8 per cent in 1995 and 16.9 per cent in 1996.