In response to opinions obtained through engagement with stakeholders outside the Company, Mazda has taken the following specific action in FY March 2014.
- In response to customers' requests for more detailed information on "Mazda design," Mazda held events to strengthen two-way communication, with a focus on Mazda's design concept of "KODO-Soul of Motion". Specifically, conventional environmental and safety technology-related events were used to offer in-depth information about Mazda design and production technology through interactive communication.
- In response to an opinion that Mazda's social contribution activities should be more largely made known to the public, Mazda has continued efforts to disclose Company information proactively, through its sustainability report, SNS, social contribution activities reports and news brief.
- In response to opinions related to employee conduct, Mazda disseminated information, including in-company notification documents, to employees to encourage them to be more mindful of their actions.
At the event, presentations were made on Mazda's car design concept of "KODO," (the Soul of Motion). Focus was also placed on the vehicle painting technology "Takuminuri," a key environmental technology that supports Mazda design in the area of manufacturing. With regard to Mazda's key theme "environmental and safety technologies," future technologies were introduced to participants, using real car models. Another feature of the event was the photo exhibition of the "Hashiru Onna Club," a driving women's club based in Hiroshima. At the same time, an environmental education quiz show (Kids Program) was also held for children.
At a session between participants and Mazda engineers and other employees, heart-to-heart discussions were conducted with the themes of the "recent image of Mazda" and "future expectations."
- Period: March 2014
- Venue: Mazda R&D Center Yokohama
- Participants: 285 persons (including 17 children for the Kids Program)
<Opinions from Participants>
- I was able to understand Mazda's passionate commitments to car design and the pleasure of driving.
- I was very impressed to learn that real workmanship is incorporated, as an excellent painting technique, in the "KODO" design and that the painting is environmental-concious.
- I was happy to learn that Mazda has paid special attention to internal-combustion engines. I want Mazda to continue to be a company that attracts people with new technologies.
- I want Mazda to continue to pursue the manufacture of the safest vehicles in the world.
- I was impressed by Mazda's promotional efforts targeted at female customers, including various events for women.
- I hope that Mazda will continue to be a company that reflects customers' views and opinions in the development and manufacture of vehicles.
<Opinions from Participating Mazda Employees>
- The event was a good opportunity for engineers to realize that our passion to what we do has been definitely conveyed to customers. I was also impressed by customers' warm and encouraging words about Mazda. I will report to my colleagues about my experience today, including how people's attitudes toward Mazda have been changing, and take this opportunity to consider what and how we need to improve more.
- I had a chance to directly listen to customers' feedback and requests. I left the event with a renewed awareness that our mission is to offer products that satisfy and exceed our customers' expectations to make our customers happy.
Mazda R&D Center Yokohama offers its facilities (AV hall, open gallery, etc.) as a venue for meetings of Mazda vehicle owners. At these meetings, Mazda vehicle owners exchange views with Mazda employees. The results of surveys answered by owners are used for future product development. In FY March 2014, a total of three meetings were held, bringing together owners of Mazda vehicles, such as the Atenza and the CX-7. These meeting were attended by about 100 owners (70 vehicles) in total.
<Opinions from participants>
- I was happy because the owners' meeting provided me with a chance to visit an R&D site.
- I was very happy to hear an engineer who talking about good feature my car model, making me even more passionate about my car.
- I hope that Mazda will continue to hold this event to provide customers with an opportunity to share a great time with other Mazda vehicle owners.
This year saw the second year of the activities of the "Hashiru Onna Club" (driving women's club) set up by Mazda in 2012, with the aim of creating a vehicle that powerfully appeals to women. In FY March 2014, the club held various vehicle-themed events, including a 100-woman meeting, a photo contest, a go-cart competition, and a talk show with the female Mazda employees. Mazda is planning to expand the scope of the club's activities to outside Hiroshima Prefecture in order to convey the joy of driving and increase the number of female fans of Mazda vehicles.
<Opinions from participants>
- My emotional attachment to my car and my interest in Mazda events were enhanced by learning more about the pleasure of driving and Mazda's attitude toward car manufacturing.
- I want Mazda to hold more "driving" events for women because I can participate in them with ease.
- The speech by the engineers made me feel that I should take better care of my car.
- I'm eagerly waiting for Mazda to hold the club's event outside Hiroshima.
- I want to buy a Roadster, the car of my dreams, someday after my child-care duties become less demanding.
- I like Mazda because Mazda staff always stay in close contact with users to offer them help.
A hearing was conducted with university undergraduate and graduate students who are going to enter Mazda in April 2014, in which valuable views and opinions were provided regarding a draft version of the Mazda Corporate Profile/Sustainability Report (Digest version) 2013."
- Period: August 2013
- Venue: Mazda Head Office
- Participants: around 40 undergraduate and graduate students
<Opinions from participants>
- I was able to understand Mazda's environmental and safety technologies and strategies.
- A point that deserves praise is the fact that Mazda's environmental efforts are being made from a life-cycle perspective.
- Mazda's CSR initiatives in six areas should be described in an easier-to-understand manner.
- The report should provide more detailed information on SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY.
- I think the inclusion of customers' voices would improve the report.
Mazda held meetings with the neighborhood association presidents of the local community adjacent to the Mazda Head Office premises, to hear about local community issues and requests for Mazda, and exchange opinions with these community leaders. After the meeting, a plant tour was also conducted.
- Period: November 2013
- Venue: Mazda Head Office (Hiroshima)
<Opinions from participants>
- I recommend that Mazda place greater emphasis on explaining to people outside the Company its various local community contributions, including cleanup efforts.
- I hope that the Mazda Specialist Bank will be used to revitalize local community activity.
- I want Mazda to extend the range of its volunteer cleanup activities because there are some littered streets and areas that are not covered by the Company's cleanup activities.
At a Nishinoura Neighborhood Association Council meeting, Mazda introduced environmental protection efforts by the Hofu Plant to the neighborhood association presidents and female managers of the Nishinoura district, and asked the participants to answer a questionnaire survey regarding the impact of the Hofu Plant on the local community. In the survey, a problem was pointed out regarding some bicycle commuters of Mazda riding with no front light on at night. The Company worked together with other companies to address this issue.
As in past years, Mazda also participated in the meeting of neighborhood association presidents of the Nishinoura district, and shared environmental protection efforts by the Hofu Plant with them to further Mazda's understanding.
- Period: April 2014
- Venue: Nishinoura Community Center, Hofu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture
Opinions, obtained through the engagement with stakeholders inside the Company, have been used for the improvement of the future Mazda CSR initiatives and the next year's Mazda Sustainability Report contents.
Meetings were held with executive officers and employees in charge of producing the Mazda Sustainability Report from relevant divisions/departments, to exchange opinions regarding the two themes listed below.
32 times, between December 2013 and January 2014
①Review of Mazda Sustainable Report 2013
②CSR initiatives/activities implemented in each division and area, and future CSR directions
Mazda, establishing the Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Secretariat, has promoted collaboration with government authorities and universities, aiming to resolve business issues by obtaining new knowledge and viewpoints from outside the Company, and thereby broadly contributing to society. By visualizing such collaborative activities and sharing relevant information with government authorities and universities, Mazda aims to achieve the maximum outcomes from its daily efforts.
Moreover, Mazda, through the collaboration of industry, academia and industry, has contributed to the local community in terms of recruitment of local people, human resources development, and the production of human resources.
As a company that has production facilities mainly in Hiroshima Prefecture, Mazda believes that cooperation with the local economy and industry is of great significance. For instance, Mazda conducts activities to contribute to the automobile-related local industry, through industry-academia-government collaborations aimed at seeking a new framework for supporting local businesses and the next-generation automobile society. In this collaboration, METI Chugoku (Chugoku Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry), Hiroshima Prefecture, Hiroshima City and other governmental authorities, as well as the Hiroshima Industrial Promotion Organization, play central roles.
<Major activities in FY March 2014>
- In April and October 2013, leaders of Hiroshima University, the Hiroshima Industrial Promotion Organization and government authorities gathered together with Mazda under one roof. These leaders held discussions and shared information on the progress made in collaborative research activities and subsidized projects, and then reached an agreement on the activity plan for FY March 2015. In FY March 2014, a regular working-level meeting was launched between governmental authorities and Mazda, as a new process that enables the results of discussions on specific issues and measures to be presented to the senior management of the Company.
- As part of its efforts to disseminate the Company's information to local society, Mazda organized business-matching meetings, in which information on technological needs and seeds was exchanged between suppliers, universities and public research institutes. As a result, 31 potential joint research projects were identified. In addition to the Chugoku region, Mazda also held meetings to disclose information on technological needs, technology exhibitions, and business-matching meetings in the Chubu region (Gifu, Aichi and Mie Prefectures) and the Shikoku region (Kagawa Prefecture), thereby strengthening the Company's collaborative ties with other regions. (In FY March 2015, Mazda intends to expand these activities to still more regions/areas.)
Mazda's Technical Research Center has long collaborated with the Graduate School of Engineering, Hiroshima University, conducting research primarily into advanced automotive technologies. In February 2011, the two parties concluded a comprehensive collaboration agreement, which substantially expanded the range of partnerships in the fields of product development and production, social sciences such as planning, management and marketing, and personnel exchange and human resource development.
In FY March 2014, the Collaboration and Partnership Promotion Committee, a body comprising members from both Mazda and Hiroshima University, held two meetings (in July and December). At these meetings, the Committee members had lively discussions on topics such as progress in joint research projects, proposals of specific measures to strengthen cooperation, and the promotion of personnel exchanges between Mazda and the university.
The Center of KANSEI Innovation Nurturing Mental Welfare, a concept jointly proposed by Mazda and Hiroshima University, was adopted as one of the Center of Innovation (COI) sites for FY March 2014 under the COI STREAM*1 by Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and was established on the Hiroshima University premises on April 1, 2014. Over the next nine years, the Center, with Mazda as the Project Leader, aims to develop a technology platform for visualization and real-time sensing of KANSEI (emotion, perception), making optimal use of brain science, optical technology and information technology, and to create a product that enables the building of special bonds with customers.
In FY March 2014, Mazda and Hiroshima University implemented 34 joint research projects. As part of these projects, Mazda accepted 10 students for internship at its seven divisions, providing them with an opportunity to see firsthand how engineers address various issues that arise in the process of business activity.
- *1COI STREAM: the Center of Innovation Science and Technology based Radical Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program. Under the concept of "how we should change society and people by the end of the next decade," this program aims to establish innovation platforms in Japan that enable the creation of innovative breakthroughs by breaking out of the existing conceptual framework. (Japanese language only)
In May 2011, Mazda and Kyushu University concluded an inter-organizational agreement to promote collaboration regarding next-generation automotive technologies. Under the agreement, the two parties have worked together to reinforce research and development projects and to encourage academic research and education activities.
In FY March 2014, in advance of joint research programs, study and research meetings were held on specific themes. As a result of vigorous discussions, progress has been made with about 10 joint research themes.
In December 2012, Mazda and Kinki University concluded an agreement concerning comprehensive research collaboration. Under the agreement, the two parties have cooperated in bolstering cutting-edge research development and in strengthening the technological capabilities of local industries.
④Tokyo Institute of Technology
As a first step toward strengthening collaboration with universities in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, Mazda joined the Industry Liaison Membership Program of the Tokyo Institute of Technology in August 2013. In FY March 2014, Mazda used this program to invite a professor emeritus of the University to the Head Office for a technical seminar. Joint research was also conducted concerning three themes.
⑤Visits to other universities for potential collaboration
To further expand its cooperative relationships with academia, Mazda started to visit universities' offices responsible for promoting the collaboration of industry, academia and government. In FY March 2014, Mazda visited Osaka University, Nagoya University and Yamaguchi University to discuss their potential collaboration with the Company. As a result, technological exchange and other cooperation activities were newly launched.
PT Engineering analysis Gr.
Engine Performance Development Dept.
Powertrain Development Div.
Under the Internship Program, Mazda's Powertrain Development Div. accepted three students from the Fluid Engineering Laboratory of Hiroshima University for two months from November 2013.
In tandem with joint research for developing leading-edge technology, we are working on enhancing the capabilities of students under the internship program. This time, we accepted several internship students. In reality, product development is a very complicated and sophisticated process. I was happy to hear that those students were able to deepen their understanding of research value and essence from firsthand experience.
Mazda, in turn, was able to utilize those students' knowledge into product development. We will continue to build stronger and broader relationships with academia, from the perspective of technology and human resources.
With regard to the establishment of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITSs) advanced by the Japanese government, Mazda has joined the automotive industry's promotion activities, as a member of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc. ISO Technical Committee 204, which promotes ITSs in the international community, has Working Groups covering respective fields. In the field of Vehicle/Roadway Warning and Control Systems, Mazda has undertaken the post of convener (Chair of the International Conference; term: from May 2013 to April 2016), and is working on the further development of ITSs. In FY March 2014, Mazda participated in the 20th ITS World Congress Tokyo 2013.
In addition to those mentioned above, Mazda promotes industry-academia-government collaboration activities. Tokyo Office plays a central role in exchanging information and promoting joint researches with central government ministries and agencies, while Mazda R&D Center Yokohama does the same with universities as the example in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.