The Hofu Plant, located in Hofu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, comprises the automobile plant (Nishinoura District) and the transmission plant (Nakanoseki District). Since the commencement of operations there in 1981, the Hofu Plant has been focusing on the social contribution related to human resources development, and community contributions with the aim of developing in tandem with the local community.
To promote children's education and community interaction
The Hofu Plant has welcomed approximately 508,000 visitors since 1982 when the first plant in the Nishinoura District opened. Visitors come mainly from various organizations as well as local elementary and junior high schools, whose students observe the plant as part of their social studies classes.
- Approximately 8,900 visitors toured the Hofu Plant.
- In July 2012, a commemorative ceremony was held on the day on which the 500,000th visitor was welcomed to the plant.
To foster the next generation, who will uphold the future, through hands-on manufacturing experience
With the goal of encouraging children to think and dream about the automotive society of the future and discover the joy of creating things, Mazda has offered hands-on manufacturing experience at its Hofu Plant since 2009.
As one of programs held in May at the Mazda Festival in Yamaguchi, the tour was conducted with approximately 120 participants, including elementary schoolchildren and their parents and guardians. There were three courses, covering the topics of "body," "painting," and "assembly," and events included a robotic operation using a mini robot (body), creation of an original plate made by spraying color from a paint gun (painting), and attaching doors (assembly). The tour provided participants the opportunity to enjoy a hands-on manufacturing experience.
To contribute to the sound development of young people and promotion of community sports
Mazda has provided support to the Mazda Invitational Youth Soccer Competition hosted by the Hofu City Soccer Association since its inception. This tournament was established in commemoration of the completion of the Hofu Plant in 1982. Since then, this two-day event has been held every year during summer vacation. The tournament has established its position as a traditional competition that attracts powerful teams from Yamaguchi and its neighboring prefectures.
The tournament was held in the Hofu Athletic Stadium and two other venues, with a total of approximately 400 players participating from 20 teams; 18 teams from Yamaguchi Prefecture (12 teams from Hofu City) and 2 teams from other prefectures.
To contribute to human resources education provided by schools in local communities
In response to requests from schools in local communities, since 2001 the Hofu Plant has assisted them in implementing activities to enhance students' motivation for learning. The plant offers work experience programs for students, and dispatches its employees certified as Yamaguchi Meisters*1 to schools, at which they give lectures on work experience.
- The Hofu Plant accepted a total of 50 students from 16 schools, including junior high schools, high schools, technical colleges, and universities.
- Support was provided to commercial high schools' programs for work experience (in production, inventory management and sales).
- Dispatched employees certified as Yamaguchi Meisters to high schools to give lectures on work experience (five schools, about 200 students in total).
- *1A Yamaguchi Meister is a person who has been certified by Yamaguchi Prefecture as having outstanding techniques in the manufacturing field and enthusiasm for training next-generation technicians.
To contribute to community revitalization through active participation in local events
The Love Hofu Flea Market is one of western Japan's largest street flea markets, attracting more than 100,000 visitors every year. The Hofu Plant has taken part in the event since its inception in 1993. This flea market is the leading event of the Love Hofu Campaign*2. Companies, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the local government, and shopping centers work together to organize the event. As the secretariat of the Love Hofu Campaign, the Hofu Plant participates in planning and running the flea market, and presents the Mazda booth jointly with partner companies.
- A team of 300 volunteers, primarily employees of the Hofu Plant, helped out at the Mazda booth.
- A bazzar was held to sell goods donated by employees. Also, various food stalls were set up offering udon noodles, roasted chicken skewers and other food made from locally produced ingredients. A portion of the proceeds from the flea market was donated to the Hofu City Social Work Council, and used as a fund for holding next year's flea market.
- *2The Love Hofu Campaign, proposed by Mazda and other companies in accordance with the philosophy, "A company is also a family member of the city," commenced in April 1993, with the participation of 35 companies having factories in Hofu City, etc. Currently, 150 companies promote the campaign (the secretariat of which is located at the Mazda Hofu Plant).
To promote interaction with the community by opening plant grounds for public events
Since 1994, the Hofu Plant has hosted the Ekiden Road Relay Race using a route mapped out across its grounds. This event, open to members of the general public as well as Mazda employees, is held as part of the Love Hofu Campaign, serving as an opportunity to deepen friendships between Mazda employees and local residents.
From Yamaguchi and other prefectures, 99 teams joined the race. Approximately 1,000 runners, including both children and adults, ran along the route (whose total distance was about 13 km, divided into eight legs, in the FY March 2013 event).
To promote interaction with the community by opening the plant grounds for public events
Since 2010, the Hofu Plant, together with Mazda Group companies and partner companies, has held the Mazda Festival in Yamaguchi as part of the Love Hofu Campaign, in thanks to the people of the local community.
This Festival was held as one of the programs to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the start of operations at Hofu Plant. The Festival had approximately 5,000 visitors, including local residents, and Mazda Group employees and their families. A stage show was held, in which visitors enjoyed the songs and music performed by local organizations in Yamaguchi Prefecture and in Hofu City, as well as by Mazda Group employees. The Festival also included an exhibition of the design concept model, the Mazda SHINARI, test-driving of the CX-5 and the Axela (Mazda3 overseas), a tour to experience hands-on manufacturing for parents and children, and a bus tour of the plant.
To contribute to community revitalization and beautification through participation in traditional events and cleanups held in communities
Mazda employees actively participate as volunteers in traditional events and cleanups held in communities, deepening exchanges with local residents and thereby encouraging community revitalization.
Employees from the Hofu Plant actively participated in the following events.
- April: Approximately 20 employees participated in the Usa Hachimangu Shrine Rhododendron Festival (to work as parking lot attendants).
- June: Approximately 20 employees participated in the Amidaji Temple Hydrangea Festival (to work as parking lot attendants).
- July: Seven teams participated in the Cutter Race Competition of the Hofu Harbor Festival.
- July: Approximately 130 employees participated in the 45th Hofu Dance Festival.
- August: A total of approximately 110 employees participated in cleanups of the area around Shin-Yamaguchi Station, and of areas from the Hofu shopping center to Hofu Tenmangu Shrine.
- November: Approximately 150 male employees participated in the divine Gojinko Festival of Hofu Tenmangu Shrine, known more commonly as the Hadakabo Matsuri ("half-naked man festival"), as sparsely-clad "hadakabo."
- December: Ten employees participated in the rice-cake pounding event in the Hofu Shopping Center.
- February: Some female employees participated in the Setsubun (Bean-Throwing Festival) of Hofu Tenmangu Shrine, as Fukumusume (lucky maidens).
- February: 16 employees participated in the 8th Nabe-1 Grand Prix (local one-pot meal competition) (to work as visitor guide staff).