Collaboration with Automobile Manufacturers
Promoting Global Alliance
In order to strengthen the Mazda brand, Mazda is actively pursuing an alliance strategy that will mutually complement our products, technologies, and regions.
In FY March 2016, vehicle production was started for Toyota Motor Corporation at Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operation and for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) at the Hiroshima Plant. In May 2015, Mazda and Toyota concluded a basic agreement to build a mutually beneficial long-term partnership that will leverage the resources of both companies to complement and enhance each other’s products and technologies. Through discussions by the examination committee, the two companies are deepening their mutual understanding and seeking an appropriate partnership from a medium to long-term perspective.
Partnership Strategies to Complement the Brand
Basic and Applied Research on Technologies for Internal Combustion Engines and Cleaner Exhaust Emissions
Mazda participates in the Research Association of Automobile Internal Combustion Engines (AICE*1), a new joint research organization in the Japanese automobile industry. AICE was established on April 1, 2014, to enable automobile manufacturers to conduct basic and applied studies jointly with universities and research institutions on themes common to automobile manufacturers, and to use the research results to accelerate their in-house development activities. Taking advantage of its participation in AICE, Mazda is promoting its development of technologies for internal combustion engines and cleaner exhaust gases, with a view to achieving improved fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions.
*1 Research Association of Automobile Internal Combustion Engines, participated by nine Japanese auto manufacturers and two organizations (as of April 2015).
Collaboration with Suppliers
Technology Development in Collaboration with Suppliers
Mazda collaborates with suppliers from the early stage of product/technology development. To make this collaboration successful, the Company takes steps to promptly brief suppliers on medium to long-term business strategies and on matters related to sales and production, and arranges opportunities for the exchange of information closely. As the functions expected of a vehicle are becoming increasingly advanced and diversified, vehicle structures and control systems are becoming increasingly complex. To enable the speedy development of such complex systems with limited resources, Mazda promotes Model Based Development, an approach to conducting development efficiently on a desktop, using the technologies of suppliers.
Improving the Efficiency of Development and Operation of Systems
Mazda promotes the development of globally applicable systems, with the aim of improving the efficiency of development and operation. To enable itself to quickly respond to changes in business trends, the Company is renewing its development program. This initiative is promoted jointly with IBM, Oracle and other suppliers possessing leading-edge IT technologies.
Activities to Improve Manufacturing Capabilities in Collaboration with Local Suppliers
Mazda is rolling out its J-ABC (Jiba [“local”] Achieve Best Cost) program for local suppliers in and around Hiroshima Prefecture starting in 2004. Under this program, Mazda staff visit suppliers’ plants and use the approach employed in Mazda production systems as a basis for identifying wasteful, unnatural or problematic manufacturing processes. The Company then works cooperatively with the suppliers to formulate and implement countermeasures. This program is also expected to enhance potential for improvement at manufacturing sites in connection with Mazda’s Monotsukuri Innovation activities. It has helped increasing productivity and reducing production costs by 2 to 3 billion yen per year.
Results of J-ABC activities for FY March 2016
|Case Example||Objective||Initiative||Results for FY March 2016|
|Cooperative Improvement Efforts||Improving operation rates, shortening cycle times, improving logistics operations (started in 2004)||
A total of around 2,000 visits to 49 plants at 24 companies were carried out to implement cooperative improvement activities
Held 53 results-reporting meetings Promoted a shift from site-based activities to company-wide activities
|J-ABC Karakuri®*2 Kaizen Dojo||Fostering high levels of creativity and making work more fun without incurring additional costs (launched in 2006)||
Offered practical programs such as lectures and on-site guidance meetings to improve the ability to devise mechanisms for increased productivity
15 participants from ten companies successfully completed the program
|J-ABC Maintenance Workshop||Preventing facility stoppages and drops in production capability (launched in 2010)||
Practical programs such as lectures and on-site guidance meetings were offered to improve the ability to both detect and properly respond to irregularities
Held twice a year in the Hiroshima and Hofu districts, with a total of four members from four companies successfully completing the program in FY March 2016
|J-ABC Conference||To encourage study through the sharing of J-ABC activity policy and outstanding activity examples (started in 2005)||
Held for all participating companies, providing a venue for presentations, awards, and other events.
The 2015 conference was attended by a total of 470 participants, with 370 participants from 50 local suppliers and 100 participants from Mazda
*2 Karakuri Kaizen® is a registered trademark of the Japan Institute of Plant Maintenance.
Activities to Improve Workplace Capabilities in Collaboration with Overseas Production Sites and their Local Suppliers
As the importance of overseas production sites increases along with its attempt to establish a global production footprint, Mazda is promoting activities to improve manufacturing capabilities, with a view to improving quality and productivity jointly with local suppliers. While paying respect to the differences in national characters and cultures and understanding the key points necessary to promote continuous improvement activities at worksites, the Company employs the know-how obtained through the J-ABC activities. The Company has also established a system to develop leaders at both local production sites and suppliers in promoting activities to support improvement of suppliers. Mazda will continue to expand the activities in cooperation with its suppliers.
A-ABC activities in Thailand
In February 2013, Mazda launched the A-ABC (ASEAN Achieve Best Cost) program at AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd (AAT).Three Mazda representatives in charge of the J-ABC program and three AAT promotion representatives serve as facilitators in conducting activities alongside seven local suppliers. As the contribution of the activities under this program to improving quality, productivity and cost performance has been gradually gaining recognition among other suppliers, the number of participating suppliers has reached nine to date in 2016. This program is designed to have each supplier envision an ideal, understand and analyze the present situation, develop and implement measures for improvement toward realizing said ideal, and finally report the results. It is carried out twice a year.
The A-ABC conference is held annually, to encourage communications and information exchange among participants. The representative of the supplier that won the highest prize at the conference gives a presentation on the supplier’s activities at the J-ABC conference held in October. Three representatives who had served as leaders of the activities gave confident presentations in front of an audience of around 300 including managers of Japanese companies including Mazda and the J-ABC promotion members.
A-ABC conference in Thailand
M-ABC activities in Mexico
Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operation (MMVO) launched the M-ABC (Mexico Achieve Best Cost) program in 2015. One Mazda representative in charge of the J-ABC program and two MMVO promotion representatives serve as facilitators in promoting activities in cooperation with two local suppliers.
The first results-reporting meeting was held in March 2016, where achievements leading to stable quality and stable supply were presented.
With two suppliers newly joining in May 2016, four suppliers are presently conducting activities. Local promotion members are called national staff. National staff members are encouraged to autonomously and independently operate the program.
To this end, Japanese management of MMVO and its suppliers are making joint efforts to facilitate autonomous operation.
M-ABC activity in Mexico