The JAMA-CLEPA Business ConferenceEight consecutive successes and a stronger partnership!
The 8th JAMA-CLEPA Business Conference took place on 7-10 November in Torino (Italy). The conference was opened by Mr Toru Onda, JAMA’s Purchasing Committee chairman, who reflected on 40 years of production in Europe by Japanese manufacturers.
Today JAMA members have 17 production facilities in 10 EU countries, which highlights the commitment of Japanese manufacturers to establish an even stronger relationship with their European suppliers. It also illustrates 10 years of continuous growth: production volume in the EU reached 1.3 million units in 2004 (or 2.1 times the production volume in 1994) and the value of EU parts purchases was 2.7 times that of 1995 (amounting to over €10 billion). As highlighted by Mr Onda, this would not have been possible without establishing a strong relationship with CLEPA members who have contributed significantly to this achievement.
One of the key messages in Mr Onda’s address concerned the expectations of Japanese manufacturers on how to build stronger ties with European suppliers. He outlined those expectations from three perspectives: quality, cost competitiveness and R&D.
Another topic discussed related to the need to pay close attention to consumer requirements. Japanese manufacturers are continuously trying to enhance R&D in the EU so as to meet the very diverse requirements of European consumers. This has translated into 14 R&D centres which employ over 2,500 engineers who support suppliers. And while there are many attributes to Japanese vehicles that determine the competitiveness of Japanese brands, environmental and safety performance are at the top of the list. These two factors are vital for a sustainable and global development of the automotive industry.
A strong message delivered by JAMA is that high environmental and safety standards are not solely aimed at meeting regulatory requirements. If the benefits of mobility, as provided by JAMA members, are going to be available to a larger segment of the world’s population (currently 12%), improved safety and environmental performance are both a prerequisite. JAMA therefore believes that the most important role of mobility providers, and associated suppliers, is to provide solutions which take into account safety and the environment on a global scale.
With regard to automotive environmental performance, Mr Onda pointed out that the Kyoto Protocol and the targets set within that context provide one of the central frameworks for automakers to accelerate their activities to reduce greenhouse emissions. With regard to safety, automakers will continue to improve their products from the standpoint of both ‘active’ and ‘passive’ safety.
As was highlighted during the conference, JAMA members are therefore aiming to build closer relations with their suppliers in order to provide innovative technologies that will make Japanese vehicles safer and more environmentally efficient. They expect suppliers not only to work with them to achieve these goals, but also to strengthen operations management so as to achieve the highest level of sustainable QCD.