Japan
Automobile
Manufacturers
Association, Inc.

Issue No. 2, 2007

The 9th JAMA/CLEPA Business Conference

Inaugurated in Paris in 1995, the 9th JAMA/CLEPA Business Conference was held in Dresden on 22-25 May 2007.

JAMA Purchasing Committee Chairman Masaya Yamashita (of Honda Motor Co.) delivered the first opening speech, observing that the Treaty of Rome, which launched what is today the European Union, turns fifty this year.  He welcomed the fact that many participants, including those from the new EU Member States, were attending the conference for the first time in this anniversary year.

On the topic of globalisation, Mr Yamashita noted that Japanese auto manufacturers' overseas production was on track to exceed domestic production in the near future. Citing the latest figures on JAMA members' production activities in the EU, he underlined their constant efforts to expand local parts procurement from and in cooperation with CLEPA member suppliers—efforts which have resulted in a steady growth in purchase value.  Yamashita reiterated JAMA members’ strategy to produce vehicles in their customers' home markets and to purchase parts and materials wherever their own production operations are based.

In regard to environmental protection, Mr Yamashita pointed to the conflicting requirements of "our demand for increased mobility and the need to reduce our environmental impact."  To address this situation, advances will need to be made in exhaust-emissions, diesel-engine and weight-reduction technologies, he said, paying tribute to CLEPA members for their success in continuously addressing technical challenges in order to contribute to greater environmental responsibility.  Finally, Yamashita underlined the importance of further strengthening the JAMA/CLEPA partnership through "continuous and multiple communications globally."

jama-clepa conferenceIn his opening speech, Mr Giuliano Zucco, President of CLEPA, explained that Dresden had been selected as the host city for the current JAMA/CLEPA Conference in view of its proximity to crucial new markets and production bases in, for example, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Referring to both the opportunities and difficulties presented by ever-expanding globalisation within the automotive industry, Mr Zucco stated that to date, the joint conferences between JAMA and CLEPA have been successful in providing an effective platform for sharing problems, overcoming challenges, and increasing competitiveness.

However, the EU's goal of halving the number of road fatalities will require increased efforts in research and development to introduce advanced vehicle safety systems, Mr Zucco said.  He also asserted that human resources are amongst the most critical factors for future success and that there is therefore a need to develop those resources further, based on constructive cooperation with the relevant government entities and the industry's "speaking with one voice".

The 10th JAMA/CLEPA Business Conference is scheduled to be held in autumn of 2008.