- 桃山学院大学経済経営論集 (ISSN:02869721)
- vol.57, no.4, pp.83-128, 2016-03-22
Mazda Motor Corporation (referred as Mazda below) is an automotive company performing steady production activities with local suppliers in Hiroshima. Recently, Mazda's products and technologies have been highly appreciated, and obtained a number of awards. Although Mazda is not so rich in management resources compared to the leading car manufacturers, it has been performing continuous innovation, and improving product quality. In this paper, after introducing Mazda's company overview and history, production systems, innovation of development and production, some characteristics of the development-production systems are analyzed. Firstly, its development-production systems rigorously pursue economy of integration. The integration among departments by information technology realized company-wide information sharing, and enhanced quality and productivity. Concurrent engineering in collaboration with suppliers also enhanced them. Further, collaboration activities of development and production with other automotive manufacturers had strengthened advantages and reinforced weaknesses of each company. Secondly, Mazda's production system is lean.It has set basic principles to pursue `just-on-time' and `quality assurance in each process'. Additionally, it uses `sequence production system linked to order,' that is, if operators disturbs a sequence of operation, they have to stop the line, discover the problem, and make an improvement. The flexible production systems consisting lines with mixed-item production capability, as well as separate but homogeneous lines, support its lean production. Thirdly, Mazda has a solid foundation to generate new technology. Mazda 787B was the first Japanese car that achieved an overall victory at the 59th 24 heures du Mans endurance race in 1991. Mazda also succeeded in developing the first rotary engine in the world, which evolved to more advanced RENESIS engine in the 2000s, and it was highly praised both within Japan as well as abroad. SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY evolved from Mazda's base technology broke through the limitation of human and financial resources compared to much bigger competitors by selection and concentration. Fourthly, there is clear uniformity in its brand image. Since the brand message "Zoom-Zoom" and DNA of brand that is expressed as `stylish' `insightful' `spirited', are used for long time and well represent the characteristics of Mazda, they have contributed to establish a clear image of Mazda vehicles. The concept of `Soul of Motion' proposed in 2010 as design theme, is adopted for all the Mazda vehicles equipped SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, and strengthened the unification of the design. Although there are still some challenges in development and production systems, it is concluded that Mazda's inter-organizational concurrent collaborations is a successful case for medium-sized automotive manufacturers.