Special Coverage

Management Briefing Seminars

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – As part of an extensive drive to boost quality and reduce costs, Nissan North America Inc. is taking a hard look at logistics in its U.S. operations, a senior NNA executive says during a speech at the Management Briefings Seminars here.

Yuuichi Mabuchi, vice president of NNA’s Value Network Organization, says the initiative comes under the auto maker’s global 5-year Nissan GT 2012 plan, as it rolls out 60 new models and five major new technologies.

In an interview following his speech to attendees, Mabuchi says NNA is in the process of moving a brake component outsourced to Mexico back to Smyrna, TN. The part already was being manufactured at Smyrna, and shipping Mexican parts some 1,500 miles (2,410 km) added both cost and complexity.

NNA also discovered it had duplicate sequencing of Altima consoles. Its in-house supplier, Calsonic Kansei North America Inc., was duplicating the assembly sequence set up by NNA, resulting in unnecessary complexity and requiring re-sequencing, Mabuchi says.

In an additional effort to improve logistics and quality, NNA is locating more suppliers within its Smyrna complex.

“We have four or five now and expect to have more,” Mabuchi says.

Besides Calsonic Kansei, others include manufacturers of brake components and stampings.