From Asia Pulse
BANGKOK — Autoparts maker Denso Corp.’s Thai unit will work to improve quality while lowering the cost of its products, President Shinji Takeuchi of Denso (Thailand) Co. told The Nihon Keizai Shimbun daily newspaper.
The launch of Toyota Motor Corp.’s Innovative International Multi-purpose Vehicle project, in which it produces common automobile models overseas and exports them around the world, is expected to have an impact on the way autoparts makers operate in Southeast Asia.
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun asked Takeuchi about how the IMV project will affect Denso’s operations and plant management.
The following are excerpts from the interview:
Q: How has Denso’s business management changed as a result of the IMV project?
A: We had to radically change our business management in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region in order to improve quality and lower production costs.
First, we consolidated production of certain products to certain countries, such as alternators to Thailand and spark plugs to Indonesia, and stopped making them in other countries. We established a structure in which we supply those parts to each other.
We have started producing 12 different parts in the ASEAN region for the IMV project, bringing the total to 45. Sales in Thailand are expected to jump 120 percent from the 2003 figure to about $766 million in 2005.
Q: What have you done to improve quality?
A: We strive to become the best in the world, to surpass not only European and U.S. production sites, but Japanese sites as well. The reason we detached the quality control segments of eight plants owned by six group firms in Thailand and integrated them into a new company was to bring them into step to improve quality.
And with Toyota’s cooperation, we introduced the automaker’s production methods at each of our plants.
–Interviewed by Nikkei staff writer Ryoichi Emura.
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