Theatrum mundito the Extraneous observer could seem that Japanese auto makers have reached in the branch of limits of perfection. They, however, so do not consider. To what the new step undertaken by leading motor-car manufacturers of Japan testifies. It is directed on increase of profitability of manufacture and, accordingly, on increase in competitiveness of Japanese cars in the world market. It is a question about recently accepted by Nissan Motor Co companies. And Honda Motor Co. And the decision supported by another Japanese automobile firms on integration of various models of cars, and also unification of the basic components of cars. This decision can be regarded as cardinal change of economic strategy as up to present time in comparison with motor-car manufacturers of other countries a variety of models let out by them was considered as one of the basic advantages of Japanese.
Automobile firms count that manufacture unification will bring it considerable profits. Nissan Motor Co., For example, assumes within the next three years at the expense of integration of components of cars to receive profits at a rate of 30 mlrd yens (the general profit is planned at a rate of 200 mlrd yens), and at the expense of refusal of the further investments in manufacture expansion - to save from 40 to 50 mlrd yens. Nissan Motor Co. Intend to reduce by March, 1998 number of let out models with 300 to 200. (It is not excluded, what exactly is dictated by it the decision of company management of Nissan to close in 1995 the big car factory in the city of Zama.) Besides, Nissan has refused installation of recently developed engine V - 63,000cc on seven passenger models, among which Terano, Cedric, Gloria and Fairlady Z.
Honda Motor Co. Has begun similar transformations in 1991 and has already reached certain successes. So, in the models started in manufacture in last autumn, 60 % of details are the same, as at earlier models. Within the next three years this company intends to reduce to 25 % quantity of models of cars and vysokotehnichnyh components.
the factor which, undoubtedly, will facilitate carrying out unifikatsionnyh reforms, the system of close connections traditional for Japanese automanufacture with suppliers of accessories is. Their production, as it is known, makes a considerable part of cost of the car (for Toyota firm, for example, this figure makes 75 %). At the company of Toyota of such partners of different size and in different degree connected with the central firm - more than 47 thousand Contacts are arranged as follows: the firm buys the same detail from different suppliers who, in turn, deliver the same production to different automobile firms. And such system is applied by Japanese not only at home, but also at factories belonging to them in Europe where they connect to cooperation of local suppliers. As has noted magazine THE ECONOMIST observer, the structure arranged thus is the flexible economic mechanism which, in particular, allows to carry out large reorganisations of manufacture with smaller costs, than it would be on the centralised manufacture of the western type. Besides, close connections with suppliers allow to agree in case of need with them about change of the prices and thus to compensate losses in other spheres of activity. Honda, for example, recently has addressed to the to 270 Japanese suppliers with the request for reduction of cost of their production on 2 %, (in usual years of suppliers asked to reduce cost by 1 %), to cover the third part of currency losses of the company which, under reports, increase on 3 mlrd yens after each increase of yen.
new change of strategy of Japanese motor-car manufacturers threatens with rather unpleasant consequences for the European automobile firms. It is obvious that Japanese expansion to the European market will sharply amplify, as a number of the Japanese companies (Nissan, Honda, Toyota) already have own manufactures in Britain, others are going to open soon them (Mitsubishi plans to make since 1995 together with Volvo and Renault cars in the Netherlands).