Gifu Auto Body – Factory Tour
Gifu Auto Body is one of the 13 Toyota final assembly plants in Japan. They were established as a truck body maker in 1940 to supply military trucks for Toyota. The company today mainly produces the Toyota HiAce van and Coaster bus and consistently receives the Toyota award for quality within the group.
- Company: Gifu Auto Body
- Foundation: 1940
- Location: Gifu Prefecture
- Main Business: Automotive manufacturing
Gifu Auto Body – Lean Characteristics
TPS, Jidoka, Just-In-Time Production, 5S, TPM
Gifu Auto Body is one of the 13 Toyota final assembly plants in Japan and consistently receives the Toyota award for quality within the group. Their major product is the Toyota HiAce vehicle (they also manufacture emergency vehicles based on the HiAce design), and more recently in 2017 they also started manufacturing the Toyota Coaster bus.
Gifu Auto Body refers to their system as the Good Production System (GPS), but it is nothing but an excellent example of the Toyota Production System (TPS) at work.
The Shinka Management team includes three former managers from Gifu Auto Body, including Akinori Hyodo, a former factory manager and director of the plant. The visit provides a comprehensive and operator-level view of factory operations, coupled with insights from our Japanese senior consultants based on their 30+ years experience working in the plant. There are examples of electric kanban systems, just-in-time delivery, customized equipment and poka-yoke.
Gifu Auto Body has a clever use of space throughout the plant. This has been required over the years due to the expansion of operations within building size limitations. The life of older equipment has been extended considerably through 5S and TPM programs.
As I have had a previous unpleasant experience with lean training, I was worried about how much I could gain from this tour. At the end of this magnificent experience I can confirm that Shinka Management has exceeded my expectations. They are so organized, dedicated, helpful and generous. The tour was based on very-well known…
I had several projects that I had been procrastinating on. They seemed too big, too complicated and I was actually struggling to know where to start. Without a word of a lie, after the first day I came back to my hotel room and wrote up the backbone of my strategy using the skills I…
Dear Paul, Ben and Eri, We would just like to take a moment to thank you for such a wonderful tour. You exceeded all our expectations for a week long journey – from your very professional approach and even more personal service. The week was extremely insightful, and we could not stop talking about what…
I personally believe that understanding of Lean as the holistic concept and Lean instruments is necessary for all the managers in any business. Shinka Management introduced for us the origins of Lean Production and provided a great opportunity to observe real companies where TPS principles are both implemented and being polished daily. Important parts of…
Businesses need every weapon at their disposal to help compete in a global market. This tour opens up more ideas and opportunities and is highly recommended to manufacturers, engineering or service related industries. Everyone can learn something on this tour! Paul and Ben have done a marvelous job of putting together an action-packed week, which…
Wow. What a great experience not just from a learning perspective but also a great cultural experience as well. From the start the group came together really well. It was a perfect mix of practical and theory, and to gain an insight into the Toyota Production System and see it in action at all the…
The Shinka Management Lean Japan Tour is a professional development program run several times annually. The program includes a mix of lean and kaizen seminars, hands-on lean training and visits to several benchmark lean companies. For further information and program dates, see the lean tour overview page.