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.
Had the pleasure to accompany Ben and clients on the 2007 Lean Japan Tour. I had worked with many Japanese, ASEAN, UK and US firms and as such have participated in benchmarking assignments and tours of their operations. Some involved attending and presenting at various strategy, productivity and quality management conferences. In that context, I…
The whole tour was very professionally undertaken and led. Paul and Ben have to be congratulated for putting together a very informative and very enjoyable experience. The itinerary was excellent and to see from the raw material all the way through the supply chain through to the finished product was superb. I loved the thought…
I am now back in the office in rainy Seattle and wanted to say a huge thank you, once again for making the lean tour such an enjoyable learning experience. There are so many valuable learnings and enriching experiences that I am looking forward to sharing with my team and colleagues here in the coming days. I…
I highly recommend the Lean Japan Tour – it provided a very good insight, was well organised and is led by guys who are clearly very passionate for lean and Japan.
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…
Amazing Tour. Great experience to see and share with Japanese managers. I learned a lot about their culture, their way to think, to work and to improve by themselves. Great moments during training and after work. Thanks a lot. We will return back home with a new eye and mindset.
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.