Subaru – Factory Tour
Subaru Corporation (formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries) is one of Japan’s globally renowned car manufacturers. Aside from the automotive manufacturing business, they also have an aerospace business and make aircraft and structural components which represents almost five percent of their revenue.
- Company: Subaru Corporation
- Foundation: 1953
- Location: Headquartered in Tokyo
- Main Business: Automotive and aerospace manufacturing
Subaru Corporation – Lean Characteristics
Labor Effectiveness, One-Piece Flow Production
Subaru operates two final assembly plants very close to each other in Ota City in Gunma, Japan, and one in Indiana, USA. It produces over one million vehicles from these three facilities per annum with approximately 70% produced in Japan and 30% produced in the USA. Despite this, only 20 percent of their revenue was generated within Japan – meaning their export strategy is key to their success.
The tour will take us through the press, body (weld) and final assembly shops. This is an impressive plant for its labor effectiveness in final assembly (high value-add), its level of automation in the body shop, and the pure size of the press shop.
There is a one-day buffer of parts between the press shop and body shop due to the lot production method used in the press shop, but everything after that is one-piece flow production through the support of its network of component suppliers.
If you have embarked on a lean journey The Lean Study Tour should be on your bucket list! It was inspiring to see the Toyota Production System in action as a management system, as well as the small improvements made day in and day out by dedicated and motivated teams all striving to continuously improve.…
I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the November 2013 tour. I learned so much about Japanese culture and TPS. Despite coming from the IT industry, I was able to gain valuable insights on the philosophy and principles of Lean that I can apply in my industry. Ben and Paul are top-notch guides. Their wealth of…
During the Lean Japan Tour I came to the realization that improving an organization is not through large capital investments alone. We were completely surrounded by examples of minor investments into small improvements that produced significant savings. The clever use of visual management techniques gave a clear understanding of the current situation and Ben who…
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.
I highly recommend the Lean Study Tour of Japan as an experience not to be missed. Having attended the tour for the past three years, supporting our clients, I have come away with new learnings every time. Whether you are new to Lean Thinking or well into your Lean Journey you will undoubtedly have an…
It was an excellent tour – professionally run and well executed. The companies selected implemented lean at a high degree. The passion they exhibited in sharing their lean journey was very inspiring. I have learned new strategies to bring home to implement. A time well spent.
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.