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.
I attended the Shinka Management / Ai Group / JMAC Lean Japan Study Tour in 2010 – outstanding, highly recommended. (I don’t have this much fun when I go on holiday.) To see the cultural home of Lean Manufacturing is an experience you will never forget. Ride on a bullet train, walk the factory floor…
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…
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.
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…
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…
The Lean Japan Tour was the best lean management experience I have had. I wish I had done this earlier, so I could have done some things differently. One learns that some aspects of lean that one thought one knew, really have a different dimension to them. It helps to see lean management where it…
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.