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 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…
A high quality, professional and first-hand experience of how just-in-time and lean are mastered. Great for professional development and a genuine motivator to go further using the lean tools available. A marvelous cultural experience.
One of the best weeks of my life. It has changed the way I see my production facility forever!
This tour was recommended to me by our VP Operations who undertook the tour the previous year. Both Ben and Paul provided an excellent tour of the Japanese manufacturing industry and the program was both well run and highly focused towards the practical implementation of lean strategies. There were plenty of opportunities to ask questions…
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…
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…
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.