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 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…
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.
I would highly recommend the tour to anyone who is in the business of improving people. The ideas stimulated through this tour have helped me reform our entire vision of what improvement means for our business.
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…
Personally and professionally I found the week extraordinarily rewarding – not only as a fantastic Lean Japan Tour but as a cultural experience not to be missed. Imagine if you will… taking a group of people you had never met before, under your wing, in one of the most crowded cities in the world. Plenty…
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 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.