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Students Visit Mitsubishi Motors Powertrain Plant in Kyoto

Updated Jun. 3, 2016
On May 23, students enrolled in Professor Sadoi’s Knowledge and Innovation Management course visited the Mitsubishi Motors Powertrain Plant in Kyoto.

Mitsubishi Motors has recently been in the news for a fuel-economy scandal, it was discovered in April of this year that the company has been misrepresenting the fuel economy of its small cars sold in Japan. The visit by Global MBA students came shortly after it was announced that Nissan will become the major shareholder of Mitsubishi Motors in response to their recent financial troubles due to this scandal. Students had the opportunity to hear directly from managing staff of the plant about the hardships the company is currently facing.

The visit began with an overview of the plant's products and processes, followed by a factory tour and question and answer session with company executives.

The Kyoto Powertrain Plant maintains a high production volume for engines for export and there was a detailed explanation during the factory tour about the aluminum casting of the engine’s core – the cylinder block and cylinder head – as well as about the machining process and engine assembly.

The Director of the Kyoto Powertrain Plant, Mr. Yoshitaka Akamatsu, General Manager of Production Department, Mr. Masanori Hisamatsu, and Manager of the Human Resource Development Department, Mr. Shinsaku Ariyoshi answered questions students submitted in advance as well as on-the-spot questions, covering topics such as the current status of technology transfer to overseas plants and its related challenges, examples of kaizen, innovation efforts, and human resource development. Regarding the anticipated impact of the move under Nissan, the Director started the conversation by asking students, “What would you think if you were in my position?” and students had an opportunity to exchange ideas about the situation.

Students were able to learn much from the kind and thorough explanations and direct exchanges with executives, especially as this visit came at a time when the company is focusing on production and maintaining product quality as it faces the challenges brought on by the recent scandal.

On behalf of the entire Doshisha Business School and the Global MBA program, we would like to offer our sincere thanks to Mr. Yoshitaka Akamatsu , Mr. Masanori Hisamatsu, and Mr. Shinsaku Ariyoshi, and the staff of the Powertrain Plant for taking time to provide this opportunity for our students.