Nissan stays ahead of the supply chain curve

By Freddie Pierce
Car manufacturers in Japan have suffered as much as any industry due to supply chain problems caused by the Japan disaster. Toyota and Honda were force...

Car manufacturers in Japan have suffered as much as any industry due to supply chain problems caused by the Japan disaster.

Toyota and Honda were forced to cut back production in India because of supply problems, while Lexus lost its luxury car market share to BMW and Mercedes-Benz earlier this year.

We haven’t seen too much on Nissan, however, and that’s probably a credit to the carmaker’s supply chain flexibility.

“Nissan was one of the companies which has responded the fastest and in the most efficient way to what happened after the earthquake,” Nisan CEO Carlos Ghosn said.

“This is obviously…due to many people inside the company who are engaged in the company and reacted very quickly, and in a way that is very cross-functionaly and cross-regional in order to limit the damage of this natural disaster.”

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Immediately following the earthquake and tsunami, Nissan’s staff gathered at the company’s global logistics hub in Yokohama to sort out part allocation and manage other supply chain difficulties.

Many in the auto industry view Ghosn’s key ability is maintaining Nissan’s flexible supply chain approach.

“We are the benchmark here,” Ghosn said. “I’ve seen on many key indicators with other companies that we are at the top level in terms of productivity, in terms of cost, (and) in terms of speed.”

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