The hottest Yokohama rubber, we won't rush

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Yokohama rubber: we will not be too hasty

"we will not be too hasty, and we will make practical development step by step"

-- an interview with Yoshima shinima, chairman of Yokohama rubber (China) Co., Ltd.

"what is Yokohama rubber like in your mind?" after the opening dialogue, Yoshima shinima, chairman of Yokohama rubber (China) Co., Ltd., who took office in July 2010, asked the visiting business week very politely 。

as the seventh largest tire and rubber manufacturer in the world, Yokohama rubber mainly has two businesses: Yokohama (Yokohama) tires and diversified rubber products (MB). Compared with the tire giants such as Miying and Bridgestone, Yokohama rubber established its first radial tire factory for cars in China in 2001. Although it did not take the lead, the timing was just right. In 2009, China surpassed the United States to become the world's largest auto production and marketing market, but it is still a country with a relatively low number of cars per capita. According to the statistics of European rubber magazine, China is the country that attracts the most investment among the world's major tire enterprises with an investment budget of more than 8billion US dollars in 2010, with a total amount of more than 3billion US dollars

Yokohama rubber obviously cannot miss this opportunity. In the past five years, the sales growth rate of original tires and replacement tires of Yokohama rubber China has exceeded the average level of the industry. In addition to the fourth phase expansion and new plant of Hangzhou factory, they also sent the vice president of the company this time. Keinan shinjima, with slightly white hair, has worked in Yokohama rubber for 35 years, 32 of which have been engaged in sales related work. During his stay in the United States, he doubled his sales in four years and built it into the second largest market of Yokohama rubber

BusinessWeek: what have you done since you came to China in July 2010? Compared with the U.S. and Japanese markets, what characteristics do you think the Chinese market has? What strategies and tactics are you going to adopt

Yoshima shinjima: in addition to being the head of Yokohama rubber China, as the vice president of the company, I also have to deal with some non China Affairs of the company. Therefore, I only have about 15 days in China every month. In this way, I have been in China for only more than two months since July. I spend 80% of my time on market research. From Harbin and Urumqi in the northernmost to Kunming in the southernmost, I have now visited different agents in 17 provinces, cities and autonomous regions of China. In this process, I gradually formed some understanding

in terms of products, there are places where it snows in winter in Japan, as well as places where it doesn't snow at all, such as Okinawa and Kyushu. Therefore, in Japan, we sell summer tires and winter tires in principle. Although it snows in the United States, the snow removal work in the United States is very good. Therefore, we sell all-weather tires in the United States. China combines the situation of Japan and the United States. We sell all-weather tires, summer tires and winter tires from cathode to battery to vehicle system to echelon utilization and then to raw material recycling

in face-to-face chat with agents and consumers, they told me that "Yokohama (Yokohama) is a high-performance tire". China is already the world's largest auto sales country, and for them, the original tires of new cars are the first to be used. Therefore, we should actively improve the matching rate and further expand the supporting products on the basis of ensuring the existing matching rate with our technology. Most consumers who use the original tires will buy replacement tires of the same brand

in terms of sales channels, in Japan, we participate in the operation of retail stores, and we have many direct stores. The division of labor in the U.S. market is very detailed. We are not directly engaged in tire sales. I am responsible for working with the two largest tire sales companies in the United States. In China, because retail stores are not strong enough, we wholesale tires to retail stores through provincial dealers. As retail stores directly face consumers, it is a general direction for us to expand the number of retail stores, train them and improve their use of modified plastics in automobiles, including services, which has risen rapidly in recent years

we entered China later than other manufacturers. However, the Chinese market will further develop in the future. Its potential is very attractive to us, so we will not rush. We will develop step by step and build a high-quality sales network

for ordinary consumers, a tire is a round black object. They don't know how to choose different tires according to the purpose of the car, weather and road conditions. Therefore, it is the responsibility of our retail stores to properly explain and educate customers. We focus on improving the level of retail stores so that they can really win customer satisfaction in the sales process. We are making a training plan. First, we will instill the service concept into the provincial dealers at the top of the network, and then pass it on to the lower level retailers step by step, so that all links in the chain can be unified. We also plan to gradually establish an interview system with consumers at the Chinese retail end to listen to customers' opinions, and then the company will make comments based on the feedback, so as to effectively improve the products and gain customers' trust

BusinessWeek: you just mentioned that it will develop step by step in China. In addition to building a perfect sales network, what work will you do in production and logistics with Yokohama style

Yoshima shinjima: speaking of production scale, we are the seventh largest in the world. This is the production scale formulated in combination with the sales volume of Yokohama rubber. Too large or too small production volume will cause trouble, and our current scale is the appropriate scale for our sales volume

compared with other companies, our advantage is to adopt the "small-scale production method", which can increase the production volume by adding production modules on a small scale in combination with the growth of sales. For example, we can start production with a daily production capacity of 2000 tires for cars and 1000 tires for trucks and buses. Other companies, even small-scale ones, start with a daily output of 5000 or 10000. This means that compared with them, we can build the plant and put it into production with the least risk. In addition, we can expand the production scale in stages according to the growth of sales. In short, if you need 4000 tires per day, you only need to add another tire production module for cars. This is actually a very simple production system

our factories in Japan and China are adopting the "small-scale production method". From the perspective of investment, the cost corresponding to the number of pieces produced per unit in this method will certainly be higher than that of large-scale production, but we can reduce the investment risk, and we can gradually expand production with a small amount of investment each time, which is conducive to entering the overseas market with low risk together with automobile manufacturers. Therefore, we develop and promote this production system

specifically, in China, our current production capacity is 3million pieces a year, and the production can no longer meet 100% of the sales. Our Hangzhou factory is also expanding now, and the annual production capacity will reach 5.1 million after the expansion is completed. But even so, in the next two to three years, it will gradually fail to keep up with sales, so we are actually planning to build a new factory and are currently choosing a site

in terms of logistics, our most basic principle is the "just in time" (JIT) principle to minimize inventory. It is very important for factories to produce the products they need when they need them. We are now doing the process analysis of logistics in the Chinese market, and will speed up the connection between production and sales as soon as possible. In Japan, we can deliver the goods the day after the order is placed in the sales store. Of course, this has something to do with the small size of Japan. No matter in the United States, Japan or China, the improvement of logistics is endless. We must continue to carry out improvement activities

BusinessWeek: Yokohama rubber grew up with Japanese car companies such as Toyota and Honda. What have you learned in your cooperation with them? Now the whole world is emphasizing environmental protection and energy conservation and emission reduction. How did you achieve similar goals

Yoshima shinjima: Yokohama has a long history of cooperation with Japanese automobile manufacturers, which have very strict requirements on fuel consumption and tire weight for a long time. Therefore, in order to meet the requirements of manufacturers, our tires are relatively light, but this does not damage the safety of tires

do you know the inner lining? In order to prevent tire leakage, there is a rubber sheet inside the tire. We have developed a plastic material, which can become as thin as film after use, and the thickness is only 1/10 of the previous, but the performance of preventing air leakage has been improved. Lighter tire weight means less raw materials and lower cost. At the same time, it can also reduce the weight of cars and save fuel. Therefore, tire lightweight is a principle we have always adhered to

in principle, we will give priority to environmental protection in all our businesses. Because our product lineup is very large, we use many kinds of rubber. For example, we now use 10 kinds of rubber, but we are actively reducing these 10 kinds to 7 or 6 kinds through experiments and research and development, which reduces the types of rubber, so as to improve usability and reduce costs

now there are many hybrid electric vehicles and electric vehicles in the automotive industry. Toyota and Honda have invested actively. We have provided matching tires for Toyota and Honda's hybrid Prius and insight in Japan. At the same time, we also do experimental electric vehicles to study tires suitable for electric vehicles. I once saw an electric car race, and there was almost no sound at the scene, so I felt a little lonely

BusinessWeek: how do you view the Chinese market and what are your plans

Jinan shinjima: it is certain that China's automotive industry is developing rapidly, and the sales of products related to the automotive industry will increase. As the main force of our MB products, the sales of sealing materials and rubber hoses will also increase. In terms of tires, we need to balance the development of original tires and replacement tires in the future

we will improve brand competitiveness in the high-end market. First of all, our technical ability can ensure that we can protect the performance of our sensors and meet the conditions for competition in the high-end market. At the same time, we will carry out various activities to improve the brand image, which will produce a superimposed effect and ultimately play a great role in improving the brand image. Now, we actively participate in car racing, actively develop and improve technologies related to environmental protection, and maintain and improve our share in the high-end market. The best proof of this ability is that we provide original tires not only for all Japanese auto manufacturers, but also for high-end cars in Europe

note: the reprinted content is indicated with the source. The reprint is for the purpose of transmitting more information, and does not mean to agree with its views or confirm the authenticity of its content

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