Hiroyuki Kai
President
JATCO Mexico (JMEX)
/
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Transmissions from Nissan Subsidiary in High Demand

Mon, 09/01/2014 - 17:42

Q: What propelled the decision to invest US$220 million dollars in a new Mexican plant exclusively to serve Nissan?

A: Mexico is a country that is more than capable of supplying high technology products to main automotive markets. Nissan has been steadily allocating more investment to the American vehicle market and JATCO, as part of Nissan Group, has been able to add an additional annual production capacity of 400,000 continuously variable transmissions (CVT) by using a second site for JMEX, our Mexican arm. This will allow us to support additional new production capacity and to match demand in both America and Europe for four-cylinder vehicle models, mainly the Nissan Altima.

Q: What investments are you making into R&D to meet continuing demand for the most innovative technology?

A: JATCO’s high technology for CVT has seen the adoption of a new CVT generation called CVT8-ARO/ASO and CVT7 APZ. New additional products are also to be adopted by the end of 2014 for Nissan’s hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). In Mexico and outside, JATCO’s global volume capacity has been increased by over 30% due to new vehicle launches such as the new Rogue and Altima in America and Europe. We have become highly skilled in developing ecological CVT products and it is our plan to integrate high technology products in vehicles that can perform at a high level of fuel efficiency such as the Infiniti JX.

 

Q: How has JATCO’s developed its supply of products and services for the Mexican market?

A: JATCO Global has identified and evaluated suppliers both worldwide and locally in Mexico. We are aiming to ensure all our suppliers conduct quality operations by auditing them through our SQA team in order to meet our high standards. After evaluation, suppliers should be powered up and have the capacity to follow ANPQ Automotive standards in order to be fully validated. After the standards have been launched and adopted, we monitor performance on a monthly basis for each supplier according to our balanced scorecards.

Q: How does Mexico’s attractiveness as a manufacturing base differ in comparison with your operations elsewhere?

A: Highly qualified labor is one of the main requirements to ensure JATCO’s high technology products, and it is important for us to see a steady stream of highly skilled personnel from local universities ready to work with us. Aguascalientes’ geographic location in Mexico allows us to meet competitive costs in the logistics operations for NAFTA supplied parts from our local partners. Good road communication networks also ensure the on-time arrival of parts and allow continuity of manufacturing processes for our customers.

Q: How is JATCO differentiating itself as competition in the industry increases?

A: Higher demand by our main local customer Nissan has given us the opportunity to grow our manufacturing capacity locally. This has always been a steady source of growth for us, which our competition cannot match. At the same time, new potential customers are turning their eyes to Mexico’s automotive manufacturing capacities to meet their future growth requirements and we stand ready to serve them.

Q: How are the dynamics of the industry changing as suppliers take a larger role in driving product design?

A: The automotive industry is looking for high fuel efficiency, a comfortable driving experience, and environmentally friendly products. JATCO is fully ready to produce and support these kinds of components. We want to keep meeting industry demands and to provide the right volume of products. We are therefore committed to meeting and promoting suppliers willing to change and improve their processes to comply with quality and environmental policies.

Q: What are JATCO’s expansion plans for Mexico for the immediate future?

A: JMEX has already built an additional 62,500m2 of production space. We also have developed a warehouse for parts and shipping and are considering a new case sub-assembly line. All these areas represent an additional 700 new employees to cover the annual capacity of 400,000 annual CVT units. This will make JMEX capable of meeting up to 1.7 million CVT units annually from 2014 onwards.