The 19th Regular Seminar ended.
The University Of Kitakyushu, Center for Chinese Business Studies
The Kitakyushu Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The 19th Regular Seminar
Theme：Fortune-telling the future of the Asian supply chain ~Based on the influence of Corona and trends in China
Speaker： Mr. Akira Imai, Chief of Global Business Headquarters, Nissan Trading Co., Ltd.
Commentator： Mr. Toshinori Nomura, Representative of Nomura Professional Engineer Office
Date： Oct. 17, 2020
Place： Mainichi Seibu Kaikan Kitakyushu
The 19th Regular Seminar was held under the theme of “Predicting the Future of Supply Chains in Asia: In Consideration of the Impact of COVID-19 and Trends in China,” with Mr. Akira IMAI as lecturer. In his long career, Mr. Imai has been in charge of controlling materials procurement in the global logistics department of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and also served as senior director at its overseas subsidiaries.
His lecture was based on his wide experience at the business frontline and was made up of three parts: 1. Approaches of automotive manufacturers in consideration of industrial and social structures and energy policies of China as Nissan Motor’s major production base in Asia; 2. The trend towards increasing the production of NEVs, New Energy Vehicles and introducing AI to manufacturing; 3. The restructuring movement of supply chains with a view to the impact of COVID-19 and its effect. He pointed out the risk of excessive concentration of production functions in China caused by the pandemic of the novel corona virus, with some production facilities being transferred to other Asian regions for the purpose of diversification along with a movement to encourage the return of production sites to home countries. However, he also indicated the reality in which manufacturers have a dilemma over how to nurture their suppliers and retain local markets, and how they respond to the situation.
Mr. Toshinori NOMURA, a representative of Nomura Professional Engineer Office served as commentator in the seminar. He made comments from the perspectives of marketing and competitive strategy (4Ps and 3Cs). He mentioned that 1. The best site location needs to be considered based on market size, stability of social systems, international trade policy, social infrastructure, accumulation of technologies and availability of labor force and 2. The product characteristic will be shifted from integral-type vehicles that need the technique of experts to modular-type NEVs because of their lower barriers to entry. He also said that the business prospect without Chinese market may be difficult and the shortage of labor force will be problematic when the manufacturing sites return to Japan.
During a break and in the Q&A session, we had pointed questions and multi-angled opinions from many audiences and Mr. Imai responded to them with great care. On behalf of the organizers, Professor Kazunari KUDO, Dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration opened the seminar and Professor WANG Xiao-ping, Director of CCBS summed up the seminar with closing remarks. The seminar was concluded in a very successful manner.