Nissan is developing corporate activities centered on automobile manufacturing based on our vision of "enriching people's lives." In order for cars, which provide mobility, to truly become reliable partners for our customers, a number of issues including global environmental issues, traffic accidents and congestion problems must be tackled as part of a long-term vision. To realize our vision, Nissan is developing technologies based on a framework called the "Orchard" concept.
Technical development encompasses a wide range of elements. It is necessary to think about how we will look at technology development and formulate strategies and plans for such development. For example, there are various technologies ranging from ones we wish to introduce onto the market right away, to basic ones that are developed slowly over time. The "Orchard" concept is an overall construct that allows us to think about these various technologies in a comprehensive manner.
Nissan must have its own distinct value so that customers will choose Nissan cars. When combined, our activities to produce such value can be likened to the management of a fruit orchard in which "fruit" is planted and raised. The process is defined as having the following three phases.
1. Harvest Plan
First, we develop a plan for commercializing the technology. We clarify the value the technology holds for the target customers, who have been clearly defined based on the technology's performance and functions, as well as the time frame for the provision of the technology. We are not developing technology simply for technology's sake. We must formulate plans in conjunction with social needs and market demands in order to provide in a timely fashion value that pleases customers.
2. Seeding & Growth
Next, we plan the strategy and implementation that will make the Harvest Plan a reality. We specify what elemental technologies are needed in order to make the Harvest Plan a reality and form strategies for developing them quickly and at a high level of quality. We plan and implement partnerships with universities and suppliers, lobby government officials, establish new organizations and structures, make regular progress reviews, and continuously improve the technology after it has been introduced.
3. Soil Enrichment
This phase includes fundamental technologies and basic research, which are required competencies for continuing to create value in the long term. Some examples are technologies that improve reliability, which form the soil of the orchard; analysis and measurement technologies; and material technologies. In order to raise quality in the car manufacturing process, which runs from research and advanced development to car development, it is necessary to enrich the "soil" of the orchard with technology management that covers human resources and intrinsic company processes.
Nissan's "orchard" includes a number of key technology areas, including the environment and safety. We discuss Harvest Plans for each area and plan and develop technologies for each over the mid and long terms.