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Konnichiwa Japan!

Konnichiwa Japan!
Mr. Oliver Burkhard with our colleagues from thyssenkrupp Japan.

Tokyo welcomes the arrival of Oliver Burkhard, our Chief Human Resources Officer on his first visit to our new offices in Japan last month.

The trip kicked off with a Townhall Meeting for our employees in Tokyo, where he updated the country on the HR initiatives coming up and emphasized on the importance of health and safety.

Additionally, Mr. Burkhard also took the time to meet with employees in thyssenkrupp Japan. Honest and open discussions about work-life balance and also female representation were encouraged to particularly identify areas for improvement to better meet the needs of its employees.

Mr. Burkhard, accompanied by Dr. Reinhold Achatz, Chief Technology Officer, was also invited to attend workshops and presentations by entrepreneurs at a start-up incubator in Tokyo. It is hoped that we will be inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of the Japanese and attempt to cultivate an environment that encourages innovation.

After the visit, Mr. Burkhard, accompanied by Dr. Schmitt and Mr. Fritsch engaged in discussion with politicians. Areas of focus included the challenges of a changing demographic faced by both countries, as well as the German-Japanese relations ahead of the G7 Summit.

The visit culminated on a high with an office get-together at the Casa.

“Through his interactions, Mr. Burkhard managed to motivate employees by emphasizing the importance of each individual’s contribution in achieving the global recognition that thyssenkrupp has achieved today” said Mr. Boltze, Head of County for Japan. These personal and open interactions with the employees will go a long way in cementing stronger ties and understanding between the two countries, fostering a sense of trust working together as one company.

We’re definitely looking forward to Mr Burkhard’s next visit!

JSAE 2016 - Showcasing our latest innovative technologies in Japan

JSAE 2016
Our booth at the Exhibition Hall in the Pacifico Yokohama, all set-up and ready for the day ahead

It was decidedly upbeat at this year’s Japanese Society of Automotive Engineers Exhibition (JSAE), held between the 25th to the 27th of May. Dubbed as the largest exposition in Japan for automotive engineers, the exhibition - held at the Pacifico Yokohama - displayed the latest technologies of 550 exhibitors worldwide to an overwhelming crowd of 87,000 visitors.

This year, it was all about Innovative Driver Assistance Systems and Autonomous Driving as companies wowed the crowds with their most current designs, littered with new additional features –and thyssenkrupp was no exception.

“The Japanese automotive industry is worldwide known for leading edge technology – thyssenkrupp is well positioned to offer innovative products and discuss state-of-the-art solutions on eye level with our Japanese counterparts,” said Mr. Nikolaus Boltze, CEO and Country Representative of thyssenkrupp Japan.

Our team in Japan presented several products from our Non-InCar and InCar® plus range. Over the years, we have been able to develop designs that give us a competitive advantage. The suspension springs made of ThermoTecWire, for instance, is 20% lighter and shorter than their conventional counterparts, reducing fuel consumption and emissions while increasing space savings at the same time. This, along with our other products proved to be a huge hit with the crowd. Our booth attracted an astounding number of the total visitors at the event, proving to be a great opportunity for increased visibility and market presence.

“As per every year, the event is a cross BA success story, where we jointly exhibit the automotive competence from BA-SE, BA-CT and BA-IS”, said Mr. Boltze. A job well done to all colleagues in thyssenkrupp Japan for another successful exhibition!

A traditional ceremony for our Nippon Roballo Hibiki Plant

A shunkousai (竣工祭), which means “ceremony for the completion of a building”, was held to commemorate the completion of the expansion construction.
A shunkousai (竣工祭), which means “ceremony for the completion of a building”, was held to commemorate the completion of the expansion construction.

In September 2016, Nippon Roballo Co, Ltd representatives and workers from the Hibiki plant in Hibikimachi, Fukuoka, attended a shunkousai (竣工祭), which means “ceremony for the completion of a building”, in commemoration of the completion of our expansion construction.

Shunkousai (竣工祭) is an old Japanese tradition, that has its origin in the 13th century. It is held before and after construction works for buildings are completed. The ceremony involves a Shinto priest making an offering and praying for the building to last long.

In February, a ceremony called jichinsai (地鎮祭) was conducted, when it is done for the beginning of the constructions work. In this ceremony, a Shinto priest prays for the safety of the construction workers and a smooth completion.

The Hibiki plant was expanded by over 1.5 times and 95 employees will be working there. There will be an extended ramp up with the final target reaching full capacity at the end of 2018. The plant will specializes in the production of “Slewing Bearings”, which can be used in various fields such as renewable energies or deck cranes on ships.

Subaru has offered the special suspension kick since 1996

20 years ago, BILSTEIN shock absorbers first became an official extra for the Legacy
20 years ago, BILSTEIN shock absorbers first became an official extra for the Legacy

It does not happen very often that car manufacturers advertise with the name of their supplier. But if they do, they are usually extraordinarily proud of their partner and their special know-how. At Subaru, for example, BILSTEIN suspension options ex works have a tradition among many top sports models.

The second-generation Legacy started 20 years ago in the strongest version with 280 hp – at the time there was officially no more power to be found because of the voluntary self-restriction imposed by the Japanese manufacturer. But fortunately it was very easy to order the extra suspension kick from the official brochure.

Chief Engineer Mr. Tsuchiya even acknowledged this option at the time with its own high-quality plaque at the rear and named it the GT-B variant, where the B stands for BILSTEIN. Since then it has been always possible to find the name BILSTEIN on Subaru adverts, at least in Japan. There, the third, forth and fifth generations of the Legacy could also be ordered with BILSTEIN suspension. Since 2014 the Legacy's successor Levorg is also equipped with BILSTEIN suspension components. From the beginning, Subaru valued the products made in Germany, above all the "stiffness" of the BILSTEIN Upside-Down construction and the transfer of technology from motorsport.

In addition to this, the Japanese BILSTEIN customers are supported on site by its own team. The suspensions are then tested by Subaru on its own test track, whereby the people from Ennepetal equip about 30,000 vehicles ex works every year.

Here in Germany, Subaru has for many years been firmly anchored as a 4-wheel drive brand and the Subaru (Impreza) WRX is considered the ultimate sports machine with rally genes. For this model - as well as for different Legacy generations and other models from the Japanese - BILSTEIN offers the most varied series replacement and tuning parts. But in series production as well, the most varied components from BILSTEIN were and are not only used for the Legacy and its successor, the Levorg. Since 2016, the DampMatic® technology has been used on the front axle of the WRX STI. With a mechanically controlled shock absorber adjustment system, it guarantees perfect harmony between performance and driving comfort.

Connected with this, the limited edition model S207, which was influenced by the official racing division Subaru Tecnica International, is also to be highlighted. This team used BILSTEIN suspension components at this year's 24-hour race at the Nürburgring and for other racing events. Private teams, like Roots Racing, the racing group around the "Car Guy" Tim Schrick, also use know-how from Ennepetal. Finally, the Subaru trademark shows the constellation of Plejades - and that is how the car should be driven, as if from another star.

Showcasing automotive innovation at the Mazda Tech Show in Japan

Shaping the engineering of tomorrow
Shaping the engineering of tomorrow

As a key customer, thyssenkrupp has partnered with Mazda, the Japanese multinational automaker, for the supply of suspension parts and steering components for their vehicles. Our local office in Japan also drives logistics, quality management and ensures the smooth running of the business for the car manufacturer.

It was here at the Mazda headquarter in Hiroshima that a multi-national team of thyssenkrupp experts gathered on 31 January to showcase the best next-generation thyssenkrupp offerings for Mazda. The team presented a range of suspension, powertrain and steering technologies for traditional internal combustion engines (ICEs), and also solutions for electric cars to more than 150 guests from the engineering and purchasing departments. Our experts also led a lecture series to share more behind these innovations, in addition to the exhibits which added a whole new dimension to the experience.

A key highlight was the steering simulator for attendees to catch a glimpse of what future cockpits for autonomous driving could look like!

“The Tech Show was a great success and truly showed our collaboration, global innovation, and a commitment to offering the best every day to our customers in specialist industries,” said Head of Country for Japan, Mr Nikolaus Boltze.

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