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Honda Trading: Depending on the American market

By Angelo Romualdez
- Dec 29, 2014
Credit : GMI Post

What became a significant business opportunity for Honda Trading America (HTA) started out as a simple program in 1972 to export U.S.-made products, utilizing empty cargo space on Honda’s Pacific fleet of ships. 

Honda Trading America Chief Operating Officer Nobuhiko Shiozaki

As Honda’s U.S. manufacturing presence grew, HTA’s focus shift­ed to supporting Honda’s U.S. and global manufacturing operations, which provided a criti­cal link between Honda factories, its materials suppliers and other trading partners.

Its operations expanded to in­clude such diverse activities as the procurement of raw mate­rial for Honda’s U.S. factories and many of its component suppli­ers; the procurement and recycling of precious metals such as platinum and palladium used in catalytic converters; and the co­ordination of international supply chain logistics.

“I asked myself, ‘How can our company survive in America?’ Of course, we have survived for the last forty years. But can we do another 10 or even 20 years? The company constantly has to be taking action and improving,” said Chief Operating Officer Nobuhiko Shiozaki, who assumed his position in April.

While HTA’s business has been growing throughout the years, Shiozaki sees a need to adjust its Honda Trading: Depending on the American market revenue model to ensure long-term growth. He also aims to improve delivery times, increase efficiency and raise total output.

Shiozaki’s primary focus is to improve QCD (Quality, Cost and Delivery) efficiency by changing the mindset of his employees. Instead of only setting targets, he will lay out strategies to reach them.

“People have to enjoy the company. With happy people, the business will grow. You shouldn’t be comfortable. You have to think about the next generation for the sustainability and continuity of the company,” Shiozaki said. 

- Originally prepared by Global Media for The Japan Times Special Report on the U.S. Midwest 2014 (Credit: Philippe Le SauxAngelo RomualdezElizabeth Arcega and Brian Banta)

KTH Parts Industries Inc.: Growing its capabilities for opportunities

By Angelo Romualdez
- Dec 29, 2014
Credit : GMI Post

KTH Parts Industries, Inc., lo­cated in Saint Paris, Ohio, has been a stamping and welding supplier for Honda since 1985.

“The company came to the United States in order to sup­port the Honda manufacturing plant here in Ohio,” explained KTH Parts Industries President Takashi Kagaya. 

KTH Parts Industries President Takashi Kagaya

Currently, KTH is responsible for producing underbody structural frame components found in a wide variety of Honda mod­els produced in North America.

KTH’s engineering, production and quality processes ensure the company provides top-notch automotive parts.

The company strives to meet or exceed all customer expecta­tions in every aspect of its busi­ness.

The robust production capac­ity of its St. Paris plant allows it the opportunity to expand its business opportunities.

“With KTH’s expanding R&D capabilities and our ability to increase production volume, KTH is open to the possibility of entering new markets,” said Kagaya, who believes that the company’s competitive edge lies within its mission to provide quality performance products at competitive prices.

KTH’s manufacturing and technical capabilities, along with its strategic location, enhance its ability to meet the needs of its customers with reliability and affordability.

KTH’s longstanding history with one of the world’s larg­est automotive manufacturers proves it is poised to meet the demands of any operation look­ing for a partner in the automo­tive industry. 

- Originally prepared by Global Media for The Japan Times Special Report on the U.S. Midwest 2014 (Credit: Philippe Le SauxAngelo RomualdezElizabeth Arcega and Brian Banta)

THK strikes it big in America

By Angelo Romualdez
- Dec 29, 2014
Credit : GMI Post

As the inventor of the linear motion guide, Japan’s THK found success in the United States when, at the International Ma­chine Tool Show in Chicago in 1978, an American machine tool maker unveiled its latest machin­ing center, which used THK’s new technology.

“Until Kearney & Trecker started using our product nobody really paid attention to linear motion guides. A lot of the success that THK achieved has been due to its experience with American companies,” said THK Manufacturing of America (TMA) President Akihiko Kambe. 

THK Manufacturing of America (TMA) President Akihiko Kambe

Due to its success in America, THK moved closer to its custom­ers in North America and in 1998, opened a manufacturing facility in Ohio, its first plant outside Ja­pan.

“It’s been very important for us to manufacture here to support our North American custom­ers and reduce lead times. With this facility, we encourage them to visit us and talk to us directly,” said Kambe.

“America is the biggest market in the world for innovation. If we can support our customers here in new fields such as 3-D print­ing, then we will be in a great po­sition to grow with them when they expand globally,” he added.

TMA also manufactures auto­motive ball joint parts and has been providing its products to American automotive manufacturers in North America. 

- Originally prepared by Global Media for The Japan Times Special Report on the U.S. Midwest 2014 (Credit: Philippe Le SauxAngelo RomualdezElizabeth Arcega and Brian Banta)

U.S. Midwest 2014 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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