July 25, 2013
Nissan GT-R Takumi: What’s in a Name?
Nissan Global Media Center:
What do takumi and their hand-crafted GT-R engines mean to the Yokohama plant?
Nobuhiro Ozawa, Yokohama Plant Manager:
“Yokohama is the plant where our company was established, and we’re proud to make Nissan’s flagship engine here. The engines are built by takumi, who are admired by all the employees, and we offer a special respect to them. “
“The VR38 engine, featured in the GT-R, is our flagship engine. It represents the pinnacle of the Nissan brand. We adhere the nameplates of the takumi who hand-built these engines, and put their souls into each with a sense of responsibility. We have received a positive reaction from our GT-R customers.”
How do you feel about having your name on a GT-R engine?
“By putting our nameplates on GT-R engines, it gives us pressure, but in a positive way – not in becoming nervous, but instead to concentrate. It also keeps us from compromising.”
What brought you to Nissan, the Yokohama plant, and the GT-R?
“I joined Nissan in 1980, and at that time I was playing on a professional football club. I was injured and the Nissan football club manager told me, ‘Why don’t you play for our team?’ I had no future guarantees if I stayed solely in professional soccer, so I thought if I joined Nissan’s club team that could work for a lifetime. Also, I longed to be a ‘salary-man’, so I decided to play for the Nissan team.
But after just three days, I became tired of practice and the running drills, so I went to HR and asked, ‘What does this Yokohama plant make?’ They told me Yokohama produces engines, and showed me around the factory ‘gemba’. I thought the engine factory was really interesting, and I begged to work there. Ever since, I’ve been here building engines”
“I decided to apply to Nissan because I liked the Nissan cars produced at that time, such as the Skyline. “
“I watched a TV drama in which many Nissan cars appeared, and I was impressed by how cool they were. That’s the reason why I decided to join Nissan.”