February 16, 2012
Huadu’s Best Practices
Feb. 16 — Guangzhou, China — Nissan’s Huadu plant in Guangzhou is now the automaker’s largest, after a 5 billion yuan ($786 million) second facility was completed late last year.
But the manufacturing plant in southern China is not only its biggest but also rated as its best.
Huadu was awarded the best performing plant in the Renault-Nissan Alliance by CEO Carlos Ghosn in July last year, leading the 35-plant manufacturing network in quality, cost, delivery time and efficiency for the 2010 year.
Plant manager Wang Jin Ning says the recognition is testament to consistent improvement over eight years of operations.
“It was only after several years of hard work that we managed to reach this level of achievement. For instance, through the initial stage of the joint venture and also through the consolidation period, we built on what we’ve learned. After that, there was also a period of improvement and innovation,” said Wang.
“So through improvement from various stages and new challenges, we reached this standard of quality.”
Huadu follows the Nissan Production Way, where improvements are often made right on the shop floor, and staff such as Zhou Kai Kai put words into practice.
“The most important part of my job is to ensure that together, with my team, we achieve our production tasks. I start my day with a level meeting in the morning, afterwards I convey the main points to the staff and team — what our key performance target is, as well as the essence of what was discussed,” explains Zhou.
As a shift manager, Zhou helps to ensure the plant’s daily output target of 1,804 vehicles is on schedule.
Along with efficiency, work conditions are also key.
“If we want to have this level of competitiveness, we must be able to execute effectively and we also need to have a good working environment,” said Wang.
“Incentives that inspire and create a positive ambience and culture allow workers to enjoy work and grow with the company.”
Most staff in Huadu are fresh out of university and, like Zhou, see opportunities ahead.
“The company has drawn up many training programs for us, and they are also very helpful in our career planning,” said Zhou, who took his current position after four years in the company.
“There’s no one who joins the plant and becomes a shift manager right away. To be a shift manager, you have to start from the basics.”
As the new plant comes online, production capacity will expand to 600,000 units this year, vital to a 1 million annual sales target.
Meeting that goal and further growth will ensure Huadu’s 1,600-strong production team will continue to be among the best and brightest in the Alliance in years ahead.