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CEO Ghosn on the Nissan Technical Center


Q1. How does the Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi help to create the company’s monozukuri spirit?


NTC is the heart of the system. Every car company has at the heart of its system a technical center where you have the development engineers, the powertrain engineers, the product planners, you have the designers, you have the people in charge of the supply chain, and it is something that is very specific to what we do.

In a certain way, everything else we do within the company is very common with other companies, which has nothing to do with cars. But this part of the organization is so specific. It is the core of our business. It is the heart of what makes our DNA and character. So, when we celebrate 30 years at NTC, we are, in fact, celebrating 30 years of the heart of the company.


Q2. In your years at Nissan, what have been the highlights from NTC?


It’s difficult for me to choose. In a way, all of them are my babies, so it’s difficult. It’s like asking someone if one baby looks better than the others. Some of them are more symbolic. That’s why I don’t think one is more important than another.

Obviously, the Z is symbolic because it’s a symbol of the revival of Nissan. It came at a time when the company was no longer in trouble, when the lack of profit was behind us, when the debt was history, and we were starting the development of the company.

X-Trail is also an important element because it was at the beginning of going on the offensive into the foreign markets. We started with the 4×4 and one of the most symbolic ones was X-Trail.

Obviously, with Murano, again, we were capitalizing on our 4×4 and at the same time putting it into a very stylish car, which has been a huge success commercially and with the public. Tiida has also been a success. And one car on the V-platform – the March… These are some chapters in the life of Nissan. To them I can add the GT-R , which was a great event, and the Nissan LEAF in which we are combining the innovation of the company, the creativity, and very solid engineering into reviving something that the industry has always dreamed to do: to create an affordable, make-sense electric car with zero emissions.

So, there are not a lot of souvenirs here but a lot of steps in the life of the company. Celebrating the hub of the company is important because there are going to be many, many cars to come and many, many more technologies. We want this to be a vibrant day to boost and, if it was necessary, to motivate a team that has been doing so much for the company.


Q3. Nissan is planning a new vehicle every six weeks as part of the Power 88 mid-term business plan. What do you expect from NTC as the company pursues that global expansion?


It’s very simple: without NTC, we would not have been able to do it. You take NTC out of the picture and nothing happens. That’s how important NTC is. NTC is at the heart of the offensive of the company.

As you know, for the last few years, we have been adding 600,000 new sales every year. We want to do, hopefully, the same next fiscal year — or even more. All of this is due to the fact that as a basis we have technologies, we have products, we have a vision of what the industry and what the markets need and we have people who can make this vision a reality through objects.

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