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Nissan’s Oppama Plant Welcomes 3 Millionth Visitor

Jan. 23 – Oppama, Kanagawa – After making over 16 million cars, Nissan’s Oppama Plant welcomed its three-millionth visitor Tuesday, a half century since its first factory tour.

Ceremony to mark Oppama's 3 millionth visitor

A ceremony was held to mark the occasion, with a team from the 52-year-old manufacturing facility presenting certificates and gifts to the visiting elementary school students.

It may not be Tokyo Disneyland, but Oppama hosts 40,000 elementary school students yearly, organizing similar tours for government officials, local residents and nearby companies.

Students looking at an automatic robot at work

“The big idea is that we would like a lot of people to become fans of Nissan and to give back to the society,” said Takeo Yamamoto, superintendent at the Oppama plant.

“We work by associating ourselves with the local community.”

For students, visiting a major Japanese manufacturer is a great out-of-classroom experience.

“I don’t have a car at home so by watching real cars being put together in this factory, I can learn more about them,” said Kano Gohara, a student at Saiwaicho Elementary School.

Students observing a trim line during the tour

On display is the vehicle assembly facility, which currently makes the Nissan LEAF, Juke, Cube and the Sylphy.

Each tour also includes a trip to the pier where cars are loaded for shipment.

“At school, they learn about cars. By coming to the factory personally, I hope that the experience becomes knowledge and understanding for the student,” said Gohara’s teacher Koji Akamatsu.

A visit to the Japanese “gemba”, or manufacturing site, not only provides future generations with insight on the latest in car production, but helps to share Nissan’s heritage, an evolving history that this year will mark its 80th year.

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