Quality Initiatives

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Product Quality

Product quality is a basic feature in allowing customers to use a product safely and comfortably over the long term. For Nissan, a leading automaker with a strong history of monozukuri, Japanís tradition of careful craftsmanship, product quality is the foundation for our sustainability as a company. We consider quality from the customerís perspective at all times and respond quickly if a defect occurs, striving to prevent recurrence so as not to inconvenience the customer. We ascertain customer dissatisfaction and address it through all possible means, improving quality to increase satisfaction.

Approaches in Development and at Manufacturing Plants

Improving Perceived Quality and Developing Vehicles with Valued Designs

Perceived quality is the quality that customers feel when seeing, touching and operating a vehicle. For example, when customers come to the showroom, they open vehicle doors, sit in seats and check things like the texture of interior fittings.
The perception of quality is a particularly subjective matter, and applying objective criteria requires thorough studies. We conduct consumer researches around the world targeting customers who have purchased or are considering purchasing a Nissan car in order to understand their perceptions better and incorporate those perceptions in new vehicles. Our perceived quality specialists communicates the voice of customers around the world and support us to develop attractive styling vehicle that are valued by our customers.

Reinforce both design and production to cut the number of defects occurring within three months of purchase.

Upgrading design quality

Cars have a vast number of parts. About 65 percent of them have zero defects in the past, and from remaining 35 percent have caused problems. Enhancing design quality before production begins is one crucial way to increase the percentage of products without problems to the maximum level. Increasing the precision of components in the design diagram raises the quality of those that go into mass production.
Nissan uses a method called design review (DR) to develop higher-quality parts. During the DR process, design experts work together to review the potential risks for each parts, and devise ways to prevent problems proactively.
Nissan has adopted a new DR method that allows quicker and more accurate design inspections. This has extensively expanded the DR area, and bolstered the development of more problem-free parts. Certified personnel conduct these quick DR sessions. The number of people with this certification has been gradually increasing worldwide, so we are better able to apply DR to numerous parts.

Pushing production quality higher

Precision testing equipment is an integral part of the production process at every Nissan plant and production line. Digital technology, such as laser measurement, is used to verify precision assembly and paint condition, which are then evaluated through road testing. Our environmental test chambers can accurately reproduce subtle regional differences in temperature extremes of and road conditions. This enables us to scrupulously safeguard against problems flowing out of the factory.

Approaches with Suppliers

As our production network expands worldwide, the risk of problems related to the quality and supply of parts increases. Our efforts to ensure product quality include working with suppliers to improve quality at all production sites from the design stage onward.

Activities to Improve Market Quality

Swiftly Improving Quality in Local Markets

We are strengthening direct communication with sales companies and customers to promptly identify and respond to customer dissatisfaction and defects. Our TCSX (Total Customer Satisfaction Function Division) addresses customer dissatisfaction and quality issues based on information from sales companies and the customer call center. It shares information with the R&D and manufacturing divisions to investigate the causes and come up with countermeasures. These countermeasures are incorporated in production models on the market. In this way, we seek permanent solutions to prevent outflow of quality issues.
The global expansion of our corporate activities has increased our potential exposure to customer dissatisfaction and quality issues in more regions around the world. In response, we have established Field Quality Centers (FQCs) with the goal of promptly gaining an understanding of regional quality issues and analyzing their causes locally. There are now 19 FQCs in Japan, the United States, Europe, China, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, India, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and other locations.

Conceptual representation of the five phases of market quality research and analysis

Improving Initial Quality

Initial quality issues involve defects that occur within a year of a new car purchase. To ensure that customers are satisfied, we maintain a firm commitment to enhancing quality at the manufacturing stage for every single product that comes off the line. To this end, we have adopted the Alliance Production Way (APW) as our fundamental approach in this area. The Chief Vehicle Engineer (CVE), who is responsible for development, meets with the CQE to share information from the market in order to promptly respond to customersí wishes and potential satisfaction concerns.
We confirm quality improvements for each process and explore necessary risk-reduction measures by visualizing potential risks at the planning stage.
Applying all of these processes with transparent criteria lets us ensure that new models offer high quality from the outset.

Enhancing Durability

Product life is affected by durability issues that can arise from long vehicle use: molded resin parts changing color or deforming, surface materials becoming abraded, chrome stripping away and material fatigue producing odd noises in the vehicle. We consistently obtain data of warranty after the initial sale and conduct quality checks on recovered vehicles and parts actually used by customers to identify defects earlier. Analyzing this data helps us develop technologies that are more resistant to durability issues.

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