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To this very day, airbags and seatbelts remain indispensable to our daily driving experience. Will the advent of self-driving vehicles transform this ubiquitous reality? According to Autoliv Japan President Dale S. Cook, if the rubber keeps meeting the road, there is no need for safety equipment suppliers such as Autoliv to "buckle up". But in order to carefully avoid unforeseeable snags, doubling down on research and development seems almost like an imperative.
SCCJ visited Autoliv Japan Ltd.'s head office in Shin-Yokohama to learn more about the dynamics driving the company and the industry going forward.

Autoliv Inc is a global leader in automotive safety equipment. Their main products include airbags, seatbelts, and steering wheels. They are listed on both the New York Stock Exchange and the Stockholm Stock Exchange. At the end of 2018, they had more than 67,000 employees working in 27 countries worldwide.
Originally established as Autoservice AB in Sweden in 1953, the company re-branded over the years and in 1997, merged with American airbag manufacturer Morton ASP Inc. Since then, to this very day, the time-honored values embraces at the two companies continue to be upheld by Autoliv's employees allover the world.


"Our vision is 'saving more lives'. That's what Autoliv is all about. Our mission is to be the leading supplier of Safety Systems for the Future Car, well integrated with Autonomous Driving. Our guiding principles are one Autoliv, transparency, innovation, and agility" exhorted Mr. Cook.


In order to stay ahead of the rapidly changing competition crisscrossing the industry today, Autoliv has a procedure called "One Product One Process" or "1P1P".
Mr. Cook explained that 1P1P was introduced to ensure consistent processes in all 27 countries and over 64 facilities that Autoliv conducts their business in. "Our customers want 'One Autoliv'. [That is why] how we manufacture the product, how we deliver the product, and how we ensure robustness of the product must have a transparent Autoliv look and feel to it" explained Mr. Cook.


Mr. Cook believes that quality is important first and foremost: "for a non-Japanese company to be successful in Japan, quality must be paramount in everything we do". That is why the company introduced a way of working called "Q5" around 10 years ago. Under Q5, qualities concerning the customer, supplier, product, employee behavior, and growth are closely monitored.
When asked about how the company monitors the quality, Mr. Cook gave the following explanation: "[For example] we have yearly Quality Culture Surveys (QCS) where we ask employees specific questions about quality. [It's how] we try to monitor and look for ways to improve. Ultimately, what Autoliv is aiming to achieve through Q5 is 'zero defects'" added Mr. Cook.

When asked how this all ties in with autonomous driving, Mr. Cook provided the following response:

"As the automotive industry moves toward autonomous driving, we're going to have cars with drivers and cars without drivers. [Even] as the cars change, we're still going to have to provide safety to vehicle occupants as well as vulnerable road users. So, we must continue to innovate safety into the future car".


For the company to continue innovating their technologies and products, Autoliv invests a considerable amount of their financial and human resources on research and development. In Sweden, Autoliv has a large-scale research center set up in Vårgårda, near Göteborg. Out of their 67,000 worldwide employees, around 5,300 work in the Research, Development & Engineering (RDE) division. Of these, around 600 work at Autoliv Japan's RDE facilities in Tsukuba-city.


Mr. Cook amplified the fact that Japan is one of Autoliv's most important markets. This is not only true in terms of revenue, but also in terms of their scale in research and development. Of its global revenue of US $8.7billion recorded in 2018, approximately 9% was generated here in Japan. Also, in the same year, around 30% of the company's global revenue came from Japanese OEM's.


Mr. Cook believes that as a Swedish company, Autoliv likely shares the same challenges and concerns as other Swedish companies based in Japan. He very much looks forward to discussing these and other matters at future SCCJ events.


We would like to extend a warm welcome to Autoliv Japan Ltd. as a new member of SCCJ. You can find out more about Autoliv Japan Ltd. here







オートリブは自動車の安全部品製造で世界をリードする企業である。主な製品はエアバッグやシートベルト、ハンドルなどがあり、ニューヨーク証券取引所及びストックホルム証券取引所に上場している。2018年末で67,000人以上の従業員が27ヶ国で働いている。もともとAutoservice AB として1953年にストックホルムで設立されたのち、長年にわたってブランドの再構築を行い、1997年にアメリカのエアバッグメーカーMorton ASP Inc. と合併した。それ以来現在に至るまで、この2社で培われてきた由緒ある伝統が、オートリブの世界中の従業員によって守られてきた。

「我々の目標は「より多くの命を守る」。これが我々の全てです。私たちのミッションは、未来の車に、自律走行と統合された安全システムを提供するリーディングサプライヤーとなることなのです。我々の基本理念は、One Autoliv, 透明性、革新的、そして敏捷性にあります。」とクック氏は強調する。


目まぐるしく変わる業界競争の中でトップの座を守るために、オートリブでは"One Product One Process"又は”1P1P"と呼ばれる戦略を導入している。クック氏はこの1P1Pが、オートリブがビジネスを行う27ヶ国64の工場で一貫したプロセスを徹底するために導入されたものだと説明する。「私たちの顧客は'One Autoliv'を希望しています。だからこそ我々は製品の作り方、出荷方法、そして製品の頑健性を確保する方法にすべて透明性があり、「オートリブらしさ」が出ているものでなければならないのです。」