The management environment of the automobile industry is undergoing major changes. For example, new technologies such as AI and the Internet of Things (IoT) are being incorporated into mobility, and the value and roles of automobiles are changing. In addition, the spread of car sharing is replacing the conventional wisdom that automobiles are something to be owned. Under these circumstances, Mitsubishi Motors became a member of the Renault-Nissan Alliance in 2016 and made a step toward sustainable growth.
In order to transform these internal and external changes into opportunities, it is necessary that we take proactive action toward value creation. With this commitment, Mitsubishi Motors established a new Corporate Vision and Mission in FY2018. Our vision of creating a vibrant society by realizing the potential of mobility and the four missions for carrying out this vision represents the stance that the entire Mitsubishi Motors Group is pursuing, from a long-term perspective.
It is also crucial that we collaborate with partners who have strengths different from ours so that we can respond to rapidly changing social needs. For example, battery performance is a major key to the success of electric vehicles, and collaborating with battery makers is essential. The situation is similar with regard to connected cars, and in September 2018, Renault, Nissan Motor, and Mitsubishi Motors established a technology partnership with Google. Through these types of partnerships, we are making advances in performance and the practical application of equipment that was considered difficult to realize before.
We believe that by focusing on social needs and addressing those needs in new car manufacturing, there is no limit to what we can contribute to society.
The United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. Mitsubishi Motors, recognizing the importance of the SDGs, conducted repeated interviews with experts and internal investigations. In FY2018 we identified 15 material CSR issues that the company should address from among various issues in the environmental, social, and governance fields.
A person in the officer class responsible for each of the 15 material issues was appointed, and targets and key performance indicators were set. The progress and results of undertakings are monitored by the CSR Management Committee, of which I serve as chairman.
Officers were appointed as leaders with regard to the following six material issues, which are particularly important from the perspectives of stakeholder’s concern and impact on the company, creating a structure that allows for even more comprehensive follow-ups.
The first issue is “responding to climate change and energy issues.” Record-breaking rainfall, droughts, and other natural disasters are occurring around the world and various environmental changes are taking place on a global scale.
Undertaking measures to reduce environmental impact including reducing greenhouse gases is the responsibility of automobile makers. We believe that the widespread adoption of electric vehicles in particular can contribute to climate change countermeasures.
How we can prepare for natural disasters is also an important perspective. For example, electric vehicles that can also be used as power supplies during power outages can contribute to the development of a strong society that is resilient to disasters.
With regard to the second issue, the “delivering products which help prevent traffic accidents,” we believe that advancing preventive safety technologies can reduce accidents caused by human error, which is said to be the cause of 90% of automobile accidents. We are also developing technologies that can mitigate injuries to passengers and pedestrians should an accident occur.
The third issue is “improvement of product, sales, and service quality,” and we are working to enhance not just product quality, but also the quality of sales and after-sales service. One of our initiatives is the Education Academy, a sales and service training facility that Mitsubishi Motors Thailand (MMTh) opened in June 2018, aiming to achieve even higher customer satisfaction.
We are implementing a variety of initiatives in Japan and overseas to address the fourth issue, “contribution to local economy through business activities.” Overseas, we are building trusting relationships, particularly with the governments of Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia—countries where production bases are located—and we are being called on to make contributions through investment, employment, human resource development, and technology transfers and to promote exports of locally-produced vehicles that will contribute even further to the national interest of these countries.
In Japan as well, we believe that the relationships of our production sites with business partners and local communities are important. In August 2018, we entered into an agreement with Okayama Prefecture regarding industry and community development in response to the shift to electric vehicles. We are continuing our efforts in collaboration with Okayama Prefecture to promote industry and develop infrastructure in preparation for the full-scale era of electric vehicles.
The fifth issue is “work style reform.” This topic also involves each employee asking what kind of life they want to live and is the topic that I personally feel strongest about. Discussion is not limited to simply reducing overtime work and encouraging employees to take paid leave. We are working to reinforce various support programs so that the increasing numbers of employees who are also undertaking childcare or nursing care can maintain good life-work balances. I believe that measures that enable employees to feel happy are the ideal, and I have started conducting dialogues with small groups of younger employees to consider the optimal status of the company.
With regard to the sixth issue, “corporate governance, compliance,” we increased the number of outside members of the board and Audit & Supervisory Board members at the time of appointment of officers in June 2018, to reinforce supervisory and audit functions regarding the performance of duties. We are also building global internal control systems under the leadership of the Global Risk Control Officer.
In addition, we are working to increase the transparency of management and the work of all officers and employees and to enhance communications based on self-examination regarding past incidents.
It is society, in the broad sense, including people who are not direct customers of our products and services, that supports the continued existence of Mitsubishi Motors as a company. We will always keep this in mind when undertaking CSR measures and will endeavor, with resolution and commitment, to the creation of a vibrant and sustainable society through business activities that demonstrate the character of Mitsubishi Motors.
Member of the Board
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation