Mitsubishi Motors reenters its partnership with Nissan and Renault
Following a tumultuous year, following the departure of Chairman Carlos Ghosn, automotive giant Mitsubishi Motors has revealed its plans to re-enter a partnership with Nissan, Renault and Daimler to strengthen its ability to accelerate the development of next-generation technologies.
From electric and autonomous vehicles, new technologies are providing ample opportunities to boost connectivity and bring the automotive industry into a new age. The move has been approved by Mitsubishi Motor’s board, where the company aims to make the partnership with Daimler successful, following a failed collaboration 13 years ago.
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Although Renault and Nissan’s collaboration is clear due to partnering back in 2010, with manufacturing facilities based in Mexico, it is not yet been specified the ways in which Mitsubishi Motors will further enhance the partnership. At present, Renault and Nissan each have a 3.1% stake in the Daimler, whereas the company owns a 1.55% stake in both of its partners, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
However, Renault has requested a shareholder meeting with Nissan to discuss a number of ongoing shareholder complexities. Ghosn remains the Chairman and CEO of Renault, where both businesses will need to explore ways in which its partnership remains productive, with minimal risk to both parties. CNBC contacted the companies, where Nissan has responded to state “the company has communicated actively and transparently with Renault regarding this matter, and will continue to do so. We remain steadfast in our commitment to the Alliance."
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.