Executive Message

2016APR 11

Take on challenges without fear of failure
Platform Model Unit, Chief General Manager, Makoto Shimamoto

April 11, 2016

The Platform Vehicle Unit was kicked off in 2014, and the goal of our activities has been to increase value for the customers by combining the resources of manufacturing, purchasing, and engineering. Thanks to the efforts of each and every person involved, I believe that we have been able to offer attractive, high value motorcycles to the world.

This year marks the start of the new medium-term management plan. If we are going to aim to be a unique company that is bigger and better than ever, then we need to move our activities to the next level.

From the perspective of products, I want to work with the business divisions in creating platform strategies and product plans in which all of your output ties in even more closely to increasing value for business and the customers, and I want to work on creating new platforms that go beyond anything we have imagined up to now.

To increase the efficiency of development, I want to dramatically change our work styles, to a "model-centered" approach. The way we have been doing things up to now is safe and comfortable, but I would like the development staff to have the courage to take on the challenge of new approaches.

Cost reductions are important measures in terms of increasing value for the customers, so we will bring back and further strengthen the Cost Innovation Division with a brand new look. By bringing cost development organizations together in one big room, I want you to maintain a strong ability to lead those around you and make the workflow go more smoothly. I also expect that collaborations with procurement and manufacturing will become stronger than ever before.

Another major theme for this year is quality. Last year, we posted substantial losses as a result of quality issues, and caused inconveniences for our customers as well. More than ever before, we will conduct activities aimed at preventing serious quality problems that affect safety. Of course, all development functions will be working on this theme, but we need to resolve quality issues in collaboration with the staff of the Business Division and Customer Service Division, so I look forward to your cooperation in this regard.

Let us all join together in taking on challenges without fear of failure, to achieve the goals of the new medium-term management plan.


Ever since I was young, I have started up a variety of hobbies, with my interests running broad but shallow; conversely, I have never achieved a very notable level in any of those areas. The thing is, I have always been drawn to activities where you lean into the turn, like skiing, dinghies, model airplanes, and motorcycles. Maybe next I'll join the Leaning Multi Wheel (LMW) Division…

In terms of my personality, I open my mouth on instinct and it gets me in trouble, but I see myself as an optimist who doesn't worry very much.