The NSK Group is determined to fulfill its social responsibilities and to protect the global environment. We pledge to do our part in fostering the well-being and safety of society.
In July 2011, the Japan Fair Trade Commission conducted onsite investigations of NSK on suspicion that sales of certain products infringed upon Japan’s Antimonopoly Act (Act on Prohibition of Private Monopolization and Maintenance of Fair Trade). I apologize sincerely to our shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders for the concern caused by these developments.
At NSK, we regard the fact that we have become subject to this type of on-site investigation, despite our long-standing initiatives to strengthen compliance—the bedrock of CSR—with the utmost gravity. We intend to cooperate fully with the commission’s investigation. In addition, we will reinforce initiatives to ensure rigorous compliance among executives and other employees.
On behalf of the entire NSK Group, I would like to express our sincere condolences to those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11 as well as convey our wishes for the rapid recovery of the affected region.
The NSK Group set up the Earthquake Task Force immediately after the earthquake struck, ascertained the scale of damage, and implemented recovery measures. The earthquake caused comparatively little direct damage to NSK, although some equipment at the Fukushima Plant and the Saitama Plant—close to the epicenter— moved out of position. We were therefore able to resume normal operations within approximately 10 days of the earthquake, thanks in part to the support of our suppliers.
Hoping to be of help in the restoration of the afflicted areas, Group companies as well as friends and supporters in and outside Japan sent monetary donations, and some employees participated in volunteer activities, such as providing meals at evacuation shelters. Additionally, all sites in Japan enhanced their energy-saving measures in response to concerns about possible power shortages. (See page 19 for details).
NSK Group sites that were affected by the earthquake received much warm support from customers and suppliers. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation on behalf of the NSK Group.
Supported by the growth of emerging nations, the global economy in fiscal 2010 continued its recovery from the stagnation caused by the financial crisis of 2008. During this period, emerging nations became increasingly important in the global economy as they continued to make the transition from manufacturing bases for global demand into giant markets with massive demand of their own. Countering this relatively favorable economic news, the rapid expansion of markets multiplied concerns over supplies of energy and mineral resources, and the abnormal weather occurring worldwide drove food prices up—both adding to the growing threat of social instability in certain countries. As if in concert with these issues, more attention than ever before was paid to environmentally friendly products. Backed by tax incentives, subsidies, and other measures to encourage their widespread adoption, fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, electric cars, energy-saving consumer electronics, LED lights, and other environmentally friendly products are rapidly becoming familiar items.
Going forward, the NSK Group will continue to develop products that help protect the environment, while also taking steps to conserve energy and resources across its business operations. Meanwhile, we will keep implementing growth strategies in emerging nations such as China and India. I intend to ensure that these efforts demonstrate our determination to contribute to social progress and protect the global environment, as mandated by the Group’s mission statement. At the NSK Group, we recognize that helping to build a society with environmental awareness is the key to our continued growth.
We recognize that the emergence of huge markets in developing countries and the ongoing technical innovation driven by environmental concerns—typified by the electrification of automobiles—will bring about a profound paradigm shift. We expect to see significant changes in industry and socioeconomic structures. The basic strategy of our mid-term plan covering fiscal 2009 to fiscal 2012 is to meet this paradigm shift head-on by building a solid foundation for the sustainable growth of the NSK Group. There are two main thrusts to this effort. We are working to strengthen manufacturing, marketing, and technology development capabilities across our two main businesses: the industrial machinery business and the automotive business. We are also seeking to strengthen the Group’s overall business position by giving the business division headquarters that oversee each business segment primary responsibility to implement customer-focused growth strategies. We believe these initiatives will prepare us to make the most of the great changes happening around the world today.
Our customers in the automobile industry are establishing factories in emerging nations and carrying out production as close to the source of demand as they can. Across their local sites, they are moving to common platforms and sharing of basic parts to keep costs down and make production more efficient. Meanwhile, vehicle makers are also pursuing differentiation, making automobiles tailored to unique local needs to raise the competitiveness of their products in each region. They are intensifying efforts to optimize everything from air conditioners and other equipment to primary functional parts to better suit consumer tastes, road conditions, climatic conditions like temperature and degree of humidity, and other local factors.
To support our customers with these efforts, we are expanding our business globally, producing products with world-leading quality in the locations where they are needed, and delivering them in a timely manner. We are also working to increase the speed of development and provision of products that precisely meet local needs. Each plant is also making tireless efforts to improve production efficiency and quality and to develop the human resources needed for success. We have established technology centers in each region so that NSK engineers can provide close support to our customers to build even greater trust. The centers also strive to gauge future needs accurately and then leverage the technical capabilities NSK has built over the years to accelerate the development of new products that meet them.
In the current fiscal year, at a steering system manufacturing subsidiary in Thailand, we started production of electric power steering (EPS) systems that help improve automobile fuel economy and strengthened our system for global supply of these products. We also developed a hub unit bearing for axles that ensures high reliability by preventing the infiltration of muddy water into the bearings even when driving on unpaved roads, and launched the product in emerging markets in fiscal 2010. (See the special feature section on pages 10 to 15 for details.)
To capitalize on the growth of China, we will start full-scale production this fiscal year of large bearings used in iron and steel production equipment and in construction machinery at a plant in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, which is our 11th production base in China. We also established a new ball bearing manufacturing company —our 12th location in China—in Hefei, Anhui Province. The NSK Group is committed to contributing not only to the development of its customers but also to the growth of industry. By doing so, we believe we can grow together with all the nations and regions where we do business.
To continue growing sustainably, the NSK Group must make the most of the escalating changes in the global and local business environment. The key to this will be for our business sites around the world to respond swiftly to change and increase their capacity to drive their own growth.
To support them in this, we are taking steps to ensure that NSK is “No. 1 in Total Quality.” This commitment encompasses not only product quality but also the quality of information and service provided to customers and the quality of every task from development and design to procurement, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution.
We will also keep pressing forward with development of local management so that employees in locations worldwide with different nationalities and cultural backgrounds can feel part of a truly community-based enterprise. We want our team worldwide to be the best in terms of product and technology knowledge, and to contribute their unique talents to NSK’s corporate culture and philosophy. To achieve this, we are currently reinforcing our education and training systems while taking steps to foster communication between employees across differences in language and culture.
At the NSK Group, we are grateful for the support we receive from all of our stakeholders—from customers, suppliers, shareholders and investors, to local communities. I hope that this report transparently conveys our efforts to meet stakeholder expectations, the goals we are working toward, and our progress on meeting them. I believe that the content of this report helps to show how the NSK Group seeks to grow by contributing to the growth of every stakeholder. Finally, I invite your feedback on the report itself, as well as your candid views on the NSK Group’s ongoing business activities.
NSK aims to contribute to the well-being and safety of society and to protect the global environment through its innovative technology integrating MOTION & CONTROL. We are guided by our vision of NSK as a truly international enterprise and are working across national boundaries to improve relationships between people throughout the world.
NSK’s Mission Statement makes clear the Group’s commitment to contributing to the development of society and to the protection of the global environment, and its Management Principles set the course to realizing these goals.
The NSK Group’s products have the special characteristic of aiding the smooth functioning of a wide range of machinery, and they support the reliability, safety, and energy efficiency of the machines into which they are incorporated. The NSK Group regards its fundamental corporate activity as contributing to smoothly-running, safe societies, protection of the global environment, and the realization of sustainable societies through the supply of those products.that is, through the Group’s main business. The NSK Group aims to achieve greater corporate value and sustainable growth by ensuring that all directors and employees are firmly aware of the Group’s roles and by making sincere efforts to contribute to business growth and society by taking the perspective of customers and other stakeholders.
The NSK Group's business is built on trust with a variety of stakeholders. Through active communication, the NSK Group is building better relationships with its stakeholders.
The NSK Group's customers are companies that purchase NSK's products and also the end users of the devices and machines that incorporate NSK's products. The Group contributes to a sustainable society by providing high-quality, safe, and reliable products.
The NSK Group's business is based on partnerships with a wide array of suppliers—from steel manufacturers and lubricant makers to component manufacturers. NSK is committed to strengthening its good relationships with its suppliers.
The NSK Group's mission is to manage its business by balancing social and environmental considerations with the economic need to consistently return a profit. At the same time, the Group must meet the expectations of its shareholders and investors by disclosing appropriate information in a timely manner.
The NSK Group sees children and students, the torchbearers of the future, as important stakeholders. The Group hopes to hand over an abundant and sustainable environment and a stable society to future generations
The NSK Group values communication with the residents of communities where it establishes business sites, and endeavors to build good relationships that carefully balance social, environmental, and economic factors.
The NSK Group regards it as its responsibility to respect individuality and to create conditions in which all employees can contribute to their fullest potential.