Nissan and Komatsu share secrets of their success

Nissan's Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Paul Blanchard, manufacturing director at Komatsu UK, with Nissan and Komatsu vehicles.
Nissan's Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Paul Blanchard, manufacturing director at Komatsu UK, with Nissan and Komatsu vehicles.
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Nissan is teaming up with excavator manufacturer Komatsu UK to share the secrets of their success.

The two companies have joined forces in one of the first best-practice link-ups organised by the new North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA).

The Nissan and Komatsu best practice link-up is the first of many which will benefit not only the companies involved, but their supplier companies and the wider sector.

NEAA chief executive Paul Butler

The NEAA was launched in March to strengthen the region’s automotive sector through shared ideas, innovation, benchmarking and strategic leadership.

Nissan Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK Kevin Fitzpatrick said: “The way in which Nissan and Komatsu are linking up to share experience came about through NEAA’s focus on bringing together automotive businesses.

“It will help to boost performance in the region’s carmaking sector by helping to share knowledge and best practice through link ups, workshops and training.”

NEAA membership is open to automotive companies in the region from multinational businesses to sole traders, and vehicle manufacturers to members of the supply chain.

Komatsu and Nissan, both founder members of the group, will be working together to benchmark health and safety best practice in one of NEAA’s first projects.

Paul Blanchard, manufacturing director at Komatsu UK, who has taken part in NEAA-organised site visits to regional automotive companies, said: “Sharing of best practice information can only strengthen the performance of the region’s automotive and manufacturing sectors. The NEAA’s business excellence activity creates shop floor visits to members’ plants involved in similar manufacturing techniques, to help us all see the advantages of the application of new technology to improve efficiency.”

NEAA chief executive Paul Butler said: “The North East automotive industry provides 26,000 direct jobs, impacts on 141,000 more jobs and potentially could create a further 10,000 jobs over the next decade. But it’s important to remember that this massive industry is not just about cars. As Komatsu UK’s involvement demonstrates, it’s a very diverse sector.

“As a cluster group, the NEAA is here to represent and work on behalf of the whole industry, whether a company is making cars or components, or working in commercial, off-highway or engine manufacture. The Nissan and Komatsu best practice link up is the first of many which will benefit not only the companies involved but their supplier companies and the wider sector.”