Monotsukuri Innovation

Mazda’s quality promise: 100-1=0

At Mazda, our aspiration is to deliver 100% quality. When it comes to manufacturing, we commit ourselves to the quality promise 100 – 1 = 0.

You don´t have to be a genius in mathematics to raise your eyebrows when seeing this odd equation: 100 – 1 = 0. So, what is this about?

Mazda dedicated major resources to a fundamental overhaul of the business through a program called Monotsukuri Innovation. Monotsukuri is Japanese for “the art of making things”. It covers product planning, design, development and production. The goal is to prosper sustainably by consistently coming out with appealing products, flexibly adjusting output to market demand, and at the same time improving cost efficiency in every area.

Mazda had to therefore minimize the tradeoff between diversity that enhances product competitiveness and commonality that improves economies of scale in manufacturing. The approach was three-pronged: bundled product planning, common architectures and flexible production.

This enables Mazda to respond quickly to changing demand with no adverse effect on costs or quality. The common architecture even allows mixed production lines that can make a variety of products in any order and with no downtime. With the same system at each of its plants, the company can also swing production from one facility to another to, for example, meet rising demand for its popular SUVs while at the same time maximizing plant capacity utilization by balancing worldwide production according to needs. Bundled product planning, meanwhile, facilitates the quick transfer of new technology to different models, making ongoing enhancements to existing car generations more feasible.

Through its Monotsukuri Innovation, Mazda is heading towards the ideal balance of scale and flexibility. The unorthodox approach is, in fact, tailored to us, as we are always aiming for a high quality, profitable 2% global market share rather than 10% or 15% and growth at all costs.

So Mazda continues to evolve its Monotsukuri Innovation to enhance brand value by delivering 100% quality, an aspiration expressed with “100-1=0”. What is meant by this odd-looking equation is that even if only 1 out of 100 vehicles is defective, it is still too many. Because for that one customer, the faulty car is their only car, making a 1% default rate meaningless.