Mazda's quality promise: 100-1=0

You don't really have to be a genius to work out that this equation makes no sense. The logic behind Mazda's quality promise is that even if only 1 out of 100 vehicles is defective, it is still too many and this results in it being not just 1 out of 100 but one whole. This expression highlights Mazda's strong desire to provide 100% quality and this is something that is definitely strengthening their brand image.

Mazda has dedicated major resources to a fundamental overhaul of the business through a program called MonotsukuriInnovation. 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 new and desirable products, flexibly adjusting output to market demand, and improving cost efficiency in every area - all at the same time.

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 approach allows 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. The same system will be implemented at each of its plants so that the company can swing production from one facility to another to, for example, in order to meet rising demand for its popular SUVs while at the same time increasing plant capacity utilization by balancing worldwide production according to needs. Bundled product planning, meanwhile, facilitates the fast transition of new technology to different models, making ongoing enhancements to existing car generations more feasible.

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