Message from the President

代表取締役社長 山石 昌孝

Entering the 101st year since our establishmentLooking ahead to the next 100 years

President and Representative
Member of the Board

山石 昌孝

Looking back on our 100th anniversary

On October 13th, 2017, Yokohama Rubber celebrated its 100th anniversary. At the commemorative ceremony held to mark this occasion, we expressed our thanks to the stakeholders who have been with us through both the good times and the bad times, and we received many much-appreciated messages encouraging us to continue our efforts in the future.
Our company was founded during the First World War, and subsequently had to overcome major difficulties resulting from the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the global depression of the 1930s, and the Second World War; despite these challenges, Yokohama Rubber has been able to survive and develop over a period of 100 years. Besides showing our gratitude to our predecessors for their hard work and dedication, in the future we will continue to adhere to the spirit of “working faithfully to keep an enterprise growing after it has been established” by creating new achievements while safeguarding the valued traditions of our company.
Over the period from 2006 to 2017, the Yokohama Rubber Group was implementing Grand Design 100 (GD100) medium-term management plan. As a result of the implementation of GD100, by comparison with 2005 our net sales rose by approximately 50%, our operating income increased by 30 billion yen, our market capitalization doubled, and our operating margin rose by 3 percentage points. A particularly noteworthy feature of this period was that, while overseas markets’ share of total sales continued to grow, we also realized several important technological achievements, including the raising of the share of all Yokohama Rubber products that are classed as environmentally-friendly products to 100%.

About the Group’s GD2020 medium-term management plan

This year, the 101st year since our company was founded, we launched Grand Design 2020 (GD2020) medium-term management plan, which will be implemented over the period between now and 2020. Under GD2020, we will, in a sense, be focusing on the everyday fundamentals of business activity, working to recoup our investments and build on these achievements to realize further growth.
Over the medium and long term, the automotive industry can be expected to see major changes, due to the technology revolution represented by autonomous driving technology, etc. At the same time, demand for premium cars is rising throughout the world, and the market for premium tires that can be fitted to these cars is expanding. By making effective use of Yokohama Rubber’s existing strengths, we are able to manufacture high-value-added tires for the consumer tires segment, so I am confident that we can meet customers’ needs in the premium tire market. While continuing to strive for further improvement in the area of environmental performance, which is already one of our company’s strengths, and emphasizing speed and comfort, we will also be working to win customers’ trust, so that they know they can use our products with peace of mind. In addition, we will be making effective use of digital marketing to build direct links with the customer and develop products that precisely match customers’ needs.
In the commercial tires segment, Yokohama Rubber’s individual factories, as well as Yokohama Rubber Group member companies Alliance Tire Group (ATG) and Aichi Tire Industry, each has its own unique competitive strengths. By leveraging these strengths, we will be aiming to achieve a further increase in sales revenue in this segment.
Yokohama Rubber’s non-tires businesses are grouped together in the MB Group (Multiple Business Group). Here too, we will be working to realize an increase in sales, by making effective use of the strengths of each individual business and by carefully studying customer needs.
One point that I particularly wish to emphasize is that Safety, Quality and Compliance are fundamental aspects of all of these business activities. If we neglect Safety, Quality and Compliance, then it will be impossible for our business activities to win the trust of society and of our many different stakeholders.
In 2017, Yokohama Tire Philippines, Inc. (YTPI) experienced a fire which caused serious damage; this incident was a cause of concern for many related parties. All employees will be participating in inspections and overhauling relevant systems so that, if any incident occurs that affects our operations in the future, we can ensure thorough implementation of the “Stop” – “Notify” – “Wait” safety rule, ensure the maintenance of a safe working environment, and, when an incident does occur, make sure that it is prevented from spreading, and bring about the restoration of operations as speedily as possible.
With this in mind, we are implementing measures that combine a variety of different approaches. In my own role as President, I will be issuing a “Top Message” that takes the form of an e-mail sent directly from me to each and every Yokohama Rubber Group employee, emphasizing the importance of Safety, Quality and Compliance. Senior managers will be implementing top-down measures to eliminate risks by visiting individual factories etc., and we will also be utilizing bottom-up measures that encourage individual employees to put forward relevant ideas that they have come up with themselves.

A lecture being given at a company-wide safety and disaster prevention meeting

Working to solve international problems and fulfilling our social responsibilities in a way that reflects the core values of the Yokohama Rubber Group

In the process of implementing Grand Design 2020 (GD2020) medium-term management plan, living up to our customers’ expectations and dedicating ourselves to the development of society will be of key importance in ensuring a further 100 years of growth.
To achieve this, we are working to put in place a working environment that will support the dynamic engagement of a diverse range of human talent. We will also be responding to globalization by proactively cultivating local talent at our overseas business operations.
Acting in a way that reflects the core values of the Yokohama Rubber Group involves building close relationships with our stakeholders and growing together with local communities in each of the countries that we operate in. In order for us to be able to continue to share joy and happiness with our stakeholders over the next 100 years, everyone in the Yokohama Rubber Group needs to be working together to address international problems and fulfil our corporate social responsibilities.