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INTERNATIONAL PURCHASING EXECUTIVE CALLS FOR 'BUSINESS SOLUTIONS' TO TRADE, AUTOMOTIVE ISSUES

 INTERNATIONAL PURCHASING EXECUTIVE CALLS FOR 'BUSINESS SOLUTIONS'
 TO TRADE, AUTOMOTIVE ISSUES
 TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Amid an election year storm of trade and protectionist rhetoric, a top Nissan purchasing official called for "business solutions" during a speech at the University of Michigan Automotive Management Briefing seminars in Traverse City.
 Citing the critical economic role the automotive industry plays in Japan, Europe and North America, Shigenori Asoh, general manager of international purchasing for Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., said auto industry problems "often spur emotional debates between countries and often become a political issue.
 "We must be wise enough to realize that jumping into a series of arguments for the sake of protecting oneself politically will not by any means bring us closer to the resolution of the true problem," Asoh said. "The first necessary step in solving these problems is to mutually recognize that business issues require business solutions, and to provide business solutions we must mutually recognize the problems and then demonstrate courage and effort, the two essentials for resolution of these problems."
 Calling for a climate of "symbiosis in competition," Asoh urged automakers and auto parts suppliers to work together to find business solutions and achieve symbiosis, or coexistence based on mutual benefit. In some ways, Asoh added, "it seems that in the '90s, the Japanese and U.S. auto industries are headed toward the same goal."
 Quoting a Boston University research study, Asoh noted recent trends in U.S. automotive-supplier relationships -- longer term contracts, coupled with higher expectations, as well as supplier involvement beginning in the product development stage -- that mirror the Japanese "design-in" system.
 "Design-in is not easy," Asoh added. "Even without cultural differences, language obstacles and barriers, it took Nissan decades to develop a smooth design-in process with our Japanese suppliers. But to make design-in work, suppliers have to know that it means seeing beyond the drawing board. It means sharing confidential engineering and production information that will be vital to our partnered success."
 Design-in, however, will be the key to working with Nissan in the future as well as the key to developing automaker-supplier relationships in the future, Asoh said. "I believe our efforts and suppliers' efforts, both striving to achieve the same goal, will enable realization of symbiosis in competition," he said.
 Nissan's North American operations include sales, consumer and corporate finance, and industrial and textile equipment. Nissan employs nearly 10,000 people in the United States and Canada and generates an additional 55,000 jobs through its 1,400 Nissan and Infiniti dealerships located across the continent.
 -0- 8/7/92
 /CONTACT: S. Kawasaki or J. Gill of Nissan, 313-393-1893/ CO: Nissan North America, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: AUT SU:


JG -- DE005 -- 7949 08/07/92 10:36 EDT
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Date:Aug 7, 1992
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