Autoportal India got an opportunity to interview Mr. Takahiro Matsuura of NGK Spark Plugs. In this conversation, he revealed company's future plans and gave us a clear idea that why NGK is World's leading spark plug manufacturer.
Q: First of all, Congratulations on receiving ISO/TS 16949 certification, which shows the NGK's supremacy in the quality management system. What further steps the company is planning to take, to prevent the generation of defective parts? Also, what all norms NGK follows at its plants to conserve the environment?
Answer: Our company is certified with TS 16949:2009 & ISO 9001:2008, So we are following all necessary requirement & parameters. These standards describe the “defect prevention” rather than defect detection. So we are confident with our quality.
To conserve the environment we follows the ISO:14001 & other applicable norms directed by Government.
Q: NGK is already a global leader in spark plugs, what are your future plans for India, considering the number of manufactures are setting up their assembly lines here?
Answer: As we want to develop our own niche market with the help of our intrinsic technological strength and global quality, hence our approach is completely different from other manufacturer. Although we look forward to a strong business growth in India. Depending upon how the business grows in India we have to revamp our production capacity and accordingly we have to invest.
Q: The design of the spark plugs has changed in recent years as each manufacturer has their own requirements; what changes have you seen in the Indian automotive industry, are Indian OEMs too are becoming demanding?
Answer: Change to advance & compact engine design, is the major factor in innovations of superior quality spark plugs which are required to perform within these high technology engines. We believe we are the expert in spark plug technology & capable to serve the growing demand of Indian & overseas OEMs.
Q: With range of OE Spark plugs increasing due to their different characteristics, what impact do you see in the aftermarket industry?
Answer: Proper education is required within mechanics to ensure the fitment of actual part no. recommended by OEM in the service manual. Such ground level awareness motivates the entire aftermarket channel to keep & promote range of spark plugs.
Q: Indian consumers are still not much aware about the right set of components that they should buy for their vehicles. Is NGK planning to launch an online forum like ArtofFast.com, which you have in the US, to connect with the end consumers?
Answer: May be we’ll launch in near future, but presently in coming 3-4 years we are focusing on mechanics & garages with various marketing awareness & education programs.