Subaru has been hit with engine failure lawsuits, massive recalls, they had a fuel-mileage falsification scandal, employee suicides, and a plant shut down late last year that has brought the Japanese automaker to its knees. Quality has been questioned at their Gunma plant in Japan and they’ve had a top management shakeup in Japan. As a result of all these issues, Subaru Corp will revise its "Quality Policy" on April 1, 2019. This should have been done years ago, but what does it mean for customers now?
Customer confidence has been shaken with all the recent problems at Subaru Corporation, especially in Japan. In order to restore faith in the company, the Japanese automaker has announced they have a new "Quality Policy" in order to realize "quality reform" which is one of the themes of the medium-term management vision "STEP" announced in July 2018. They have had a "Quality Policy” but felt it needed to be revised since it's been in place for about a quarter century.
The old policy established in November 1994 was short and to the point, “Always thinking first about customer satisfaction, improve work quality and provide top quality products and services.” Subaru announced today, “Based on the subsequent internal and external environmental changes, repeated discussions throughout the company, we have reached the "Quality Policy" revision.”
New Subaru Policy
We value quality above all else and respond to our customers' trust.
1. We will deliver products that can be used with confidence for a long time.
2. We will listen to customers' voices constantly and use them for products and services.
3. We will comply with laws, social norms and company rules and be trusted by customers work.
The Japanese automaker will attempt to develop a “culture of quality” by using the new quality policy as a daily guide with all employees, and as a guideline for practicing the words "quality first" with ongoing promotion at their Gunma plant.
Fixing mistakes is expensive
According to a report from the Harvard Business Review, although figures will vary according to industry and company, a company with a highly developed culture of quality spends, on average, $350 million less annually fixing mistakes than a company with a poorly developed one. And keeping customers happy is a key for any company because one unhappy customer will tell everyone they know and will use social media to air grievances about a company and its products.
Subaru manufactures the newly-revised 2019 Subaru Forester SUV, second-generation Crosstrek SUV, WRX and WRX STI performance cars, and BRZ sport coupe in Japan. Subaru has loyal customers, but they know they need to keep them loyal by producing all-wheel-drive SUVs and sports cars that won’t be in the shop to fix mistakes. While it’s never too late, they should have developed a new “culture of quality” years ago.
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Photo credit: Subaru Corporation