“I need to put this company through a full model change,” Yoshida told Automotive News during a visit to Aisin’s global headquarters here in the suburbs of Nagoya.
“With a healthy sense of crisis, we must take steps forward.”
It’s not the first time Aisin has had to remake itself.
The company traces its roots to Tokai Hikoki Co., founded in 1943 to make airplane components during World War II. After the war, the company rebooted to make sewing machines. Aisin Seiki Co. was formed in 1965, and last year Aisin Seiki subsumed its brake subsidiary Aisin AW to become Aisin Corp.
Yoshida, who took the Aisin helm in June 2021, knows his top customer Toyota better than most. A Toyota Motor veteran, he climbed the ranks to executive vice president, and was CEO of Toyota’s Mid-sized Vehicle Co., overseeing such nameplates as the Camry sedan.
Yoshida was one of the inner clique of confidants to Toyota President Akio Toyoda, known as the “Seven Samurai.”
Now dispatched to modernize Aisin, Yoshida is motoring ahead with a transformation.
“I’ve earmarked money and resources and dedicated it to leading-edge development and investment in the future,” Yoshida said. “Aisin itself had to change dramatically to survive.”
For starters, Aisin will invest ¥270 billion ($2.1 billion) through 2025 to rework production for a new product range of electrified drivetrains and regenerative brake systems.
By 2025, Aisin wants a factory footprint capable of producing 4.5 million electric drive units a year. The plan covers so-called e-axles for EVs and electrified powertrains for hybrids, as well as the regenerative braking systems and thermal management systems for battery-powered vehicles.