Japan:  Mazda has received the Monodzukuri Nippon Grand Award from the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) at the fifth such bi-annual ceremony in Japan.

The award, presented by the prime minister, recognises the contribution of Mazda’s Monotsukuri Innovation programme to manufacturing ideas and processes in the automotive industry.

Monodzukuri translates as ‘the art, science and craft of making things with a dedication to continuous improvement’.

Monotsukuri Innovation is a wide-ranging scheme, encompassing R&D activities, all aspects of material purchasing and production processes.

Mazda said that, since its launch in 2006, the programme has achieved a 30% improvement in development effi ciency as well as streamlining production facilities and tooling investment by more than 20%.

The company says Monotsukuri Innovation has delivered substantial benefi ts not only for new products with SKYACTIV technology, but also with regard to its business operations as a whole.